Red Sox LHP David Wells will sit out six games for pushing an umpire, failing in his attempt to shorten the suspension yesterday and then blasting Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig for the appeals process and just about everything else.
"I don't know what the point was even having a hearing," Wells said before Boston's game against the Devil Rays. "They said I clearly bumped him and sprayed him with spit. That's coming from a guy that works for the commissioner, so what can you do?"
Wells, who was scheduled to start against the Orioles on Friday, will instead pitch Sunday. A spot starter will take Wells's turn and the rest of the rotation will be pushed back a day, Manager Terry Francona said.
"Not having a day off, I have no problem with that anyway," Francona said, declining to elaborate on the suspension, secure in the knowledge that Wells would let his opinions be known. "David is going to have a whole lot to say, I'm sure."
Wells was ejected in the seventh inning of Boston's July 2 win over the Blue Jays after an argument in which he was accused of making contact with two umpires.
Wells acknowledged swearing but said he did so quietly and to himself. He denied spitting on or "beaking" any umpires and said there would have been no problem if second base umpire Chris Guccione wasn't reading his lips or third base umpire Angel Hernandez hadn't intervened to restrain the fuming pitcher.
"It's a sad day for me," Wells said. "I don't get it. I'm very bitter about the situation."
* NEW ANGEL IN OUTFIELD?: 1B Darin Erstad has not been told he will start in center field when the Angels play Oakland tonight, but the wheels for such a move -- which would displace the struggling Steve Finley and clear first base for rookie Casey Kotchman -- have been set in motion.
Erstad was instructed by Manager Mike Scioscia on Sunday to extend the length of his long-toss routine so he can stretch out his arm in preparation for a move. Erstad played long toss with his outfield glove.
* FIRST STRIKE: Oakland, which has won six straight, has scored first in all six games and has outscored the opposition 22-0 over the first three innings.
-- From News Services