Synopsis: Forget the perfect game. Forget the World Series rings. Forget the legendary carousing, the barroom brawling, the heavy-metal head-banging, and the endless supply of uncensored, often havoc-wreaking quotes. Forget the feuds with dumb-assed fans, wrong-headed managers and the entire city of Cleveland. Even if Perfect, I’m Not was to blindly (and insanely) ignore all those amazing aspects of David Wells’ life as a major leaguer, his story would still bounce off these pages as a wildly entertaining and jaw-droppingly honest look at the game of baseball. Nothing less would be possible. Wells simply isn’t wired for spin-doctoring. He has no “delete” button. He pulls no punches.In a sport that’s now largely populated by a bland collection of well-dressed, personality-free, cliché — spouting Stepford jocks, Wells clearly holds the title of “baseball’s most beloved bad-ass”.
From rookie ball amid the beer-soaked, frozen tundra of the Great White North, through Winter Ball amid the easy women and explosive diarrhea of Venezuela, Perfect I’m Not explores Boomer’s long, strange, often insane climb through the minors. And from the Siberia of the Blue Jays’ bullpen, through intensive training with a brilliant little Yoda known as Sparky Anderson, the book also examines how Boomer grew from a mediocre reliever, into a solid, reliable, hugely successful starter. From there, after tortured dealings with Marge Schott in Cincinatti, and Pat Gillick in Baltimore, the book follows Boomer deep inside the New York Yankees’ dugout, right through the teams’ fairy-tale seasons of ’97 and ’98. It stands with David on the mound through his legendary perfect game.
It documents his high-profile love affair with the night-life of New York City, and then explores just how devastating it felt to be unceremoniously dumped for Roger Clemens. Perfect I’m Not also follows Boomer through his chronic back pain of 2001, then surgery, rehab, uncertainty, and one pinstriped Christmas miracle, courtesy of Boss Steinbrenner. And though the 2002 season may have enjoyed a less than perfect climax, it nonetheless rounds out the book with a Yankees reunion that kept Boomer smiling from February, right into October.
Perfect I’m Not gives readers an unprecedented, all-access pass to every major league stadium in the country, providing a first-person perspective of life on the diamond, as well as an uncensored, warts-and-all, insider’s guide to life inside locker-rooms, hotel rooms, planes, dugouts, buses, bedrooms, restaurants, titty-bars, and more. It’s great fun. It’s real. It’s as close as you’re ever gonna get to making the show.
Joe’s Remarks: I never liked David Wells, mostly because I only knew him as a Yankee player. That alone is generally enough to get me not to like someone. :) I wanted to check this out solely because of the “hype” surrounding the book. And after having read the book, I have to wonder if the negative press surrounding the book and some of it’s “expositions” weren’t self inflicted. Read the book. It’s a wonderfully entertaining read. He talks about all the problems he had in his life early on, from his time in the minors, to the boredom in the bullpen (although his story about getting women in the stands to flash them is awesome) to his battles with team management, and lots on the Yankees. I also got a charge out of his comments on former Reds owner Marge Schott, and her dog.
I have to admit that this book goes on my recommend list. It was a funny read, and for a baseball fan like myself, gives me some insight into the mind of a baseball player. I really enjoyed it. The link here is for the hardback edition of the book. There is a paperback version scheduled for release, but it’s not currently slated until Mar 1, 2004. The hardback is available now.
Oh, BTW, if you’re someone who isn’t into the liberal use of foul language, you might want to stay away from the book. It’s not like every third word is f this or f that, but there is definitely more than a smattering of f-bombs and the like in the book.