Wells wants to stay in NY

TAMPA, Fla. — David Wells won’t waive the no-trade clause in his contract if the New York Yankees attempt to deal him after embarrassing revelations in his new book.

“I can say yes, but I’m not a fool. I’m not waiving it,” he said Tuesday at the Yankees’ spring training camp before the team left to play Boston at Fort Myers. “I don’t want to go anywhere else, obviously.”

Wells has a complete no-trade clause in the $7 million, two-year contract he agreed to with the Yankees before the 2002 season. The New York Post had reported Tuesday that Wells, after details of his book became known, had told the team he would waive the no-trade clause if the team wanted to get rid of him.

The 39-year-old left-hander could be punished by the team for writing an autobiography that general manager Brian Cashman said “tarnishes the Yankees’ image.” Wells apologized to Cashman on Saturday and addressed his teammates Sunday about the book, “Perfect I’m Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches ‘ Baseball.”

Wells would not say if the no-trade clause came up in recent conversions with manager Joe Torre or Cashman.

“What we talked about was our business,” Wells said.

Cashman would not say if Wells approached the team about waiving the clause. The general manager did say the Yankees haven’t asked Wells to do it.

Wells said he hasn’t spoken with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner about the book. Steinbrenner said Monday he has no intentions of addressing the matter with the pitcher.

“I didn’t think it was going to get to this stage,” Wells said. “I’m not going to deny anything I wrote in there. I’m accountable for everything that I’ve written.”

Cashman started reading the galleys of Wells’ book Monday and hopes to finish shortly.

“Instead of being swift, I rather be right,” Cashman said. “Until I get through it and then have a chance to have discussions with others (in the organization) I’m not going to comment. I’m not ruling out anything. I’m not saying anything will happen.”

Wells wishes he would have kept the issue of steroids out of his book, scheduled for publication March 14. In galleys of the book distributed by publisher William Morrow, Wells said 25 to 40 percent of major leaguers used steroids.

“All I can do is apologize for the pain it caused to the organization, my teammates and whoever,” Wells said. “It was probably the biggest mistake I ever did by putting something in there. I wish I didn’t, but I can’t do anything about it. It was a bad choice putting it in the book. I can’t change anything. It’s already done.”

In the actual book, the figure is 10 to 25 percent.

“We did that way back,” said Wells of the change. “Months and months back. It wasn’t anything recent.”

Also in the galleys, Wells claims he was “half drunk” when he pitched a perfect game in 1998 and takes digs at teammates Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina. Wells earlier backed off the half drunk statement, saying he was hung over.

He doesn’t feel the matter has become a distraction for his teammates.

“I don’t think these guys are being distracted,” Wells said. “They’re focusing on one thing: that’s spring training and the season. They could care less. They’re trying to work on stuff and get into season form and go out and try to win a pennant. That’s what I’m trying to do.”