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Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball

Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball

4.8 7
by David Wells, Chris Kreski

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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-a**ed fans, wrong-headed managers and the entire city of Cleveland. Even if Perfect, I'm Not was to blindly (and insanely) ignore all


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-a**ed 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, strip clubs, and more. It's great fun. It's real. It's as close as you're ever gonna get to making the show.

David Wells is one of the most colorful, honest, outspoken and genuinely funny beings on this, or any other planet.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
As he recalls a contentious meeting with sportswriters in his autobiography, Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches & Baseball, David Wells wonders if his next book should be called "How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People."

Consider it done.

Wells became the most hated man in baseball when the galleys of Perfect I'm Not hit the streets with Wells's assertion that up to 40 percent of big leaguers were using steroids and his recollection that he was "half-drunk" when he pitched a perfect game in 1998. He quickly backpedaled on both issues, which is ironic for someone who spends most of the fast-paced and entertaining Perfect I'm Not crafting a reputation as a tell-it-like-it-is rebel. Wells harbors disdain for baseball authority figures such as Cito Gaston, Pat Gillick, and Marge Schott, and he proudly details the near-fight he had with George Steinbrenner in the Yankees' locker room.

However, there's no doubting Wells's blue-collar credentials -- he fondly recalls his Hell's Angels father figures and his summer job as a butcher -- nor his devotion to his mother. Wells writes lovingly of the woman he calls "Attitude Annie" and vividly recalls the premonition he had moments before her death. Wells also provides a refreshingly unvarnished look at life in the "bushes," replete with cockroach-infested bedrooms in Mexico and the difficulty he had keeping a roommate during his first year in pro ball. Perfect I'm Not ensures that Wells will have the same problem at the end of his career. Jerry Beach

The New York Times
Reading through Perfect I'm Not, you might think Wells overcame enormous obstacles placed in his way by anal-retentive managers, pitching coaches and general managers who routinely doubted him and had the gall to wonder about his elastic girth. That is amusing, like much of the book. Perspective has never been one of Wells's strengths. His take on his baseball career is like Richard Nixon's version of Watergate. — Buster Olney
Publishers Weekly
Wells's rollicking memoir of his unlikely journey to the top of the hill at Yankee Stadium reads like Bull Durham rewritten by Ozzy Osbourne and Howard Stern. After a juicy setup that recounts his in-drag appearance on Saturday Night Live with teammates Derek Jeter and David Cone, Wells and Kreski settle into a three-up, three-down pace, chronicling Boomer's rise from Hells Angels mascot through the minors in barren Medicine Hat, Canada, down to winter ball in Venezuela, where he gets dysentery and is almost killed and on up to his crowning achievement: the perfect game he threw for the Yanks while hungover in 1998. The pitcher's life often resembles one of Kreski's credits, Beavis and Butt-head, resulting in a look-back-in-laughter that earns on average more than a chuckle per page. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen Wells interviewed; what's unexpected are his painstaking accounts of such turns in his life as the career-threatening back surgery he faced in 2001, to say nothing of the scrape he got into in a Manhattan diner last year with a drunken heckler. Fans will applaud because Wells's inside baseball divulges numbers as well as names, and it sketches as uncensored a portrait of today's money-and-media-saturated pro sports as they come. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Few might be interested in Wells's Harley-riding, heavy-metal lifestyle if he didn't also bear down so hard when it's time to pitch: besides the World Series and other big-time games he's pitched over the years, Boomer threw a perfect game in the spring of 1998, the 14th man ever to achieve that feat. This book mixes Wells's outsized personality with his considerable mound accomplishments.
Kirkus Reviews
Baseball’s bellicose lefty produces a text packed with a pitcher’s pleasures and pains. Wells is a kick-a** kind of guy, and so was his biker-babe Mom, Attitude Annie. Raised without Dad, his father figures were Mom’s pals, the local Hell’s Angels. The welfare kid got older and bigger; growing up was another story. If a game doesn’t go according to plan, Boomer may still wreck the dugout furnishings to the tunes of Metallica. Altercations with civilians are not unknown. Yet the guy could always throw smoke. Starting from the Medicine Hat farm club (with an interlude living in the back of a van and bussing tables), he was traded from Toronto to Milwaukee, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Baltimore. But in the bigs, the place he yearned for was Yankee Stadium. Now the home of his hero, Babe Ruth, is home to David Wells, who recalls here the day he wore Ruth’s cap to the mound. In greater detail, he describes his duels with sluggers and swingers, pinch hitters and pull hitters. Major outings are deconstructed inning by inning, pitch by pitch. Casual spectators and rabid fans will learn much about working the hitters and how it is to pitch a perfect game while hung over. Don’t forget the gout, the chips in the elbow, and the chips on the shoulder. Then there’s the money. (This once-poor hurler cries "throw me a bone," by which he means incentives in the millions.) People like David Cone, Spanky Anderson, Joe Torre, Cal Ripkin Jr., the ineffable Marge Schott, and Boss Steinbrenner make appearances, but personal matters, like family life, get just a nod; this is about baseball. And it’s pure locker-room trash talk, jock-jokey and fun. If last year didn’t earn a championship ring, just wait. Arags-to-pinstripes tale of America’s game with placement, velocity, and hubris, likely to go post-season.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

Perfect I'm Not
Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball

Chapter One

My Life as a Woman

Hello, ladies.
Your husbands are looking
very sexy tonight. I think
I'm gonna have sex
with them all!
-- Skank #1

December 1, 2001: New York City

Saturday night, 7:15 P.M. My frosted pink lipstick is layered on thick. My bleached blonde hair is moussed high and sprayed hard, like something you'd see wandering through a New Jersey shopping mall. Tight, black, patent leather pumps are squeezing my feet. Tight, black, queen-size panty hose are squeezing my groin. The cocktail dress I'm wearing feels at least two inches too short. My ass is freezing, but my big, fake boobs are smoking hot.

Thirty-eight Cs, these silicone girls are round, firm, full, and so incredibly perky they actually seem to defy gravity. They're better than perfect. They're fascinating, and strangely magnetic as well. All night long, I'll be happily copping feels of my own fake cleavage.

Right now though, I stand before a full-length mirror, sucking in my gut to get a long, first look at the full bosomy bloom of my own femininity. It's overwhelming. Quickly, and without any doubt whatsoever, I come to the realization that I may actually be the single ugliest woman ever to walk the face of this planet. Without the goatee I might rate a 2. With it, I'm a negative 6. At exactly this moment, someone shouts at me from across the room.

"Dude! You are one homely skank!"

I turn fast, and there's David Cone, red-faced, and laughing so hard the veins in his little pencil neck look like they're about to explode. He's doubled over. He's wheezing. He's even uglier than I am. Decked out in a black spandex miniskirt, polyester leopard-print halter top, and a bimbo-do that's even bigger, fluffier, and sluttier than mine, Coney's a mess. The dude looks like last call at Houlihan's. He makes dirt look pretty. Next to David Cone, I'm Pam Anderson. Side by side in the mirror now, we'll spend the better part of a half hour arguing over which of us is really more gruesome. Finally, rehoisting our bra straps, and readjusting our wigs, we call it a draw and go hunting for Derek Jeter.

Quickly, before you get the wrong idea, let me take a minute to explain that cross-dressing has never been high on my "things-to-do" list. Tonight's drag is a one-off; a command performance set into motion on the spur of the moment by Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. With Derek Jeter hosting this week's show, the SNL writers have concocted a sketch involving five Yankee wives and a sleazy pair of groupies who chase after their husbands. As the scene is cast, Jeter will be playing Alfonso Soriano's sweet, loving wife, "Candy." Guess who's playing "Skank #1" and "Skank #2"?

Less than three hours ago Coney and I were across the river in Jersey, happily serving as "honored guests" at a dignified, perfect-game-themed, autograph-signing appearance. Now we've both got purple mascara caked onto our lashes, and hairdos the size of sport-utility vehicles. How'd this happen? Simple. I opened my big mouth. Shocker there, huh? Let me backtrack. I've been a rabid SNL fan ever since I was twelve years old, falling off the couch as John Belushi samurai-sliced his way through both the neighborhood deli and Buck Henry's forehead. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that all through my first go-round with the Yankees, I was constantly weaseling myself invitations to Saturday Night Live tapings and also to the show's legendary after-parties. Loud and large and crammed with funny, talented writers, performers, and musicians, these things kick off right after SNL rolls its credits. They end right around the time the sun starts rising over the East River. They're great fun. I love being there, and through years of blatant party-crashing, I've slowly but surely developed a pretty solid "odd couple" friendship with Lorne Michaels, as well as the show's producers and some of the cast.

November 10, 2001. I'm in New York City making a personal appearance at a Manhattan Hooters franchise (tough work, but somebody's gotta do it), signing balls and posters and T-shirts, with the proceeds all going toward 9/11 relief. And since I'm in town on a Saturday, I have to call SNL producer Marci Klein, asking that she hook me up with tickets for tonight's show. As we chat, Marci runs through her usual song and dance about how funny tonight's host is gonna be, but then, from out of nowhere, she surprises me by asking for Derek Jeter's home phone number. I make the obvious joke about how she can't possibly be that hard up, but Marci keeps digging. She tells me SNL wants Derek to host their next live episode, which is scheduled to air the night of December 1. With one more bad, hook-up joke at Marci's expense, I pass along Derek's digits and make plans to be in the studio for "DJ's" debut.

Three weeks pass. Now it's December 1, and Coney and I are signing away in New Jersey, scrawling our names onto balls, baseball cards, T-shirts, and posters, one after another after another. That's when the cell phone rings. It's Marci, and this time she's all business, telling me there's been a great, last-minute sketch written for tonight's show, and it really needs me. She then reads me the whole "Yankee Wives" script over the phone while simultaneously giving me the full, hard-sell, used-car-dealer spin about how funny it'd be to close out the scene with me playing a sleazy ballpark groupie. Laughing into the phone, Marci presses me to commit, on the spot ...

Perfect I'm Not
Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball
. Copyright © by David Wells. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

David Wells is one of the most colorful, honest, outspoken and genuinely funny beings on this, or any other planet.

Chris Kreski was a writer and consultant for MTV and a head writer of The Daily Show. He cowrote Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories, as well as several other books with William Shatner.

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Perfect I'm Not: Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches, and Baseball 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
David Wells is hilarous! What a great insight in the world of baseball. I hate the Yankees, but David Wells made it bearable to relive all those Yankees World Series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great baseball (auto)biography. Fun to read and not just about the game but about life around the game. There are moments when you cannot help but laugh out loud. Read this book. It explains why Boomer is Boomer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was literally laughing out loud while reading this book. Boomer is hilarious. Prior to reading this book, I was not a Wells fan at all. My attention was drawn by one of the game commentators during the Series this year stating Wells made 'impolite' comments re: Pettitte and Clemens (2 of my fav players, period)...not so. I think his comments were acceptable - they were totally his opinion, he clearly was not trying to win Brownie points from anyone and, like many other readers here, I have no idea why so many people were upset.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Part of the reason why I bought the book was because I'm a HUGE Yankees fan,(GO YANKEES by the way), a HUGE David Wells fan, and mostly because I wanted to see what the whole controversy was all about. Well, that fine they made Boomer pay was all worth it because this is probably the best book I've ever read. I was laughing every minute I spent reading it and I didn't want to put it down!I love the inside look on David's life and what really goes on in the clubhouse. But what I love most about this book is that it's written in Boomer's voice, he tells it like it is... he's honest straight-forward and he doesn't care who he's offending, and I LOVE that about him!I personally don't think that it's as controversial as they made it to be, you shouldn't judge the book before you read it... and you definitely should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first thing i will say to someone when they ask me about this book, is the fact that wells was hilarious, and humorous... He brings an honest, straightforward opinion on the authority figures of baseball... I felt that david should have gotton more in depth about the players he played with, but nontheless, it was a very enjoyable book that should be picked up by every baseball fan...
Guest More than 1 year ago
while the book seemed too wordy at times it still proved to be one of the greatest books ive read in a while. :) id also like to point out i expelled gas while reading this... that made me laugh as well... i felt apart of the david wells family... thats how comfortable i felt expelling gas...! READ!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have no idea why everyone is getting their panties all up in a bunch about this book! Wells gives an honest perception and opinion on life in baseball. From his young life, through his struggle in the minors, and breakthrough in the majors, David kept me laughing! Great job.