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I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Wells Agrees to Two-Year, $8 Million Deal With Red Sox
Former Yankee Left-Hander Switches Sides in Storied Rivalry

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 11) -- The Boston Red Sox will defend their World Series with an even wackier group than the self-proclaimed "bunch of idiots" that ended the franchise's 86-year dynasty of disappointment.

Wells agreed Saturday to an $8 million, two-year contract with Boston that could be worth up to $18 million over two years, a Red Sox official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The deal is pending a physical.

Wells gets a $3 million signing bonus and a salary of $2.5 million a year. In addition, he would earn $200,000 per start from 11-20 and $300,000 per start from 21-30.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona declined comment on Wells, but he said he wasn't worried about having too many characters on the team.

"Last year we had a lot of strong personalities but they didn't really go their own (way)," Francona said Saturday. "They just came together. I guess that's what you want."

Wells had said that he wanted to return to his hometown Padres, but with a guaranteed contract instead of one loaded with incentives like the deal he signed as a free agent last winter. He earned $1.25 million in base pay and another $4.75 million in incentives by making 31 starts; he could have made $1 million more if he hadn't missed three weeks after a fluke household injury.

"Despite his love for the Yankees, he walked away from us last year," New York general manager Brian Cashman said. "The bottom line is it's a business. He had to do what's best for him and his family."

Wells could replace Pedro Martinez or join him in a rotation behind ace Curt Schilling. The Red Sox have offered Martinez a two-year deal with options that could make it worth more than $38.5 million over three years.

Boston also has pursued free agent Carl Pavano, who was 18-8 with a 3.00 ERA for Florida last season. He is deciding among the Red Sox, Yankees, Mariners, Orioles, Angels and Tigers.

"He can see himself in every uniform. I said, 'Carl, you can only pitch for one team,"' his agent, Scott Shapiro said. "When he's ready, he'll let me know."

The Red Sox are not expected to re-sign Derek Lowe, a former 20-game winner who struggled last year before pitching in the clinching games of all three playoff rounds as Boston won the World Series for the first time since 1918.

To end the drought, the Red Sox turned the clubhouse over to free spirits like Johnny Damon, David Ortiz and Kevin Millar -- an unshaven and unkempt bunch that foiled the strait-laced Yankees and won an unprecedented eight consecutive games after spotting New York a three-game lead in the AL Championship Series.

Asked Friday if he was concerned that Wells' carousing might upset the chemistry in the Boston clubhouse, general manager Theo Epstein said sarcastically, "No, we don't have any guys like that."

Wells missed three starts in late May and early June after tripping over a bar stool at home, knocking a bottle of wine onto the floor and landing on it and a glass he was holding. He severed a tendon in his right wrist, requiring surgery, and cut his left palm.

Wells had back surgery before signing with the Padres last year. He has also been involved in several off-field scrapes that would seem to make him a natural fit for Boston's frat house atmosphere.

In January 1997, while in San Diego for his mother's funeral, Wells got into a street fight outside a bar and broke his pitching hand. In 2002, he was punched in the face by a man during an early morning altercation in a New York diner and lost two teeth.

In '03, Wells wrote a book titled: 'Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball.' Besides detailing how he grew up in the middle of a Hells Angels gang in a gritty San Diego neighborhood, he contended that he was "half drunk" when he pitched a perfect game in 1998 for the Yankees after partying until just a few hours before the game.

12/11/04 14:32 EST


Sitting around in my underwear....
I like the pickup. A reliable left-handed veteran with all kinds of postseason experience (10-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 25 postseason appearances). He'll be just fine as the #3 or #4 starter in the Sox rotation. He won 12 games (3.73 E.R.A.) last year at SD, that's equal to about 17 in Boston.

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Pimp Minister Sinister
bucknuts44820: "I guess he can eat some innings up for them next year, but his best days are behind him."

He's still one of the best big gamers around. If Boomer's healthy, I don't wanna face him in the Playoffs.
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