Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
David Wells will be 'nervous as hell' on TBS May 3
David Wells, last seen sitting in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium, will debut as a TBS analyst May 3 for the Red Sox-Rays game.
What famous announcer would he like to emulate? Charles Barkley, right? Um, no.
Ernie Harwell. Ernie Harwell?
If I was to imitate anyone it would be Ernie Harwell," he said.
"Playing in Detroit for two and a half years was a great opportunity to hang around a legend. Ernie Harwell is always fun to listen to. Obviously, I never heard him until I went (to Detroit), but I heard of him. But to really listen to a guy, if youre going to imitate someone that would probably be a guy that you would want to (imitate)."
Click below for a bunch of stuff TBS sent from Boomer off a conference call I had to skip, probably because I was at one new New York stadium or another.
Photo: GettyWells on if he plans on being as outspoken on the air as he is off the air:
I get (my outspokenness) from my mom and I thank her for it. Sometimes you have to watch what you say obviously and be careful. I think I can conduct myself in a good fashion and talking about baseball, you dont always have to use profanity. I want to speak my mind. If I see something, Im going to call it as I see it. Im not here to (disrespect) anyone out (on the field) or make anyone feel bad. Watching games for many, many years from the clubhouse and from home, Ive seen analysts, especially at other stations, come out and pretty much make a mockery of athletes. Thats not my thing, thats not my intention. If a guy messes up, Im going to explain why and I might make a couple of comments even if hes a friend of mine or if hes not a friend of mine. Im still going to call the game as I see it.
Executive producer Jeff Behnke on if he envisions Wells to be the Charles Barkley of MLB on TBS:
Both David and Charles have achieved a great deal in their sports. Their ability to relay those experiences to the fans makes for great television. We know where the line is drawn and to find the same balance in our baseball studio is the goal. That is what has led us to Emmy Award winning telecasts on our NBA broadcasts. We know that David is very outspoken and we also know that David has an enormous amount of credibility. At Turner Sports, we take a lot of pride in letting our announcers be who they are. Thats what drew us to David. We know hes going to be exactly what he is in person on the air.
Wells on what motivated him to enter the broadcast booth:
Not playing (in 2008) was tough. You feel yourself wanting to get up in the morning and get ready to go to the ballpark. You miss spring training, being in the clubhouse and cutting up with the boys. (Those are) things that I really miss. So I didnt watch a whole lot of baseball last year and I was trying to stay away from the game. Then this opportunity came along and its going to give me the chance to stay in the game. Believe me, there are a lot of new faces out there (in MLB) that I havent heard of. Baseball has taken a new direction and is going with a lot of youth. Internationally, there are a lot Japanese players coming in. I want to keep up with the game because its the only thing Ive loved and really known. I want to know whats going on in the game of baseball. What better place to talk about it, analyze it and have fun with it. Its not a money issue and there arent any other issues other than wanting to stay in the game and be a part of it for the rest of my life.
Wells on announcers he would like to emulate:
If I was to imitate anyone it would be Ernie Harwell. Playing in Detroit for two and a half years was a great opportunity to hang around a legend. Ernie Harwell is always fun to listen to. Obviously, I never heard him until I went (to Detroit), but I heard of him. But to really listen to a guy, if youre going to imitate someone that would probably be a guy that you would want to (imitate). You listen to (Dodgers announcer) Vin Scully, which I heard a lot, and youve got to idolize a guy like that because hes just so smooth up in the booth. But you cant imitate anyone, youve got to be your own person up there.
Wells on his transition from player to a member of the media:
I never thought in a million years Id be in the booth. I thought I would be coaching somewhere before I got in the booth because me and the media, we never saw eye to eye. At least I fought you guys every chance I got if anything I saw was derogatory or unbelievably crazy questions that just really didnt relate to the game. Thats the way I shied away, but I tried to make the best I could with the media. Im sure I probably said a lot of harsh things, but a lot of harsh things were said about me as well. I was always the kind of guy that would fight back, my mom always told me, dont take any crap from anybody, speak your mind and move on, and thats how I took it. Now that Im part of the media world, youve got to understand it, and the last few years of my career I really tried to understand it and evaluate it from both sides. You cant fight City Hall, the power of the pen is usually greater. Its something for me to learn, its going to be a whole new learning experience for me. I dont expect anyone to go out there and hold my hand through this thing, obviously Im going to try to do it on my own and be my own person. Ive got a great team behind me thats going to be there for me, and knowing that, it makes things a little easier for me. If I step out of line Im sure theyre going to let me know real quick. But thats just the learning process.
Wells on how he will feel when he calls his first game in the booth:
Im going to be nervous as hell, theres no question. Youve got to go up there and talk about the game which I know. But as anyone knows, when youre in a situation and youre nervous you might say things that arent really there. Im just going to try to do the best I can do. Trust me, Ive made many mistakes in my life and Ive gotten through them. So I think Ill be able to handle this. Just go up and relax and go with the flow. Im sure they are going to make it as easy as they can on me and let me be me being a color guy and sharing my expertise, something I might see that no one else does, or something I know that someone else doesnt know, Im just going to try to key in on that and make the best of my ability.