reliable David Wells.
It looks like the San Diego Padres are really going to be the team to watch this season. Maybe not for their play, but for their cast of characters. First we learned last week about Greg Maddux's apparent love of peeing on rookies (where was this type of coverage last summer when he was on the Dodgers? The local media treated him as if he were a saint. Now he goes down south, and all bets are off?). But in terms of the amusing department, there is the always
Wells is an overt party animal, but you may not know he's also an avid hunter (he owns a hunting ranch in Michigan with former MVP Kirk Gibson). More than anything, we know Wells likes to eat. During his off-season hunting expedition to Tanzania, his diet went on a totally different path:
"Ostrich was phenomenal. Warthog was outstanding. A little different taste, but it's really good," the San Diego Padres' southpaw said while recounting his trip. "Hardebeest, wildebeest, gazelle, all that stuff. Very, very tasty. It's just the zebra you don't want to eat. We shot them for bait. For lions."
Even a dik-dik, a furry little antelope, ended up on Wells' dinner plate after he "double-lunged it" from 30 yards with his bow.
"That was probably one of the best eating things I had," he said. "It doesn't sound good. Cute little suckers, too."
Wells' trip wasn't all fun and games. Out in the wild, there are animals far scarier than Boomer.
"Yeah man, you don't know if you walk around a tree and there's a lion coming right at you," Wells said after throwing a bullpen session this week. "There's a lot of things that can go wrong over there. A lot of things."
"There's nothing like walking up a cliff and hearing a lion roaring at you and you don't know where it's at. And it scares the tar out of you and all of a sudden you see it and it's 40 yards from you behind a bush with two cubs. You don't shoot females, anyway. But in that type of situation, anything can happen, a lion protecting her young, and they'll attack you," Wells said.
"But to see the animals hands-on ... I saw cheetahs and all that kind of stuff. As long as you stay cool, calm and collected they're not going to attack you. Thank gosh. That thing would have pummeled us. It was a big elephant."
Boomer also had the chance to reflect and decide, and should the shoe be on the other foot, how he'd prefer to be dined on...
"I'd rather get eaten by a lion than get bitten by a snake," Wells said. "That's just an eerie thing because you're crawling in tall grass, so you're on all fours crawling, you don't know if one's right there."
The trip to Tanzania also provided an opportunity for Wells to get in shape. Not by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, running, or anything of that sort. What was his regimen?
"A lot of walking in 110-degree weather," he said. "So I came back fit. I survived 21 days in the bush."
Boomer's training regimen sounds a lot like the one I typically do. Too bad I'm not financially rewarded for doing so.
The Padres may not win the West, but they're sure a team to keep an eye on. Here's just one piece of advice for stud rookie, Kevin Kouzmanoff: stay alert, both in the shower, and everywhere else. Getting peed on is terrible, but gettin' hunted is even worse.