Former New York Yankees players returned to the Bronx for the 75th edition of the team’s annual Old-Timers’ Day.
David Wells, who was a member of the 1998 Yankees World Series champion team, arrived at Yankee Stadium with a noticeable alteration to his jersey – a piece of tape. The tape in question was placed over the jersey’s Nike logo.
Wells was asked about the piece of tape, and he proceeded to make his feelings about the sports apparel giant clear.
“I hate Nike,” he said. “They’re woke.” Wells also suggested that if he were not retired from Major League Baseball, he would have cut the logo out of the jersey.
Wells also said that he would not be the only player walking around with a hole in his jersey in lieu of the Nike swoosh.
Wells also took aim at Bud Light, which drew backlash and sparked an ongoing boycott this year as a result of a marketing campaign that featured transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Wells was asked whether he would drink Bud Light in the future, and he responded with an emphatic “Nope.”
Wells weighed in on the Yankees season, placing blame on the players.
“I don’t care how much money you’re making, send a message to him, and let him go sit down [to Triple-A] and think about it,” he said.
Wells recalled a time when former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada slammed him against a pillar in the team’s clubhouse after he pitched poorly in a game.
“He slammed me against the pillar and got in my face, but I respected it,” Wells said. “He was like, ‘You gave up.’ And that pissed me off because I never gave up, you just get your ass kicked once in a while. But to me, that’s what you don’t see anymore. You don’t see the guys getting in each other’s face. And it’s not a personal thing. You’re here to win, and that’s what they try to do, and I think from seeing my perspective, looking in, they don’t have that kind of camaraderie anymore.”
The Yankees currently sit in last place in the American League East division with a 70-71 record.
The Yankees were playing well in May and early June and had a record well above .500, but the team began to decline after that point. A toe injury to reigning American League MVP Aaron Judge likely factored into New York’s drop-off. Judge returned to the lineup last month after a lengthy absence.
Also on Old-Timers’ Day, Yankees legend Derek Jeter made his long-awaited debut at the annual event. The former team captain wore his famed No. 2 as the 1998 World Series championship team was honored on its 25th anniversary.
“That’s a big deal. It’s Derek Jeter,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who also played with Jeter, said Friday before the Yankees’ 8-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Pretty cool, pretty cool – got to see him a couple of times this year, but it will be nice to have him here tomorrow,” Boone said. “I know, obviously the fan base is going to be pretty juiced about it, and frankly all of our players. But also I know how meaningful it is to all of the alumni and all of the former Yankees players that come and have this day circled on their calendars.”
The Yankees could soon see their streak of 30 consecutive winning seasons come to an end. The team’s postseason chances are also on life support.