San Diego Padres Pitcher David Wells recently revealed that he has Type II Diabetes caused by his many years of living a drunken unhealthy Babe Ruth influenced lifestyle. The concern here is not for Wells' health. It was probably not that likely that he would live past 50 anyway given his tendency to run his mouth at inappropriate times. The real issue is the way that Wells has altered his diet.
"From the time I found out, I made changes. No more starches and sugar. No more rice, pasta, potatoes and white bread. No more fast food. I've cut out alcohol."
The key word is alcohol. Can this now elderly pitcher suddenly reinvent himself in his forties after a career of pitching some of his best games while still drunk from the night before? Can he keep the pinpoint precision on his curveball while his hand shakes uncontrollably from booze withdrawl? The answers to those questions remain unclear at this point.
What is clear is that Wells may have seen the end of his drinking days as early as 1999 when he lead a charitable drive to raise money for juvenile diabetes. He had to have known that the Diabetic Beast was coming for him and his bottle of booze. That makes it more admirable that he stared down certain death and limb amputation multiple times a week and still did not even flinch as he took each shot at the bar and drank each "roadie" on the ride home. I hope that if Wells ever makes it to Cooperstown, that his plaque would commemorate more than just his playing career. That it could somehow capture his courage.