SI: What kind offeedback did you get on your analyst gig?
Wells: My wifesaid I was doing a great job, but I got plenty of calls from friends andteammates that were not as nice. A former teammate of mine, Eric Hinske, sentme a text message that said, YOUR NOSE LOOKS EVEN BIGGER ON TV.
SI: What was thehardest thing about the job?
Wells: Trying tobe politically correct. I still have to play against these guys. I try to behonest without being disrespectful, especially to pitchers. They're on themound when I'm in the box.
SI: Who's thebest first baseman to have a conversation with when you're a runner?
Wells: JasonGiambi. He's a great guy. We can talk about any subject. It can be baseball orsomething off-the-wall. When he came to Toronto, he and Johnny Damon hadinteresting-looking mustaches. Then, when I was in New York, he didn't have it.So I asked him what happened to his "porn-stache." He said he wasn'tgetting hits, so he figured he should shave it off.
SI: Your dad,Vernon Sr., is an artist who has had hundreds of portraits commissioned bymajor leaguers. How many of his works do you own?
Wells: Five orsix. There's one he did when I was in high school of myself and Ken GriffeyJr., who was my favorite player. That's the only one of myself. I know ToriiHunter had him do a picture of three Gold Glove outfielders--Torii, me andIchiro.
SI: You don'tlove your first name, right?
Wells: No. Youtry to say it to the people on the phone and they don't understand what you'resaying [laughs]. I was going to be a Michael. But then my parents saw my nose,and it was just like my dad's, so they figured they would call me VernonJr.
SI: Michael Wellsis a cool-sounding name.
Wells: Yeah, itreally is. But I'm just Vernon.
• For more fromVernon Wells, go to SI.com/scorecard.
JIM BRYANT/AP (WELLS PORTRAIT); MIKE CASSESE/REUTERS (WELLS PLAYING)