The tattoo, still so new the ink barely is dry, spreads from David Wells' biceps toward his shoulder -- his left shoulder, naturally -- and leaves no doubt where his emotional ties to baseball remain.
It begins with a detailed image of old Yankee Stadium, runs past a skull with a baseball in one of its eye sockets and ends with a Mount Rushmore of Yankees lefties: Whitey Ford, Babe Ruth, Ron Guidry.
"I guess it's my midlife crisis," Wells said Monday during a promotional visit to New York in advance of TBS' playoff coverage, for which he is a rookie studio analyst.
"I'm going to start tatting up and go full sleeves."
That's Wells, at 46 and two years into retirement, still enjoying and expanding upon his resume as a fun-loving -- sometimes too fun-loving -- guy who revels in coloring outside life's lines.
(His consistently R-rated humor generally cannot be shared in print or on TV. "I've got a potty mouth," he said. "I thank my mom for that. Every other word out of her mouth was an F-bomb.")
At the same time, as far and wide as his career took him -- the tattoo features logos of the nine teams he played for -- his devotion to the favorite American League team of his youth has endured.
It's cute, sort of. And it's in spite of him playing only four of his 21 seasons with the Yankees and of his strong, lingering dislike of Joe Torre.
Wells has a complex place in Yankees lore, from pitching a perfect game and winning a ring in 1998 to his disastrous early exit from Game 5 of the 2003 Series.
The latter still bothers him. He said he tried in vain to warn the Yankees he could not pitch effectively because of a back injury, and that after he left the game, no one visited the clubhouse to treat or comfort him.
Wells dismissed Torre with an expletive, then added, "If it was Mo Rivera or Jeter or Pettitte or Clemens, they'd have had a -- -- entourage in there. But it was me and I didn't get anything."
Yet his devotion to the Yankees endures, and he remains a fan favorite, something evident as he made the rounds in Manhattan, from lunch at P.J. Clarke's to taping "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" at 30 Rock.
Wells relates to regular Joes but also casually mentions friendships with a startling array of celebrities, jocks and non-jocks alike. (He recalled a time he dined with both Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan, after a practical joke arranged by Gretzky. Long story.)
In 2004, he returned to New York as a Padre.
"I got a standing ovation and about started crying," he said. "Then I went to Boston (in '05) and came back here and they're throwing stuff at me -- hot dogs, quarters ... "
After failing to get a job for 2008, Wells, who lives in San Diego, passed the time hunting, golfing and surfing. TBS signed him in February; he split his time between game and studio analysis.
Wells said he never thought about broadcasting during his playing days. "Not at all, because I never got along with the media," he said.
Now he's one of us, but he's still learning to speak in sound bites and to keep it clean. (At least one off-color term slipped into the telecast Sunday.)
Does he see this as a full-blown second career? "Let's just see how this goes," he said.
The Yankees are his pick to win it all. It starts Wednesday night with a pitcher in whom he sees himself.
"I love CC Sabathia," Wells said. "People say big guys are too fat. But this guy has endurance. He's an athlete. He covers his position, battles your -- -- . I wish I could've played with him. Ebony and ivory."
Wells said he enjoys being "back in the loop," where he happily mixes business with pleasure, as always.
"People perceive me as this crazy son of a bitch," he said, "but if you know me personally, I really am an average, everyday guy. I just love to have fun."