BOSTON – Boston Red Sox left-hander David Wells apologized on Wednesday for comments he made this week criticizing commissioner Bud Selig for his handling of baseball’s steroid problems.

“I understand that I was wrong in my statements about these issues and for that I apologize,” Wells said in a statement issued by the players’ association after Wells met with baseball officials. “Now that I have had this opportunity to sit down and discuss the issues, I better understand the procedures that go with steroid testing.”

Wells lashed out at Selig after losing his appeal of a six-game suspension on Monday, saying the commissioner “isn’t doing a thing” about steroids. The pitcher, who called Selig an “idiot” in a spring training interview with the Hartford Courant, accused Selig of retaliating for his past comments in handing out the latest suspension.

The boisterous lefty also claimed Selig withheld results of Rafael Palmeiro’s steroids test to avoid detracting from the Hall of Fame inductions. Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president of labor relations, called Wells’ version “pure fiction.”

The Red Sox promptly apologized for Wells’ comments. The pitcher was summoned along with his agent to New York and met for about an hour with Manfred and union lawyers Michael Weiner and Bob Lenaghan.

“I met today with Major League Baseball and the players’ association and was happy to have the chance to answer questions about my press conference the other day and to learn more about the drug testing program and on-field disciplinary suspensions,” Wells’ statement said. “I now know that neither Bud Selig nor anyone else delayed the Palmeiro case and that the commissioners office has worked with the union to improve the steroid policy.”

Wells is scheduled to complete his suspension and pitch on Sunday.

Manfred declined comment on the meeting.

Youkilis recalled

The Red Sox recalled infielder Kevin Youkilis from Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday and optioned right-hander Manny Delcarmen to Pawtucket.


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