SAN DIEGO - It's 2 o'clock on a typically brilliant San Diego afternoon and David "Boomer" Wells is on the mound at David Wells Field.
OK, technically he's just in front of it, setting up a pitching machine to run his Point Loma Pointers through situational hitting drills.
Eight seasons after throwing his last big league pitch, Wells is now head coach at his alma mater, which he pitched to a city championship 33 years ago.
Who could have ever imagined Wells, the wild child from gritty Ocean Beach, being a high school head coach?
It certainly wasn't in his post-career plans.
"Not at all," Wells said. "I would have never in a million years thought I'd be doing this. I've been trying for the last seven years to get into the big leagues and failed miserably. I mean, I thought with all the knowledge and the big games that I've pitched and being in the playoffs constantly, I know pitching. I know pitching as good as or better than anybody else that's ever played."
The answer has always been no.
"I think they look at the fact that when I played, I was outspoken," the 51-year-old Wells said. "I did my job very well. But I'm a grown man. I can do what I want to do, sometimes burning the candle at both ends. Those things happen, but I'm not that guy. If I'm going to take a job and be serious about it, I'm not the guy who played. I'm the guy that's applying for a job and trying to help out the organization. I don't think they've gotten over that yet. But it's no big deal."
The mystique of Boomer Wells runs deep, from growing up in the middle of a Hells Angels gang to pitching a perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1998 with what he later described as "a skull-rattling hangover." (Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game for the Yankees in the 1956 World Series, also attended Point Loma High).
Wells got a shout-out from Mick Jagger when the Rolling Stones played Petco Park in 2005. He's been a Midnight Rambler and a Street Fighting Man.
He pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and eight other teams, including twice with his hometown Padres, won two World Series rings, was a three-time All-Star and had a 239-157 record before finishing up in 2007.
Now he's in charge of 20 teenagers.
And they love it.
"He's been more straightforward. Everyone is more focused since he's been around," junior co-captain Seth Urbon said. "The whole vibe changed. Everybody wants to play more. They want to play for him. It's a really good environment around the program."
During winter ball, Wells brought in former big leaguers Alan Trammell, Vince Coleman and Jamie Moyer to work with his players, and had Heath Bell throw batting practice as he prepared for spring training.
A few days into the season, he brought his World Series rings into the dugout.
"They were like, 'Oh my God, you've got to be kidding.' I just left them in the dugout for them to see, touch, put them on, whatever. If you're in a slump, go pick it up, put it on. I don't know," Wells said.
That, plus the stories Wells tells, made an impression on senior pitcher Clay Palmer.
"It's nice having a coach like that," Palmer said. "You can't learn from anyone better than that. He's like a second father figure. He loves all of us, he's really supportive and he's just a great guy."
Says Wells: "I'm not an in-your face coach. I don't yell. If you do something out of character, you start running. That's all I do. I'll get them shape one way or another."
Wells was pitching coach for three seasons, breaking away to serve as a spring training instructor for the Yankees. After hearing that some kids wanted to transfer, he finally accepted then-athletic director John Murphy's offer to be head coach.
"He's so dedicated to the kids. He's a classy guy. He has a huge heart," Murphy said. "He's doing all sorts of great stuff with the kids. His knowledge of baseball is incredible. The kids are like sponges. They're eating it up. It's been a really great experience for our program, and the kids will look back on that and know it was a fantastic time."
Without Wells' involvement in the program, David Wells Field, located at a middle school about a half-mile from the high school, probably would still be a run-down mess.
Wells helped push through a $1 million renovation, paid for mostly by a school bond, that resulted in a new turf field, including the base paths, a new outfield fence, major league-style foul poles and upgraded bullpens and batting cage. Wells has added several protective screens used for batting practice, as well as a pitching machine, fly ball machine and ground ball machine. There are plans to upgrade seating and add a new scoreboard.
Wells is donating his salary of about $3,000 back to the program. He said he raised $135,000 from an off-season golf tournament.
His hitting coach, Dave Camera, was his teammate in 1982. His head assistant, Kyle Harvey, graduated from Point Loma in 2005. So far, the team is 2-1 going into the weekend.
Wells still gets in plenty of golf, with his baseball fix coming in the afternoon.
He loves being around the players and watching them develop.
"To me that's just as good as if not better than being in the big leagues, except they get paid up there and I don't get paid here," Wells said with a laugh.
Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson