While lavishing praise on Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro for the job he’s done reshaping the Indians, Newsday’s Ken Davidoff takes a dim view of the hysteria surrounding David Wells’ most recent outburst.

David Wells made some characteristically silly comments this past week. But by the time everyone in baseball stopped hyperventilating, Boomer came out looking the least silly of the bunch.

Wells, still immature at 42, reacted poorly to losing his appeal of a six-game suspension (for a recent argument with umpires). He accused Bud Selig of having a personal vendetta against him and of ignoring the steroids problem.

The best strategy would have been to ignore Wells, for no one on this planet takes him seriously. The lefthander apparently touched a nerve, however. Within a couple of hours, the Red Sox issued a sycophantic apology to Selig, commending the commissioner for his “visionary leadership and integrity.” Why not throw in “devilish sense of humor and superb hygiene,” as long as you’re kissing up?

Wells, summoned to New York to “discuss” the issue with baseball executive vice president Rob Manfred and union leadership, issued a statement of apology that read like something left over from a script for “The Stepford Wives.” Baseball and the Players Association took a humorous one-day story and stretched it into a three-day prospectus against free speech.