The Hartford Courant’s David Heuschkel seems like a competent enough reporter, but with all due respect, he’ll rue the day David Wells retires.

Wells (above), was upset that manager Terry Francona went public with what both described as a lighthearted conversation between the two that took place Sunday in the clubhouse. It went something like this:

Wells: “Why doesn’t Beckett get to be the No.1 starter?”

Francona: “Because Schilling is.”

Wells: “Why Schilling?”

Francona: “Because I’ve known him longer.”

Wells: “Oh, we’re playing I-know-you-longer games.”

Wells and Francona both said they were joking. But the next day, when Wells was given an excused absence to participate in a charity golf tournament, Francona spoke to reporters about the conversation.

“We were in there with all the pitchers,” Francona said Monday, “and I kind of explained to him – because he wants to know what day he’s pitching – I just kind of told him, I said, `David, as of the fourth of March, you wanted to be traded. Now all of the sudden you want to pitch second [in the rotation].’ It’s not going to happen. He’s going to have to be able to be a little flexible. … If there’s not flexibility on his part too, we’re probably going to bump heads a little bit.”

Discussing that comment Friday, Wells sounded like he wanted to give his manager a head butt for saying that.

“He took [our conversation] in a jokingly manner,” Wells said. “And then he comes out and says that. He’s got to check himself. I guess that’s the way it is. I can’t joke with him anymore because he takes everything serious.”

Although Francona insisted his comments to the media Monday were joking, Wells didn’t see it that way.

“What went on in that office should have stayed there in that office and it shouldn’t have come out to you guys,” Wells said. “So he’s the idiot for saying that like that, not me, because I didn’t interpret it like that.”