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Yes, I watched “Baseball Wives” for some reason

Dec 1, 2011, 9:18 AM EDT

Baseball Wives 2011 Advertising Shoot

I’m generally not a person who regrets things. Rare are the times when I’ve done something and later said “wow, that was a big mistake.” I mean, yes, things go bad sometimes, but even when they do I tend to try to find the good in it, even if it’s just a life lesson. I’m optimistic like that.

But I really, really hate myself for watching the new VH1 reality show “Baseball Wives” last night.  Like, my self-loathing is at 11.  I’ve taken three showers and I still can’t get the stench off.

For those of you unaware — and if you are unaware, consider yourself lucky — “Baseball Wives” is your standard “let’s put a bunch of crazy people together” reality show, but this one features the wives and girlfriends of ballplayers. Sort of. Some of them are the ex-wives and girlfriends. Those who aren’t exes are attached to guys who don’t play anymore.

We have Anna Benson, wife of Kris. Tanya Grace, ex-wife of Mark.  Chantel Kendell, ex-wife of Jason.  Brooke Villone, wife of Ron.  Erika Williams, wife of Matt. And Jordana Lenz, who once dated Nyjer Morgan.

Most of us are familiar with Anna Benson, who was famous for her lad-mag photo shoots and for once going on Howard Stern and telling him that if Kris Benson were to cheat on her she’d sleep with the entire roster of the New York Mets.  Obviously I’ve been secretly in love with her as a result of all of this for some some time.  For those who care, the years have not been particularly kind of Ms. Benson.  Most notably her voice, which sounds like a mix between a car without a muffler and Harvey Fierstein.  You’ve heard someone’s voice described as “smoky?”  Benson sounds like she huffed a coal-burning power plant.

The others are just some very crazy and/or very sad overly-made-up, overly-plastic surgeried drama queens.  Ron Villone’s wife seems the most normal, which means she’ll probably be kicked off the show soon. Nyjer Morgan’s ex-girlfriend is a hot mess and, though we’ve joked about it in the past, may be proof positive that Tony Plush has serious mental problems. Or, actually, given that he broke up with her, maybe he’s totally sane. Hard to say. Grace and Williams’ wives are likely on the show because, since it’s set in Scottsdale, the Diamondbacks are probably obligated to send representatives.

I don’t watch a lot of reality shows, but the dynamics seem to be pretty par for the course: manufactured drama.  Dropping unstable people into contrived situations. Probably a lot of drinks to get people talking nonsense. From what I can tell from people who see more of this than I do, this was on the extreme end of trashy for the genre, though. Random highlights:

  • A brief cameo by Kyle Farnsworth‘s wife. Which established that, holy moly, Kyle Farnsworth actually married a human woman;
  • Anna Benson buying furs. In Phoenix. And talking about how she loves animals, especially when they’re killed, gutted and put into a stole;
  • “Baseball wives are generally bi****es” — One of the baseball wives;
  • Nyjer Morgan’s ex talking about how she hopes she doesn’t run into Morgan while the Brewers were in Arizona for the playoffs and then going to the hotel where the Brewers were staying;
  • Nyjer Morgan’s ex taking off her clothes and dancing on tables. Twice.
  • Nyjer Morgan’s ex saying that she put up with him through the hell of losing in Pittsburgh and Washington and now he’s all big time since he got to Milwaukee;
  • Gleeman texting me during the show and telling me that he’s in love with Chantel Kendall. I sort of hope he wasn’t being sarcastic, but I’m not sure;
  • Chantel Kendall — who may be the biggest train wreck of the lot — talking about how she used to be verbally abused in past relationships. She’s been married twice so it may not have been Kendall who did it, but I really hate it when ugly reality intrudes on ugly reality shows. Kind of cast a legit pall on the proceedings for me;
  • It was saved somewhat, however, when I realized about 40 minutes in that Anna Benson — Anna Benson! — was probably the most stable person on the show and will be providing the voice of reason going forward. This is just … I have no idea.

In sum: There is good. There is bad. There is so bad it’s good. Then there is kill it with fire and then kill myself bad. That’s baseball wives.

Can’t wait until the next episode.

  1. jdl1325 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Didn’t watch it last night, but not sure Anna’s stable facade will keep up throughout the season:

  2. trevorb06 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    Craig, you do realize in watching this you are in direct violation of man law sectrion 11-6, clause 7.3. Please hand over your manhood to the judge.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Does it make a difference if a woman made me watch?

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        My wife has two masters, works as a CTO for a tech company, spends her free time volunteering to escort women past protestors at a local abortion clinic and is the most stand up, take-no-shit woman I know…

        ….and she’s still made me watch every fucking Amanda Bynes movie ever made.

      • trevorb06 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

        Buy us a round of drinks and we’ll let it slide… This time.
        OR do something really manly at the winter meetings and post it.

      • umrguy42 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        @trevor …with pics/video (or it didn’t happen) :p

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        @falcon – don’t feel bad . . . I could never “make” my husband watch an Amanda Bynes movie, but we did catch him tearing up watching “What a Girl Wants” by himself :)

      • bravojawja - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        @falcon – As a general rule, apostrophes are over-used and horribly abused (Dear People: It’s “the New York Yankees” not “the New York Yankee’s” for the love of God!), but I think you really could have used one here. I hope your wife has two master’s (degrees) and not two masters. I mean, if y’all want to be all GGG and stuff in your marital relationship, good on ya, but that’s a different blog altogether.

      • Old Gator - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        Craig, you shouldn’t have been more ashamed of yourself if you took a Murdoch company tabloid off the rack at the supermarket checkout counter and allowed yourself to be photographed reading an article about Ozzie Guillen French kissing a dog (hint, hint). You really need to curb your guilt-ridden impulse to confess shit like this. One day it’s going to get you in trouble with the religious right.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM

        There’s absolutely no reason to put an apostrophe on masters there, since the master neither possesses the degree nor does it form a contraction with it. While I agree it can be confusing (I read it that way at first, too), it was more just the common shorthand causing issues than any lack of apostrophe.

      • dillpickle64 - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        @ falcon – “spends her free time volunteering to escort women past protestors at a local abortion clinic” – this is supposed to be evidence of a “stand up” woman? Sad.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:06 PM

        Removing the outside element of shaming from people who have no idea what a woman is going through when she’s trying to make one of the most difficult decisions of her is absolutely a stand-up thing to do. There are intellectual, moral and ethical debates to be had on abortion, but attempting to shame a woman out of having one is the antithesis of an informed decision-making process.

      • Reflex - Dec 2, 2011 at 5:49 AM

        Standing up for the rights of others, even if you do not agree with their actions, is the hallmark of a standup individual.

      • bravojawja - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        @ Kevin S:
        The term is “master’s degree” or “Master of Arts/Science.” Always use the apostrophe unless you’re being specific about what kind of master’s it is. Think of it as possessive — when you earn that degree, you are the master of that art/science and can be called “master”; thus, master’s degree. Own it!

      • loungefly74 - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        It’s all good. my girlfriend makes me watch worse crap…and why do we do this? happy wife…happy life.

  3. phukyouk - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Let me start by saying that i am NOT a troll… I love this site..
    that being said. WHAT THE HOLY FU*K IS WRONG WITH YOU! were you high? cause if you were than maybe MAYBE you could have had a partial excuse as to why you watched that. you hear that sound craig? that is Tiffany taking off one of her shoes and beating you half to death with it for even admitting that you watched that show.. the other half is for watching it in the first place.

    Ok… now that i have gotten past that… Anna will always be remembered for having sex with Chris in the Mets parking lot after a game

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      Not a troll, just not very smart

  4. thefalcon123 - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    I remember in his book, Juiced, Jose Canseco said every single baseball player he knew cheated on their wives….except for one…

    …Roger Clemens. I think he may have been wrong on that one.

    On a different subject, Community is on the verge of being cancelled, but shit like this still gets to poison the airwaves along with Real Housewives of whatever, Two and a Half Men and Law and Order: CSI Hospital Tampa and that or whatever the hell it’s called. We can’t have Dollhouse or Arrested Development, but we can have TV that basically spits on your mind every night. Grrrr.

    • yankeesgameday - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      New arrested development eps are being made for netflix with the whole original cast. Coming out sometime next year

      • snowbirdgothic - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        That’s totally streets ahead.

        *complicated Troy-and-Abed hi-5*

      • mkd - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Cheap and sordid fits the TV profit model perfectly these days. My wife asked me the other day if someone could sue somebody else for fraud over the whole Kardashian wedding thing (since the whole thing was obviously a con) and I was like why would anyone want to sue? Everyone made out like bandits- the players, the producers, the network, the advertisers- everyone made a killing. The only party who got screwed (maybe) was the viewing public and I think mostly they just loved having a front row seat to one of the greatest tabloid stories of the year.

        I love TV like a third parent, but I pulled the plug a few years back when I realized it had entered into an irreversible brain death spiral. Never looked back. I would advise everyone to do the same, it’s really quite liberating (but you do have to buy the package).

  5. Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    All it took was me seeing the commercial coupled with Craig’s obvious pleas for help over Twitter to know I wasn’t watching it. Plus my wife made me watch X- factor instead.. (buries head in hands, Jonny feels like sobbing)…

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      My wife didn’t make me watch it, she was busy watching Basketball Wives instead (also Baseball Wives started too late).

  6. nfieldr - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    “I’m generally not a person who regrets things. Rare are the times when I’ve done something and later said “wow, that was a big mistake.” ”

    Carlsbad Caverns?

    I had absolutely no interest in this show until I saw all of your tweets last night. That convinced me to DVR the west coast replay so that I can experience that train wreck for myself. Thanks, Craig.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Someone’s been reading the personal blog.

      But even that wasn’t regret. If I didn’t go there, I’d have had no excuse to haul ass across Texas that day in such a hurry to get to Austin. And then I wouldn’t have gotten that speeding ticket.

      Oh wait.

  7. El Bravo - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I watched ’30 Minutes or Less’ last night and, as a result, my penis remains fully intact and functional. Pretty funny flick and totally b!tch free.

  8. deathmonkey41 - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Way to help bump up the Neilson ratings for one night, Craig. If this show gets extended for another season, I’m blaming you.

  9. cubsrice - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    If they wanted crazy, I recall that Tawny Kitaen used to be married to a MLB guy but forgot which. I think she beat him up though. Maybe she’s too old and scary-looking.

    • snowbirdgothic - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Chuck Finley

      • snowbirdgothic - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Not to be confused, of course, with the other Chuck Finley:

    • jwbiii - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Tawny Kitaen, the former Mrs. Chuck Finley, is definitely old and scary-looking. This is from 2002:

  10. cur68 - Dec 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    I was at a pub watching a hockey game with my Homeys. While there we kept an eye on our waitress, in case she fell off her 3 inch heels our out of her tiny red t-shirt. I had a better evening than you, Craig, by a factor of about six zillion, but the fact that you had actual personal female company making you treat your mind like a baby treats a diaper leaves me jealous of you. Damn.

  11. Charles Gates - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    What we really need to hash out here is what shows are acceptable to watch based upon gender based stereotypes.

  12. Charles Gates - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    based upon gender based….EDIT FUNCTION.

    PS: If I care about grammar and writing style, is that manly enough for a baseball blog?


  13. tuftsb - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    It’s at times like these (and even more instances) that I am so glad that my wife went to Princeton and UVa Law.

    Does the vile stench come through the TV in high definition?

  14. Francisco (FC) - Dec 1, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    I flicked the channels, nothing good was on TV and told the wife: “I’m playing PS3 Infamous 2, gonna fry some bastards.” Nobody makes me watch ANYTHING I don’t want to watch…

  15. djpostl - Dec 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    I bet you watched Geraldo “unravel the mysteries of Al Capone’s vault” too…

  16. fearlessleader - Dec 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Craig, you inspired/saved me!: <— for anyone who needs a palate-cleanser, as I desperately did.

    • cur68 - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:11 PM

      Hey, thanks for the link. That was pretty cool. I think way better of Lowrie, Garland, Becket, Martinez & Fielder now (not that I didn’t like all of them anyways, mind you). If that’s the sort of girl that likes these guys then maybe there’s even more to them than I thought.

      • fearlessleader - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        Thanks, cur—my thoughts exactly. That’s not to say that a Playmate or a Hooters waitress can’t also be smart and interesting, but…’s nice to remember that baseball players and their partners don’t always have to play into the cliches!

  17. bobwheel - Dec 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    This is my new favorite show. It flowed like a great Shakespearean drama. It had everything – duplicity, intrigue, light hearted banter, hamartia, tasteful costume design, etc., and it left me thirsting for more. Who needs ‘Masterpiect Theatre” when we now have this?

  18. jerseyshoregiant - Dec 1, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    Didn’t watch it but it’s unblievable that they bill it as “Anna Benson wife of former Met pitcher Kris”. Holy Jeez the guy had a cup of coffee with the Mets and SUCKED!!! He played what 7 years with Pittsburg and less than a 1 1/2 with the Mets.

  19. tashkalucy - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Looked at the article to verify that Craig wrote it.

    What can I say?

    • Kevin S. - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:07 PM

      That you’re an unmitigated jackass and you’ll stop polluting our comment sections with your tripe?

      Or is that too much to ask for?

      • cur68 - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:18 PM


  20. bigleagues - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    All of this talk about baseball wives led me to WATCH baseball wives tonight. All I ask of these kinds of reality shows is plenty of conflict (with no physical injury) and hot chicks I could potentially land on any given friday night.

    I don’t usually like tall chicks, and tattooed biblical passages are usually a red flag, but there is something about Chantel Kendall that gives me that special tingle. Maybe its that wounded doe-eyed vulnerability she is projecting. So I am FIRMLY in the Gleeman camp on CK.

    There is evidence that Nyjer Morgan is at least more sane than his ex – because she is clearly nuts. Matt Williams wife is gorgeous and although she seems all together . . . amazingly she may be the most shallow of the group.

    Kris Benson should consider coming out of retirement . . . he should no longer fear any of his teammates wanting to sleep with his wife even if she was throwing herself at them. She is a couple of cocktails and few cigars short of going Kathleen Turner on him. Anna’s Fur Fascism is somewhat misinformed and a tad pathetic – and yet despite all of this, she remains enchanting because its not too late for her to change it all around and she’s seems she’d be cool with a night out bowling.

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