Baseball Wives 2011 Advertising Shoot

Yes, I watched “Baseball Wives” for some reason

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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.

Oakland A’s officials taking a tour of a possible waterfront ballpark site

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  A Maersk Line container ship sits docked in a berth  at the Port of Oakland on February 19, 2015 in Oakland, California. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) longshoremen at the Port of Oakland took the day shift off today to attend a union meeting amidst ongoing contract negotiations between dockworkers and terminal operators at west coast ports. The port closure, the seventh one this month, has left 12 container ships stuck at the dock with no workers to load and unload them. The ILWU members at 29 West Coast ports have been without a contract for 9 months. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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The Oakland Athletics’ ballpark saga has gone on for years now, with false starts in Fremont and San Jose, lawsuits and seemingly interminable talks with the City of Oakland over a new place on the current Coliseum site. That’s all complicated, of course, by the presence of the Raiders, on whose address — be it Oakland, Las Vegas or someplace else — the A’s future is still largely contingent.

The city has tried to get the A’s interested in a waterfront site for several years now. There are a lot of problems with that due mostly to zoning and regulatory matters, as well as proximity to transit and other practical concerns. The artist’s renderings are often pretty, but it takes more than artist’s renderings to make a good ballpark plan.

But no one is giving up on that and, it seems, even the A’s are willing to at least listen to such proposals now:

Oakland A’s co-owner John Fisher is expected to join officials Thursday for a hush-hush tour of the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, a cargo-loading area near Jack London Square that Mayor Libby Schaaf tirelessly promotes as “a fantastic site for a ballpark.”

Guess it ain’t so “hush-hush” anymore. As with all Oakland ballpark stories, however, feel free to continue snoozing until someone gives us a real reason to wake up.

Note: The above photo is from the Port of Oakland. I have no idea what the proximity of the working part of the city’s port is to where they’d build a ballpark, but I used this picture because I love the story about how George Lucas spotted those things from an airplane as he was leaving Oakland or San Francisco or whatever and used them as inspiration for the AT-AT Imperial Walkers in “Empire Strikes Back.” Which may be a totally aprocyphal story, but one I love so much that I told it to my kids when we flew in to Oakland back in June and will choose to believe despite whatever evidence you provide.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.