Baseball Wives 2011 Advertising Shoot

Yes, I watched “Baseball Wives” for some reason


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.

The Tigers will listen to trade offers on anybody

Miguel Cabrera
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Earlier this week Tigers GM Al Avila said that his club was going to get “lean” and “efficient” and that their days of spending big money are over. Later in the week Avila said that they would not likely offer a long term contract to outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season.

None of those comments necessarily suggested that the Tigers would be conducting a fire sale or anything, and it’s certainly possible to get leaner while still competing. One would assume that the Tigers could cut fat in the middle but still head into battle with their superstars. But that may not be the plan. Buster Olney:

. . . the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody.

Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler.


Trading those guys would be a pretty big deal. In both senses of the term.

It would take a blockbuster-sized deal to move such players. Verlander is owed $28 million a year for the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 at $22 million. Cabrera just finished the first year of an eight-year, $248 million deal that will be paying him more than $30 million a year between 2018 and 2023, with an $8 million buyout for 2024. And that’s before the fact that both Verlander and Cabrera are 10/5 guys with full no-trade protection if they choose to exercise it. Beyond that Kinsler is a relative bargain at $11 million in 2017 and a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton are hanging around too.

But for as big a trade would have to be if any one of those guys were dealt, it’d be a bigger deal in terms of team philosophy and direction. Cabrera has confirmed his Hall of Fame credentials in his nine years in Detroit. He’s the best player to wear the English D since Al Kaline and has been the biggest star in the organization for most of a generation. Verlander is nearly as important and nearly as famous. I don’t think it’s likely the Tigers will move either of them because the logistics of such deals would be mind-boggling, but even entertaining deals for these guys would alter the course of the franchise for years and years to come. It happens to every franchise eventually, but I don’t think the Tigers fan base is prepared for it to happen to them yet.

Still: the free agent market is thinner that it has been at any time in years and years. Cabrera and Verlander, if they could be had, would be the biggest splashes any team looking to improve could possibly acquire. Kinselr would be a big get for anyone as well. Al Avila knows that. Even if he’s not ready to part with his superstars, he probably owes it to his organization to at least listen.


The World Series broadcast schedule is announced

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Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.

There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.