You’ll recall, if you pay attention to the important things in life, anyway, that last July Anna Benson, the ex-wife of former MLB pitcher Kris Benson burst into his house with a gun, a knife, a metal baton and a bullet-proof vest, smashed a computer and demanded $30,000. That’s illegal, even in Georgia, so she went to jail.
She’s out now, and she’s talking to the press. While it wouldn’t take much to be better off now than she was last July, know that Ms. Benson is feeling better. She gave an exclusive interview to Fox 411 and talked about life back on the outside:
“I don’t smoke pot. I don’t drink. I even quit smoking,” Benson told FOX411 exclusively. “And I tell you what, I’ve never felt better.”
The former star of VH1’s “Baseball Wives,” who once infamously declared that she would sleep with the entire New York Mets organization if she ever caught her husband cheating on her, declared that she’s happier now than she’s ever been.
“Everything is great,” said Benson. “I’m happy with the simplest things. I bought a flower today at the grocery store– an orchid– and it’s so pretty and I appreciate it so much, because I remember being in jail and not having anything–nothing that smelled good, no music, no nothing–and I’m just thrilled to be in this small apartment, living a normal life.”
Eschewing all the easy punchlines, let’s be clear about something: Anna Benson had/has some pretty serious psychological problems, no doubt caused and/or exacerbated by a crazy/crappy upbringing and some poor life choices. None of that excuses her behavior last year, of course, but in the public eye she has spent her time as either a sex symbol or a joke to most people. It’s good to remember that she’s a real person who has kids and stuff and it’s good to see her figuring some things out and hopefully rebuilding her life.
Veteran hurler Jake Peavy has not signed with a team. It’s not because he’s not still capable of being a useful pitcher — he’s well-regarded and someone would likely take a late-career chance on him — and it’s not because he no longer wishes to play. Rather, it’s because a bunch of bad things have happened in his personal life lately.
As Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports, last year Peavy lost millions in an investment scam and spent much of the 2016 season distracted, dealing with investigations and depositions and all of the awfulness that accompanied it. Then, when the season ended, Peavy went home and was greeted with divorce papers. He has spent the offseason trying to find a new normal for himself and for his four sons.
Pitching is taking a backseat now, but Peavy plans to pitch again. Here’s hoping that things get sorted to the point where he can carry through with those plans.
This is fun: The San Francisco Giants recently made their last payment on the $170 million, 20-year loan they obtained to finance the construction of AT&T Park. The joint is now officially paid for.
The Giants, unlike most other teams which moved into new stadiums in the past 25 years or so, did not rely on direct public financing. They tried to get it for years, of course, but when the voters, the city of San Francisco and the State of California said no, they decided to pay for it themselves. They ended up with one of baseball’s best-loved and most beautiful parks and, contrary to what the owners who desperately seek public funds will have you believe, they were not harmed competitively speaking. Indeed, rumor has it that they have won three World Series, four pennants and have made the playoffs seven times since moving into the place in 2000. They sell out routinely now too and the Giants are one of the richest teams in the sport.
Now, to be clear, the Giants are not — contrary to what some people will tell you — some Randian example of self-reliance. They did not receive direct public money to build the park, but they did get a lot of breaks. The park sits on city-owned property in what has become some of the most valuable real estate in the country. If the city had held on to that land and realized its appreciation, they could flip it to developers for far more than the revenue generated by baseball. Or, heaven forfend, use it for some other public good. The Giants likewise received some heavy tax abatements, got some extraordinarily beneficial infrastructure upgrades and require some heavy city services to operate their business. All sports stadiums, even the ones privately constructed, represent tradeoffs for the public.
Still, AT&T Park represents a better model than most sports facilities do. I mean, ask how St. Louis feels about still paying for the place the Rams used to call home before taking off for California. Ask how taxpayers in Atlanta and Arlington, Texas feel about paying for their second stadium in roughly the same time the Giants have paid off their first.