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.

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”