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Newz Forum: BASEBALL: Pitchers and the Institution of Marriage

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posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 04:33 PM
Since I am going to talk about some marriages that are on less than the firmest of footing at the moment, I want to make it clear that I am not an absolutist on the subject. I believe that there are times when it is best for everyone involved for a marriage be dissolved; I've been fortunate not to have been in that circumstance, but I've seen at a close enough range more than a couple of situations where it was clearly the case. A successful and enduring marriage takes two people caring enough about each other to try to get over the speed bumps of life together as opposed to apart. In two instances related to sports today, I don't know if that situation obtains.

Kris and Anna Benson are public figures who can live in a celebrity spotlight if they are together; it is debatable if either can remain as the focus of media/public attention if they go their separate ways. Kris Benson is a decent pitcher but nothing in his career so far says that he is a player of such accomplishment that people need to wonder what he will do with his career next or what he thinks about any particular issue other than how to get batters out effectively. His 'celebrity' is tied to the fact that he is married to Anna Benson and she has been known to do and say 'outrageous' things. Oh, and she also poses for photographers in a much less than fully-attired state.

Anna Benson is an attractive woman, but let's be candid here. There are lots of attractive women who pose for photographers in little or no clothing; it's not as if Victoria's Secret has only two or three models to work with. Anna Benson stands out from that crowd because her hubby is a major league baseball pitcher. And all you have to do is go to Anna Benson's website to get a clue that she really does revel in the public attention that devolves to her from that convergence of circumstances. In the biography there - and if she wrote it in the third person wouldn’t that still correctly be an autobiography? - it notes that she is an 'irreverent humanitarian' and a woman 'to be seen and heard'. But little of the rest of the biography is highly convincing about the need for her to be 'heard'. She obviously wants her celebrity status; she is identified as a 'poker diva' and she is the leader of a charitable foundation dedicated to 'fighting terrorism in local communities'. And in her spare time, she manages 'her husband's career'. Excuse me, for stifling a yawn here...

Anna Benson filed for divorce from Kris Benson calling their marriage 'irretrievably broken'; early this week, she rescinded that divorce petition. Last week, she alleged that her husband had been unfaithful; this week she is committed to making all of this work. Last year she said that if her husband were ever unfaithful to her, she would have sex with each and every person on his team - to include the groundskeepers - just to get even with him; this year his alleged infidelity is an issue of far less import. Clearly, this woman who sees herself as a thinker whose thoughts need to be widely promulgated and considered changed those monumental thoughts. I wonder why...

Look folks, I'm no psychologist; I don't play one on TV and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I have this little voice in the back of my head saying to me that someone explained to Anna Benson over the weekend that she could probably get a nice financial settlement from this divorce but that unless she marries another famous guy pretty quickly, her days of being on the A-List for the Howard Stern Show or getting calls from Playboy or Penthouse to do a feature layout are numbered. Her celebrity status derives in order from:

a. Her marriage to a major league pitcher
b. Her attractiveness
c. Her outrageousness
d. Her 'views' on matters of political/social interest

Take away the first one on that list and the rest of those things become commonplace. There are women that are more attractive; there are attractive women who do things that are more outrageous. The upshot of all this is that no one will want to hear anything Anna Benson has to say about what she thinks about anything. Face it, folks; she's not high on Tim Russert's 'gotta get list' on any given Sunday for Meet The Press.

As of this moment, it isn't fully clear what Kris Benson is going to do. Anna's latest statement says she will live in Atlanta with her kids this season while Kris toils in Baltimore. According to the schedule, that will bring Kris to the same zip code as Anna for three days this season (30 June - 2 July). I don't understand how those logistics are going to keep the marriage together 'for the benefit of the children'.

The other pitcher with more than the normal hodgepodge of marital issues at the moment is Derek Lowe. He was the Opening Day starter for the Dodgers earlier this week and to say he had a rough outing would be generous indeed. Lowe is in the midst of a divorce action based on the revelation last year that he and a local TV reporter covering the Dodgers were having an affair that may have included having sex on the pitcher's mound in Dodger Stadium. As a pitcher, Lowe knows not to balk on the mound; I would have thought it was common knowledge that one should not boink on the mound. Whatever...

After his disastrous start on Opening Day, news broke on the same website that first revealed his dalliance with the TV reporter last year. According to, Lowe gets a prescription amphetamine from a Dodgers' team doctor via the team trainer without any examination by the physician. That's not good for anyone involved in this matter in any way. But it gets worse. Supposedly, Scot Boras - Lowe's agent - told his estranged wife that the reason Lowe would not be re-signed by the Boston Red Sox was due to Lowe's drinking problem. And his estranged wife also says that in 2004 - the year the Sox won their World Series - she got a call from Boston saying that Lowe was 'falling apart' - presumably related to the drinking problem.

Since this website is a subscription site, I have not gone to the trouble or expense to determine where all this information comes from. But indeed this website had the allegations of the affair between Lowe and Carolyn Hughes last year, which seems to have been borne out by time and further inquiry. Given the nature of these revelations, it seems that they have to come from Lowe's wife or Lowe's wife's attorney or from some preliminary court proceedings involving the divorce petition. I'd lean toward the latter of these sources since one other teaser on the website says that Carolyn Hughes - the 'other woman' here - 'disrupted and stopped her ex-husband from giving a deposition in the Lowe divorce case.'

If Derek Lowe feels as if he is in the midst of a 'Jerry Springer moment', I can certainly understand that feeling. All of this came down on him because he stopped thinking with his brain and started thinking with his glands. But, isn't that how virtually all of the folks who have 'Jerry Springer moments' on the TV show get to where they are in life?

In April 2006, it would certainly seem as if major league pitchers and troubled marriages present a volatile mix. Remember, bad things happen in threes so I wonder from whence the next eruption may come. Fortunately for me, I am not a major league pitcher. The odds are still good that I'll remain married when my 40th anniversary arrives - - even though my long-suffering wife has learned to respond when someone says 'You poor dear...'

But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...



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