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December 8, 2011

Breaking Down the "Baseball Wives" Husbands

Last year at this time, I had the pleasure to talk with Brad Mangin about his career as a San Francisco Bay area photographer.  A year later, I realized that Mangin and I have something more in common than baseball and me looking at his pictures of baseball.

Enter the newest VH1 guilty pleasure "Baseball Wives".

Over at Mangin's blog, the acclaimed photographer broke down, one by one, the better halves of the cast of "Baseball Wives".  And it turns out...he's snapped some pretty awesome pictures of the "Wives" husbands along the way.

Here's Mangin's breakdown, and can click on the BOLD names to check out a photo gallery of that player.

Benson is still married to Anna, his wife who became more famous than him during his days of toiling for the Pirates, Mets, Orioles and other squads. In 2004, Anna, the former stripper, posed for the cover and a spread in FHM magazine and was named “baseball’s hottest wife.” In an interview with Howard Stern later that year, she vowed that if her husband ever cheated on her she would take revenge by sleeping with the entire Mets organization. Awesome!

Needless to say Anna’s husband must be used to being married to his controversial wife, but I wonder what he thinks about the show?

The former All-Star is on his third wife, and her name is Erika Monroe Williams. The good news for him is he has an insanely awesome 20,000 square foot house in the Scottsdale area and a nice job coaching with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The bad news? His wife is looking pretty ridiculous on “Baseball Wives.”

I covered Matt for his entire career and he was always a classy guy who will forever be beloved in San Francisco. He has been through a few troubled marriages, and I can’t see how this show will help his current one. Erika got off to a rocky start in the premier episode while hosting a cocktail party for the other “wives.” How cool it would have been to see Matt wander through the kitchen looking for a beer. No dice. What we got was the beginning of a verbal cat fight that spilled into episode two.

For Matt’s sake I hope that things slow down for Erika on the show and that Anna stops beating up on her. For the show’s sake it would be great if she keeps causing trouble!

The recently retired catcher’s ex-wife Chantel Kendall has a checkered past and is a very polarizing character on “Wives.” Jason always seemed kinda goofy when I photographed him. He was a real hard-ass with the A’s and helped them to their great season in 2006. I never saw Chantel at any of the family softball games at the Oakland Coliseum. I can’t imagine how entertaining that would have been!

After two shows it seems that Chantel hates pretty much every other “wife” with the exception of a surprise guest we will learn about down below. Also, her skinny arms and tattoos scare me.

First of all I was surprised to hear that  Grace was ever married. He was always a great interview on the Jim Rome show during his playing days talking about “slump busters” and strip clubs. I learned that he USED to be married in the first episode of “Wives.” Tanya Grace is Mark’s ex-wife and one of the more outgoing stars of the show. The avid golfer met Mark when she was a golf cart girl.

Mark seems to have a good sense of humor and is a local TV broadcaster for the Diamondbacks. I wonder what he thinks of seeing Tanya on “Wives.” I bet he kinda gets a kick out of it!

Villone's current wife Brooke has come out of the first two episodes pretty unscathed. Brooke is a model with a really long neck and seems to stay out of everyone’s business as she hangs out with some of the looser women on the show.

The nutty Morgan has the unfortunate task of being the former boyfriend of the youngest star of “Wives” Jordana Lenz. Lenz is a young and trashy stalker who went to the Milwaukee Brewers team hotel during the 2011 NLDS whole Morgan and the Brewers were in town to play the Diamondbacks. She practically chased him into the elevator! She complains that once Morgan got to a good team he dumped her.

The thinking here is that T. Plush can do much better than Lenz.

The best part of Wednesday night’s episode was the arrival at Scottsdale Airport of Cheri Knoblauch, the current wife of Chuck. Cheri was picked up by her good friend Chantel Kendall and they instantly plotted how there were gonna harass nemesis Anna Benson. Anna has been a bitch to Chantel and Cheri has come to town to save the day. It seems that Cheri and Anna know each other from the 1990′s when Kris Benson pitched for the Pirates and Cheri was dating his teammate Brian Giles. You just know that sparks will fly when they get together, and I was not disappointed.

In a future episode Anna will supposedly attack Cheri with 12-inch dildo!

Knoblauch was a good ballplayer and a former World Champion with the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. I can’t imagine that he is too thrilled to have his wife on this show, but who knows? Maybe they need the cash!

Giles won a big court decision against his ex-girlfriend Cheri Olvera (Knoblauch), who had sued him for more than $10 million in 2008. Giles allegedly abused Olvera and the jury also awarded Giles the return of the $107,000 engagement ring he purchased for their canceled 2007 wedding. During the trial Giles testified that he didn’t strike his girlfriend at a bar in Phoenix in 2006, testimony that contradicted witness statements to Phoenix police.

But gets better.

Giles suggested in his testimony that the 2006 incident was a case of Olvera being drunk. He said Olvera “often falls when she’s intoxicated” and wearing high heels. Giles’ attorneys tried to portray the case as part of a pattern by Olvera to pursue rich men for money to satisfy her lavish lifestyle. Olvera testified she was currently engaged to Chuck Knoblauch. Olvera also testified that while living with Giles, she had someone to help her shop, an occasional driver, housekeepers and a woman to blow-dry her hair for $100 each time.


Well, there you have it. The men behind the women. I hope you enjoyed this rundown of the active and in-active roster players who have laced’ em up with the “Baseball Wives".

Wednesday nights on VH1. Don’t miss it!

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