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Mets Hot Stove: Annagate

Mike SteffanosThursday, December 15, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

The morning news is all about someone who isn't a Met. No it's not Manny Ramirez or Miguel Tejada or Barry Zito, it's...

...Anna Benson?

Daily News: Bad Anna
Filip Bondy thinks Anna Benson has become a problem:

We're not talking about Anna, the model. That Anna is just fine with us, even if she ruffles prudish Met ownership. She can pose topless, bottomless, reindeer-less, whatever-less. Anna's degree of nakedness should in no way affect Benson's spot in the rotation.

But then there's this other Anna, the one who says things that are not just silly, or stupid. They are ignorant, bordering on nasty.

Her latest deceit yesterday was to dismiss a published news article by Adam Rubin of The News as a series of distortions.

If Anna Benson was on the team I'd be worried. I'm sure she owes Adam Rubin and many others an apology. I'm sure when spring training starts Kris -- if he's still here -- is going to have to seek out Carlos Delgado and apologize for what his wife said. If I'm Delgado I'm not really all that concerned about what my teammate's whacky wife said about me, anyway.

I'm somewhat grateful to Anna for knocking Manny rumors out of the dailies for at least a day. Other than that, she means nothing to me. She can strip naked in Times Square, have her own radio show where she spouts her political opinions to everyone that wants to waste their time listening, I just don't care. If you and I as Mets fans discuss the merits of Kris Benson, let's talk legitimate concerns like his strikeout rate, his late season collapse, and shoulder concerns. Just don't bring up Anna.

New York Times: More Anna
Ben Shpigel gives us another look at Anna from yesterday's Christmas party. Shpigel describes Kris and Anna entering the party from the elevator, Kris in his Santa outfit, Anna in her Santa's little slut ensemble. All eyes, of course, turned to Anna:

This is how things go with the Bensons, baseball's most incongruous couple. Kris often fades into the periphery while Anna flashes her impossibly white teeth and says just about anything that comes to mind.

...The scene at yesterday's annual Mets party for children underlined how unusual, and even comic, the current situation is for the Mets. While Anna Benson repeatedly proclaimed how much she loves New York and that her anger over a possible trade was misunderstood, Kris stood off in a corner, chatting quietly with a television reporter.

One minute Mrs. Benson is saying something stupid. The next minute, she is making the not unreasonable request to not hold what she says and does against Kris. Anna has figured out the most important fact of life for a beautiful woman: most men are horny all the time, and will put up with the most idiotic of conversations to stare at a pair of large, well shaped breasts. Does that make her a problem for the Mets? Should it?

Shpigel quotes a National League general manager:

There are players who I've pursued via trade or free agency who have had worse hickeys than that. I can't see an outspoken wife lowering Kris's market value or causing a team to shy away from him.

Shpigel also quotes former Mets broadcaster Tim McCarver on the effect Anna's statements might have on the relationship between Kris and Carlos Delgado:

I'm sure it's caused a lot of head shaking at the water coolers at the Mets' offices, but this shouldn't even be a hiccup in the clubhouse. It happened in December, not April, and there's plenty of time to make amends. And knowing the types of people that Carlos Delgado and Kris are, I imagine this won't be an issue at all.

I think we'll leave that as the last word on this "controversy" for today.

Shpigel also reports that Willie Randolph has said acquiring Julio Franco will allow Chris Woodward to play mostly second base in the spring. Some people think that this could mean that Woodward might win the starting job. I guess that's possible. To me, it would say at least that the Mets want to give Anderson Hernandez some time at Triple-A, and that Woodward will be a valuable defensive replacement for either Matsui or Jose Valentin. Personally, I'd vote for Woodward over Valentin if it came to that.

Newark Star-Ledger: No Four Year Deal for Tavarez
In an article primarily about Anna, Don Burke reports that a Mets executive has told him that the team was unwilling to go beyond a three year deal for free agent setup man Julian Tavarez. That would seem very wise.

Journal News: More on the bullpen
In another article about the Christmas party, Peter Abraham also offers this quote from Omar Minaya on trying to land bullpen help:

The market for those guys [relievers] has changed. They all want three years. I have to decide whether I want to go that way or bring in some guys on minor-league contracts.

Abraham also reports that, while ground has yet to be broken for the new stadium, they have begun to test the bedrock where the new stadium is to be built.

Mets.com: David Wright Chat Today at 2:30 PM
The David Wright chat is this afternoon at Mets.com. If you want to take part in it, don't forget to register in advance. Details are on the site.

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