Wife of Orioles pitcher Benson files for divorce
March 30, 2006
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Anna Benson has requested a divorce from Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, who still believes the New York Mets traded him in response to actions by his impulsive wife.
Anna Benson, an actress and model who has posed topless, filed for divorce in Atlanta on Thursday. The petition for divorce claims the marriage is "irretrievably broken."
The couple has been married for seven years.
Kris Benson initially protested the deal that sent him to the Orioles. But now he thinks the Mets did him a favor.
"I was a little upset because I enjoyed my time in New York and I feel like they had a good team coming into the season," Benson said in a recent interview. "But now that I realize the opportunity I have, it's going to be a good career move for me."
Now, it appears as if he will go at it alone.
In 2005, his first full season with the Mets, Benson allowed three runs or fewer in 19 starts. He was 10-8 with a 4.31 ERA, but New York won 17 of the 28 games in which he pitched.
Despite those numbers, the right-hander was traded to the Orioles in January for pitchers Jorge Julio and John Maine. There was speculation that the deal was perpetuated by the behavior of Anna, who has her own website and publicly discussed intimate details of their sex life.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya contended that Anna Benson was not a factor in the trade. Kris Benson isn't buying it.
"New York is just a world of its own. I knew that coming in, but you learn that a little more when you get put in the spotlight like that in a negative and undeserving way," Kris Benson said. "It was a little frustrating at the time because people kind of believe what they read. For her it's been a little tough, because they kind of portray her in a negative light."
Anna Benson wore a provocative dress at the team Christmas party, and there was talk that she was considering posing nude for Playboy. Kris Benson bristles at the memory.
"We learned a lot from the whole situation. You look at some of the things that were said, some of the lies that were passed, who believes what, who your friends are, who your friends aren't," he said.
He said Anna never had a serious conversation with representatives from Playboy, and that her attire at the party was "not as revealing as people say it is. The only thing they fed off is when she kind of bent over and someone took a picture of it. It's an exaggeration of the truth, and now the Mets are going to miss out on a quality starter and the Orioles are going to benefit."
Benson still finds the reasoning behind the trade to be perplexing, but he knows for certain that the Mets will ultimately regret dealing him away.
"Some people are already seeing the trade as a negative thing. There are a lot of things that don't add up when it comes to the reasoning behind it," he said. "There's a lot of heresy, a lot of rumors floating around about the reason why. Lately, a lot of people are suspecting foul play in terms of one thing being said and the truth being different."
Whatever. Benson is now focused on providing veteran leadership to a young starting rotation and using the advice of esteemed pitching coach Leo Mazzone to take his game to a higher level.
"It's over with. The media in New York kind of took it too far," Benson said.
If Benson can adjust to pitching in the American League, the Orioles should be a better team in 2006.
"We got Kris Benson for a reason: to solidify the starting rotation," manager Sam Perlozzo said. "He doesn't have to be the best in the world, but he has to hold up his end of the bargain, and we feel he will."