Chiefs Culture Challenge: Baseball Wives

For more information on our Chiefs Culture Challenge, go here.  First up: Kevin.

There’s just no way around it: Baseball Wives is bad TV.








Are we sure this isn't the cast of "Mob Wives"?

Excruciating, painful, pull-your-hair-out, lose-faith-in-the-world, bad TV.  But for you, dear readers, I watched it, and here I am to tell the tale.

Sadly, this wasn’t my first exposure to crappy reality TV, as my girlfriend’s recently taken to becoming a connoisseur of the wide world of junk.  The only difference?  When Millionaire Matchmaker or Keeping Up With The Kardashians is on, I can easily choose to ignore it.  But now as a blogger in our Chiefs Culture Challenge, my hand’s been unfortunately forced.

Here’s a little background on this nonsensical phenomenon known as Baseball Wives.  The show is set in Scottsdale, Arizona, where it chronicles the fascinating lives of the wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends of current or former major league players.  Our participants in Season 1 include:

– Anna Benson, the wife of former Mets pitcher Kris Benson

– Erika Monroe-Williams, the wife of former Giants third baseman Matt Williams

– Chantel Kendall, the ex-wife of Royals catcher Jason Kendall

– Tanya Grace, the ex-wife of former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace

– Brooke Villone, the wife of former Chiefs pitcher Ron Villone

– Jordana Lenz, who dated former National and current Brewer Nyjer Morgan

The most safe-for-work picture we could find of Anna Benson.

My initial thoughts were these: Number One, being from New York, I know Anna Benson is crazy.  Number Two, how did Jason Kendall’s ex-wife make it on this show?  Number Three, Jordana Lenz is likely the craziest person on this show.  I mean, have you seen this?

But anyway, I suppose you all want to know about how the show was.  (I don’t, but I have no choice.)  I don’t know what program was in before this show, but Questlove from The Roots was on it, which means it was at least 600 times better than this show will be.  I settled in for Episode 2 of the show, to hear this, literally right off the top of the program:

“Previously on Baseball Wives…”

Random woman: “What would you do if your husband cheated?”

Anna Benson: “He asked me, and I said I’ll just sleep with the whole team.”

Oh my.

There are also at least three words bleeped out in one exchange.

I really, really despise myself at this moment.

Chantel needs a minimum of four All-Star appearances from her next husband.

It seems to me that the whole point of “____ Wives” reality shows are to watch catty woman argue with each other over meaningless things, while hanging out in sunny places and flaunting expensive things.  To the surprise of absolutely no one with a minimum of one brain cell, this constitutes a major part of Baseball Wives.

Chantel gets into a shouting match with Erika after Erika calls Chantel “the bottom of the barrel.”  (Truthfully, I’m not sure anyone on this program has the right to argue that point, but I digress.)  Anna responds by saying “you know what you need?  You need a *bleep*”.  This was actually quite a strong bleep, because I have legitimately no idea what was said here.  Anyway, this discussion over the “bottom of the barrel” comment constitutes the first seven or so minutes of the show.

In the second portion of the show, Chantel and Tanya get ready to go on a double date!  This is supposed to be exciting, I think.  They go with two guys named Remus (Tanya: “How do you spell that?”) and Kris.  Before the date, Chantel asks what they do for a living – which she follows up with “not that it matters.”  Are you kidding me?  Of COURSE it matters!  What if the guy is a drug dealer?  What if he’s worked as a fry cook for 26 years?  How does that not matter?  My head is spinning.  (For what it’s worth, one guy is a plastic surgeon, and the other is in manufacturing.)  Since the show has the word “Baseball” in the title, the four lucky singles go to the batting cages, where Remus puts on a woeful performance that would make Mario Mendoza proud.

The rest of the wives decide to go to the gun range, to give the show something different to shoot other than arguing.  (Wait, just kidding, this was definitely not scripted!)  The girls are overly excited by the large muscles (and by muscles, I mean IQ!) of the gun instructors.  They also head to the gun range in a limo, making them the first people in the history of Earth to go to a gun range in a limousine.

Chantel then brings in her friend Cheri – the wife of Chuck Knoblauch!  (Side note: Chuck Knoblauch is following me on Twitter.  Chances are, he is also following you, so long as you have a Twitter.)  Cheri and Anna argue with each other, which is likely going to happen for the rest of the series.  Too bad I won’t be watching.

After a commercial break, we return to Chantel heading to Dr. Remus’ office, with the following quote from the former Mrs. Kendall – “I didn’t have a love connection with Dr. Remus, but he said he’s going to look at my breast implants.  I also want to set up a Botox party for all the girls.”

Read that again.

A Botox party.

Party animal!

And that’s where Baseball Wives officially lost me.  I could go into the requisite details about the downfall of Western civilization, the general production of this show with the status of this country’s economy, or the fact that this show is watched by millions of people.  But I’ll let you figure that all out for yourself.  These people actually want to have a “Botox party.”  And I’ll never forget the moment I lost all remaining faith in humanity.

Jason – consider yourself the lucky one.  You never have to watch this show – and for your challenge, you get one of 2009’s most critically acclaimed movies.  87% of its 135 reviewers liked the film.  But here’s the catch:

– It’s directed by zany German filmmaker Werner Herzog.

– It features a supporting cast of Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, and Xzibit.  (Yep, that Xzibit.)

– And its lead actor, in a performance of complete and total unhinged brilliance: say hello to Nicolas Cage!

That’s right, folks, I’m talking about Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans!  The same movie that features Nic Cage hallucinating about iguanas, and…well, I won’t spoil the rest of the fun.  Suffice it to say, you’ll either love this movie or shudder at its very mention from now on.  I happen to be in the former camp – but I wouldn’t be surprised to find you in the latter.


Last order of business here – we want your suggestions for the best or worst of pop culture for this weekly running section.  Whether it be TV, movies, books, restaurants, music, or whatever you’re thinking, e-mail them to us at or  And Happy Holidays, everyone.

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