11/16/2004: Thought for the Day:
Most sports fans know who Kris Benson is. For those who don't, he's a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates with a career record of 43-48. [see update below the fold --LRC] He's also the same guy my buddy Tyler drafts every season in our fantasy baseball league... claiming he's poised for a breakout season. But most impressively, he's married to maybe the coolest chick on the planet: Anna Benson.
A quick rundown of some of the personal info on her official website, AnnaBenson.net:
Anna lists kickass flicks like A Clockwork Orange, Scarface, The Godfather, and From Dusk 'til Dawn among her favorite movies. She reads Maxim and FHM. Two of her favorite TV channels: CNN and ESPN, which means you can talk to her about anything going on in the world and she won't give you a blank stare. Not only is she up to date on current events, she's also well read - listing nine books as her favorites. Off the top of my head, I can't think of nine books I've read - let alone tell you which ones I liked the most. When trying to list her favorite foods, she simply states "I love it all!" So you know she won't go Mary-Kate on you.
And yet, all that ass-kickery pales in comparison to her two most glorious features as a woman:
1. She's really hot.
2. She loves sex.
I'm telling you right now, ladies: if you possess both of those traits and you're not married by the age of seven, you're either one hell of a bitch or you have some unbelievable, erotic turnoff. Like being unable to control your bowels during orgasm.
Note: since this little observation was drafted, Kris Benson was traded by the Pirates to the New York Mets during the 2004 season, and he's filed for free agency this offseason. His career record, after the 2004 season, is 47-53.
Benson's had an interesting career. His first two seasons he's been a losing pitcher but if you disregard his win-loss record he didn't post particularly bad stats, with an ERA in the high 3's and Runs Saved Above Average (RSAA) figures in the double digits (which makes him, in my estimation, good but not dominant):
YEAR TEAM AGE W L PCT ERA RSAA
1999 Pirates 24 11 14 .440 4.07 11
2000 Pirates 25 10 12 .455 3.85 17
He missed the 2001 season (an interview with his wife, Anna, at FHMUS.com, indicates that he has had Tommy John surgery, so most likely that accounts for the missing 2001 season), after which he has a winning season in 2002, but his stats indicate that he's been a bit less effective than he was in his first two seasons in the bigs (ERA hovering in the mid-to high 4's, and RSAA's in the negative range, which means that he's actually been costing his teams a few runs over the course of the season):
YEAR TEAM AGE W L PCT ERA RSAA
2002 Pirates 27 9 6 .600 4.70 -5
2003 Pirates 28 5 9 .357 4.97 -9
2004 Pirates 29 8 8 .500 4.22 -1
Mets 29 4 4 .500 4.50 -2
2004 TOTALS 29 12 12 .500 4.31 -3
I'd be curious as to when he married Anna; do we have statistical evidence here that marrying a hot wife isn't exactly conducive to keeping one's pitching skills at a high level (i.e., if he married her after the 2000 season)?
More likely, of course, the statistical decline has more to do with the TJ surgery (or the underlying injury that required it). Not exactly a complete recovery, to judge by the numbers, but then again I suppose from Benson's perspective the Good News is that he can make a damn good living pitching major league ball at all, even if his numbers aren't exactly stellar.
Len on 11.16.04 @ 07:45 AM CST