When you saw thepicture to the right, was the first word that came to your mind pioneer? Well,among baseball wives, that's how Benson sees herself. "We just sit there atgames, and we're expected to play the quiet role of the player's wife,"says Benson, whose husband, Kris, a starting pitcher, was traded from the Metsto the Orioles in the off-season. "I hope I've made some wives feel likethey can be who they are. If they want to pose for a magazine, they can pose.It's not MLB's or any team's damn business."
Benson, 30, whoappears on the cover of the April issue of FHM straddling a baseball bat, is aformer stripper whose brazenness made more news in New York than Kris's work onthe mound (14-12, 4.23 ERA) in 1 1/2 seasons there. Among her othercontributions to the game:
•She declaredthat if Kris cheated on her, she'd sleep with every member of the Mets'organization, including the grounds crew.
•She showed up ata Mets-sponsored Christmas party for children in a low-cut Mrs. Claus outfit."[The New York tabloids] write how inappropriate and raunchy the dress isand then run huge pictures of me," she says. "They know I sellnewspapers."
A month later theMets traded Kris in what the team called a baseball decision. Others believeAnna was the reason. "It's ridiculous to think I got traded because of somedress," says Kris. "People who know her understand that what she doesis just part of her image. We just try to have a little fun with [the mediaattention]."
Anna wants toparlay that persona into a lucrative career, trying to break into TV (last yearshe was in negotiations to star in a cable reality show) and signing with a newonline poker website, golddiggerpoker.com (where, for a fee, you can playagainst her online). In the meantime she hopes to keep the baseball worldentertained. "It's a long season. It gets boring," Anna says. "I'mjust trying to rock the boat a little so everyone can have a little morefun."