A few weeks from now, Opening Day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season will be here, and baseball junkies like you and I will unite in celebration.
But for the sake of maintaining mental stability, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're still very much in the midst of spring training, and plenty of clubs still have issues they need to iron out.
As you well know, one of the most important parts of spring training is getting to know all the different players. That's what the name of the game as far as this humble little slideshow is concerned. But for the sake of having some fun, we're not going to acquaint ourselves with assorted players by obsessing over their stats.
No sir, we're going to try to relate to them on a more private basis. The only way to do this, of course, is to take a stroll through a gallery of all the best and brightest in the world of baseball's WAGs.
Enjoy the show!
Unless something happens to Yorvit Torrealba, Matt Treanor is not going to be the Texas Rangers' everyday catcher. However, he will serve as C.J. Wilson's personal catcher, which should mean that an Opening Day start is in the cards for Treanor.
Obviously, Treanor is not exactly the biggest star Major League Baseball has to offer. His wife, on the other hand, isn't exactly lacking in star power.
We all know Misty May-Treanor. She and Kerri Walsh won gold in beach volleyball at the Summer Olympics in both 2004 and 2008, making them the only team to ever repeat as gold medalists.
Later in 2008, Misty competed on Dancing with the Stars, which I'm told is a big deal for some people.
I'm no Washington Nationals fan, but I really hope that Stephen Strasburg's career can get back on track when he returns from Tommy John surgery. He may be on the shelf for the 2011 season, but his 68 innings of work (not to mention his 12.2 K/9) in 2010 showed us that he's got the goods to be a star. Here's hoping he doesn't become the next Mark Prior.
Aside from the fact that they got married in January of 2010, there's really not a whole lot of literature out there about Strasburg's better half, Rachel Lackey. What we do know is that they were college sweethearts at San Diego State, and that she definitely passes the proverbial eye test.
Oh, to be young with a million-dollar arm...
Miguel Tejada doesn't have the same kind of range in the field or the power at the plate as he used to have in his prime, but he should still fit in nicely with the San Francisco Giants this season.
Of course, Tejada started his major league career on the other side of the Bay with the Oakland A's, for whom he hit 156 home runs from 1997-2003. He also won the AL MVP in 2002.
Miguel and Alejandra Tejada have been married since 1995, and they have two children together. If you're thinking Alejandra has the look of a pop star, you are absolutely correct. She released an album called Ama in 2007.
It didn't exactly win any Grammys, but maybe that's a good thing. Last I checked, actual good music isn't much of a priority for the Grammy Awards.
I for one am very interested to see what the Tampa Bay Rays are going to get out of Manny Ramirez this season. He's going to be 39 in May, and it's pretty apparent that he's quickly approaching the end of his career. Still, you have to think Joe Maddon would be just fine with something like 20 home runs and 75 RBI.
If we travel back in time to the year 2000, however, we can remember that Manny was possibly the best hitter in baseball. But when he met his future wife, Juliana, in a Bally's Gym in Boston, she had no idea who he was. And Manny liked that.
"She's from Brazil," he says. "They don't know nothing about baseball."
Sounds like the kind of place Manny would love to play.
Will this be J-Roll's last season in Philadelphia? Only time will tell. But if it is, my guess is that he would head elsewhere with a relatively short list of regrets.
Such is the luxury afforded by three All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, an MVP award and a World Series ring.
Wherever Rollins is playing next season, one assumes that his wife, Johari, will keep him in shape. She used to be his personal trainer, and she even opened her own fitness studio in 2009. She and Jimmy also appeared in Playboy together in 2009.
Fully clothed, of course. Just in case you were wondering.
Here's a question that will spark debate: Is Johnny Damon a future Hall of Famer?
Personally, I think he has a case. After all, he's going to have at least 2,600 hits by the time he retires, and his two World Series rings should also help his cause.
Of course, if they took wives into account, my guess is that Michelle Damon would make Johnny a virtual lock for Cooperstown.
Michelle and Johnny got married in December of 2004, shortly after Johnny helped break the Curse of the Bambino. While Johnny was still a member of the Red Sox, Michelle had her own segment on NESN called "In Style with Michelle Damon."
When Johnny joined the Yankees, however, the YES Network didn't pick it up.
Too many Yankeeographies, if you ask me.
On Saturday, I saw a story on TampaBay.com that the Rays are seriously considering batting Ben Zobrist in the leadoff spot this year. I have to say I rather like the idea.
Not because Zobrist has a good track record in this spot (.223 career average batting leadoff), but because I've always appreciated Zobrist's versatility as a hitter.
Of course, Zorbrist, or "Zorilla" as he is known in some circles, is also well known for being pretty big into the whole Christian thing. It is therefore really not all that surprising that his wife, Julianna, is a Christian singer.
She released an album called The Tree in 2009, and it's not bad. In fact, as an ordained minister, I daresay it has my stamp of approval.
A lot of people think that the San Francisco Giants aren't going to pack that much punch on offense this season. I have two issues with that.
The first is that this wasn't much of a problem last season, and the second is that they could potentially be a very good offensive team if they can get steady contributions out of players like Pablo Sandoval and Mark DeRosa.
Of course, it should be pointed out that DeRosa is not a starter at this point in his career. But that's okay. At least he still gets to come home to his beautful wife, Heidi, every day.
A former fashion model, Heidi married Mark in 2003, and she has since become the envy of baseball fanboys everywhere. Readers of FantasyBaseballDugout.com even went so far as to vote her as "Baseball's Hottest Wife" in 2008.
For all intents and purposes, this will probably be Jorge Posada's final season with the New York Yankees. He's going to be 40 in August, and he's not quite the same player he was in his prime.
Still, ending one's career with five World Series rings and (at least) five All-Star appearances means one has done well, doesn't it now?
In addition, retirement means that Jorge gets to spend even more time with his lovely wife, Laura. As you can clearly deduce from the attached picture, this is a good thing.
Laura Posada used to be an actress and a model, but don't let that fool you. She's also an attorney and a published author, two credentials that most other models can't match.
At least, I don't think there are that many attorneys and authors in the modeling industry, but I could be wrong.
If you think the Philadelphia Phillies' rotation is good now, just imagine how epic it could be if Cole Hamels manages to revert back to his 2007-2008 self. He went a combined 29-15 those two years, with an ERA of 3.22 and a WHIP of 1.10. And of course, he capped 2008 by winning the World Series MVP.
Hamels got married to his wife, Heidi, on New Year's Eve of 2006. Now, the name Heidi Hamels might not draw much water with people outside the baseball world. The name Heidi Strobel, however, will ring quite true with reality show junkies. That's because before Heidi married Cole, she rose to fame as a contestant on the sixth season of Survivor.
Heidi didn't win, but the Survivor gig did send the folks at Playboy scrambling to give her a call. When they finally got ahold of her, she obliged. Feel free to do whatever you want with that information.
Exactly what role Kyle Kendrick is supposed to play on a team as overloaded with pitching like the Phillies is beyond me, but he certainly has the goods to earn his keep in some capacity or another. He may not be a starter, but he could end up being one of the best long relievers/spot starters in the business.
Like Cole Hamels, Kendrick is also married to a former reality star. In November of 2010, he got married to Stephenie LaGrossa, who has starred in not one, but three seasons of Survivor. If I have to parlay that into some kind of knee-slapper, I guess you could say that Kyle doesn't ever have to beg her to go camping.
Sorry, that's the best I got.
Clay Buchholz's career took a slight downturn after he threw a no-hitter in his second career start, but he sure did come into his own in 2010. It was Buchholz's first full season with the Boston Red Sox, and he finished the year with a 17-7 record and a 2.33 ERA.
If you were to ask Red Sox fans what led to his turnaround, my guess is that a few people might say his marriage to Lindsay Clubine, a model who made a name for herself on Deal or No Deal, in the winter of 2009.
She also has the distinction of having been named to People magazine's list of the "100 Most Beautiful People."
Since I'm a Red Sox fan, I'm definitely willing to believe that their marriage had something to do with his success in 2010. As such, I hereby propose that they renew their vows before every season. Baseball is, after all, a superstitious endeavor.
On any other team but the New York Yankees, Nick Swisher would probably be considered one of the more underappreciated sluggers in baseball. As it is, an average season for Swisher sees him produce something like 29 home runs and 88 RBI, which is obviously not too shabby.
Like all the other Yankees on this list, Swisher has himself a pretty nice life away from the field as well. He's a notoriously charming chap, and we have concrete evidence of this fact in his wife, television actress Joanna Garcia.
Garcia has starred in numerous TV series through the years, but she's most famous for her role as Cheyenne Hart Montgomery on Reba and, more recently, her role as Mia Putney on Better with You.
I've never seen either show myself, but one look at her makes me think they might just be worth my time, such as it is.
This may just be my opinion, but I've always thought that Brad Penny has done pretty well for himself considering the fact that he's essentially a one-pitch pitcher. Go take a look at his numbers from 2006 and 2007.
He won a combined 32 games those two years, with a 3.65 ERA and 283 strikeouts. Not bad for a guy whose only good pitch is his fastball.
Of course, nobody ever accused Penny of being the most handsome son of a gun this side of Sean Connery, but that hasn't taken anything away from his love life. He's been linked to Alyssa Milano and Eliza Dushku in the past before finally getting engaged to Karina Smirnoff in 2010.
A five-time U.S. national champion ballroom dancer, Karina is one of the best in the world, and is well-known to the television crowd for her repeated role as a professional dance partner on Dancing with the Stars.
In other words, she's way more popular than he is.
It took forever (i.e. two minutes) to find out whether or not Casey Daigle is still in the league, but it turns out that he's currently in the San Francisco Giants' system. Considering he only has 33 major league appearances under his belt, here's hoping the Giants call him up at some point this season.
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Jennie Finch needs no introduction. She's one of the great softball pitchers in recent memory. The biggest feather in her cap, of course, is the gold medal that she won at the 2004 Summer Olympics, in which she went 2-0 with 13 strikeouts in eight innings of work.
The story of Casey's proposal to her is pretty cool in its own right. Apparently, he popped the question at the mound at the softball field of the University of Arizona, her alma mater.
Damn that clever devil...
For the sake of keeping the mood of this slideshow positive, let's pretend that Mark McGwire's legacy isn't totally ruined. If we can do that, then those 583 home runs don't look all that shabby.
These days, McGwire is the hitting instructor for Tony La Russa in St. Louis. Considering he gets to coach Albert Pujols, the best hitter in baseball, on a day-to-day basis, one assumes that he could find worse jobs.
McGwire's wife, Stephanie, used to have a pretty interesting job before she married Mark in 2002. She was a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company, which I suppose might prompt some tongue-in-cheek jokes.
But you're not going to get any from me. I'm a nice guy.
I'm not too sure what the Milwaukee Brewers had in mind when they decided to pick up Mark Kotsay early last month. My guess is that they just brought him in to be a veteran presence, which I suppose is a good idea.
Kotsay's always been a good player, and having him around to be a kind of quasi-Gandalf could pay big dividends.
For the longest time, not much was known about Mark's wife, Jamie. Internet dwellers had heard whispers that she had been (still is?) a model, but pictures of her were notoriously elusive. As I'm sure you well know, elusive pictures of lovely women is not something that the internet abides lightly, and photos of Jamie eventually surfaced.
Nevertheless, the Kotsays do seem to live a very private life, which I guess is a little refreshing compared to most high-profile sports couples.
There doesn't seem to be much point in pleading for people to respect New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. That ship sailed long ago, and I have to admit I'm not crazy about the guy.
However, next time you get the urge to make fun of A-Rod, just keep in mind that the dude has hit 613 home runs in his career. That number may very well be a little, shall we say, unnaturally inflated, but it's an accomplishment that makes you and I look like ants by comparison.
I bet you didn't know this, but A-Rod is also dating Cameron Diaz, star of such films as The Mask and Gangs of New York, at the moment. They're not necessarily the cutest couple in most peoples' eyes, but they have more combine star power than just about any other celebrity couple in the world.
I guess that's worth something.
If A.J. Burnett can revert back to his 2008-2009 self this season, suddenly the New York Yankees' rotation doesn't look all that bad, does it? He won a combined 32 games those two seasons, with a solid 4.06 ERA and a K/9 of 9.0.
No thanks to Colin Cowherd, Burnett was rumored to be going through a nasty divorce from his wife, Karen, last season. That turned out to be totally false, and Burnett was none too happy about it.
Not much is known about Karen Burnett. There are all sorts of rumors about what she did before getting married, of course, but the only thing we really know for sure about her is that she absolutely hates to fly. So much so, apparently, that Burnett's contract with the Blue Jays included eight roundtrip limo rides from Toronto to Baltimore, where Karen lives year-round, for his wife.
Because that's a nine-hour trip either way, I have to wonder if maybe it would be better to go by bus, a la John Madden.
It's no sure thing that Scott Podsednik is going to be on the Toronto Blue Jays' Opening Day roster, and his recent foot problems aren't going to make things any easier, especially considering his game is all about speed.
Still, Podesdnik has had himself a solid career to this point, the high point of which was undoubtedly his walk-off home run in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series.
Like most professional athletes, it seems, Podsednik is married to a Playboy Playmate. But Lisa Dergan, Podsednik's wife of five years, is no ordinary Playmate.
After Lisa got her start with Playboy, she went on to become a sportscaster with FOX Sports Net in 2002, for whom she covered such events as the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby and the U.S. Open (the golf one).
In addition, Lisa is the only real-life person to be written into a James Bond story, which is awesome.
Over the offseason, Zack Greinke cracked a rib in a pick-up basketball game, which is going to land him on the DL for the start of the season. This obviously sucks for the Milwaukee Brewers, who traded for Greinke in hopes that he would be their ace for the entire season, not just part of it.
However, let's not forget that Greinke has battled worse problems than a cracked rib. He lost an entire year due to issues with anxiety. If he can come back from that, a bum ribcage should be nothing.
In the meantime, one thing I've never understood is how a guy with anxiety issues landed a beautiful woman like Emily Kuchar. She's a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, but is perhaps most well known as Miss Daytona Beach USA 2008.
On occasion, things don't make sense, but I say more power to the both of them.
Felipe Lopez is little more than a super utility man at this point in his career, but that shouldn't excuse us from giving props where props are due. After all, Lopez was an All-Star and a Silver Slugger Award winner back in 2005, when he hit .291 with 23 home runs and 85 RBI as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Of course, if Lopez's banner year in 2005 doesn't do the trick, you should at least be able to appreciate Lopez's wife, Jennifer.
There isn't a whole lot of literature out there concerning Jennifer, but one thing we know for sure is that she did pose for FHM a couple years ago. I highly doubt this is the case, but I've always thought it would be funny if FHM was actually trying to reach the other Jennifer Lopez, but just decided to go ahead with the shoot once Mrs. Felipe Lopez showed up.
At this point in his career, there's no telling what kind of production the Baltimore Orioles are going to get out of Brian Roberts. The O's shut him down with back spasms on Friday, and whether or not he'll be ready for the season appears to be very much in doubt.
The good news for Roberts is that no matter how hard a day he's had at the office, he gets to come home to his wife, Diana, who is without a doubt one of the most beautiful wives in sports.
Diana hit it big back in 2006 when she was named "Miss FHM." Before she was a swimsuit model, however, she worked as a pharmaceutical rep.
Like with Stephanie McGwire, this is where a lesser man would make a crack about Roberts' history with PEDs, but I'm going to take the high road by merely pointing out the correlation. I am, after all, a professional.
A lot of people think that the Texas Rangers are taking an unnecessary risk by moving Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation. I happen to agree, but I'm willing to admit that it might work. After all, C.J. Wilson handled the transition just fine last season.
Starting for the first time since 2005, Wilson won 15 games in 2010, and he logged more than 200 innings.
As interesting as Wilson's performance on the field is, it's his "Straight Edge" lifestyle that I find most interesting. You see, unlike most other 20-somethings, Wilson doesn't drink, do drugs, or chase women. But that doesn't mean he can't date supermodels, and he landed himself a good one in Dominique Piek.
Dominique, a native of South Africa, has modeled for numerous publications since she got into the business at the age of 14. Now 25, she hit the big time in 2010 when she appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (she had previously appeared in the South African version in 2007).
There are many reasons to envy Derek Jeter. For starters, he's been the star player on the most legendary team in American sports for 16 seasons now. He also has five World Series victories under his belt, as well as a savings account that worth more than the GDP of most small countries.
Yeah, I'd say he has it made. And we haven't even talked about his fiancee yet.
Jeter has been linked to many lovey ladies over the years, but Minka Kelly might just be the loveliest of the bunch. An actress who rose to prominence as Lyla Garrity on Friday Night Lights, Kelly is universally counted among the most beautiful women in the world.
Just ask Esquire, who tabbed Kelly as the "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2010.
Jeter and Kelly have been dating since 2008, and they now have themselves a beautiful new home to settle down in.
Lucky son of a...