Provocative Anna Benson seeks divorce from Kris

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Anna Benson wants a divorce from
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, who still thinks the New York Mets traded him because of 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.

Anna and Kris Benson have yet to comment on the divorce petition.

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 web site 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

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

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 hearsay, 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."

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."