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|Out with the old! Jennie Finch is the new Hottest Female Athlete.|
|Will Jennie Finch's new title as the Hottest Female Athlete allow her to follow in Anna Kournikova's footsteps as a celebrity endorser? ESPN.com business reporter Darren Rovell investigates Finch's potential as a pitcher off the field.|
|An agent is all that David Wells and Jennie Finch have in common.|
I had the chance to do a 10 Burning Questions with Brandi Chastain and asked her about the nude photo shoot she did for Gear magazine. She said she didn't do it for soccer or for her teammates, but certainly it brought some attention to women's athletics. Would you ever do anything like that?
|Not even a perfect game celebration could jolt Jennie's jersey.|
So if you throw a perfect game in 2004 ... last inning, strike three, game over ... you wouldn't rip off your jersey and celebrate Brandi style?
Finch: I'd definitely be jumping around, yelling and screaming, piling on teammates -- absolutely. But I don't think I'd be taking my shirt off, no.
4. First word that comes to your mind when I say ...
Finch: Model slash tennis player. Definitely model before tennis player, though.
How do you feel about thousands of people comparing you to Anna K?
Finch: It's really kinda shocking to me. No one in our sport has ever really gotten this kind of attention. We get it done on the field, and if we make the news, that's why, because of what we did on the field. The times that I have been in the media before have always been because of pitching or my team's success. I don't even know what to make of this. I'm not much of an Anna Kournikova.
5. So now that you are on "This Week in Baseball," haven't you had a chance to pitch to a few guys? Didn't you throw to A-Rod or something?
Finch: Umm, sort of. Actually, Alex just stood in ... he wouldn't swing.
Finch: He said he had nothing to prove, but he really wanted to watch, so he stood in the box. I threw him all the different pitches. He said if we won the 2004 Olympics, he might take a few hacks.
Did any major-leaguer have the stones to swing?
Finch: Bob Melvin, the Mariners manager took a few swings ... but I don't think he made any contact. So Mike Cameron came out. He was like, "All right, all right, let me try this." He fouled off two out of, like, six pitches. And then I struck him out.
|Mike Cameron might have wiffed his way out of the box, but at least he had the stones to face the wicked windmill.|
6. Baseball is having a lot of problems with steroids. Does fastpitch have that problem?
Finch: I don't think so. We don't have a pro league right now, so, sure, it's a different set of rules. But in college and for the USA team, we are randomly tested all the time -- there are very strict rules and regulations. It is something that is taken very seriously in softball, and it's not something that you could get away with. I've been tested probably three times in the last year for USA softball.
They tested a pitcher three times?! Geez, I can only imagine how many times they test your No. 4 hitter. Have you always been a pitcher?
Finch: Since I was 8 years old.
I played ball in college, so I know for a fact that pitchers have the weirdest superstitions ever. How about you? 'Fess up.
Finch: I guess I have a few. I never step on the lines. I won't touch the game ball until I start warming up. And I'm No. 27, and somewhere during the regular season I got on this kick of warming up 27 minutes before the game -- it just stuck.
7. What's your favorite movie?
Finch: I'm not really into movies too much. I mean, "A League of Their Own," of course. It's every true softball player's token favorite movie. It's so corny, but it's great, too. So classic. Gotta say it -- I love Kevin Costner in "For the Love of the Game," too.
8. How do you feel about Annika Sorenstam playing in a men's PGA
|At 22, Jennie Finch is already a role model to many young female athletes.|
There are a lot of little girls who look up to people like you and Annika right now. Who did you look up to, who are your mentors?
Finch: There are many, but the one who sticks out most for me is probably Lisa Fernandez. She's just built the sport up so much, and her excellence has been recognized by so many people.
There are so many women doing great things in sports: Mia Hamm, Marion Jones, Michelle Smith ... I admire them all so much. Hopefully it just keeps getting bigger for us because of people like them. They are the ones creating opportunities for female athletes all over.
9. I've heard guys say that volleyball players are hotties, basketball chicks are hot. But what about softball players? Have we gotten there yet?
Finch: Hopefully. I mean, we have some stereotypes to break, but right now, what is huge for softball and sotball players alike is getting those games televised so that people can see how athletic and talented we really are. That is where this new trend of positive feedback is coming from -- exposure.
10. If you could invite three people to dinner, who would they be?
Finch: Jennifer Lopez would be cool to have there. Definitely Michael Jordan. And, umm, Orel Hershiser.
There sure are a lot of Jennifers in the news right now. J-Lo, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Aniston. Can you hang with those ladies?
Finch: Well, that would be some great company. But no, I don't think I'm much like any of them. Besides, I'm Jennie. J-e-n-n-i-e. So I'm just different, I guess. But I do get those "Jenny from the block" comments at least five times a day.