Thursday, July 20, 2006


Weird but True (Minor League Edition)

Brooks and Dunn have accomplished a lot in their music career. The inimitable twosome singlehandedly sparked the country line dance craze of the early 1990s, and have gone on to sell more records than any duo in music history, save for Simon and Garfunkel.

But after 15 years of Country and Western dominance, Brooks and Dunn have grown bored. They wanted a new challenge, something to shake them out of their complacent mindset. And boy, did they find it.

The duo have covertly embarked upon a professional baseball career, and are currently pitching with the Northwest League's Eugene Emeralds (Class A Short Season affiliate of the San Diego Padres).

In a unique and quite baffling arrangement, Brooks and Dunn occupy just one spot on the Emeralds' roster. They are listed as #50 -- Brooks Dunn. According to scouts, Dunn (the blonde guy) has the better arm of the two. He has good command of his fastball, and his "12-6" curveball is one of the more deceptive breaking balls in the league.

Of course, Dunn is just one half of the equation. While his compatriot pitches, Brooks (aka the guy with the hat) lies flat on his stomach in front of the pitcher's mound, looking straight at the batter. As soon as Dunn delivers a pitch, Brooks leaps to his feet.

This serves two purposes -- it is distracting to the batter, and it gives the Emeralds a 10th man in the field. While the baseball rulebook has no specific clauses relating to moonlighting country music stars, several opposing managers in the Northwest League have filed complaints with the league re: the legality of "Brooks Dunn".

"I just don't see how the Emeralds can justify "Brooks Dunn", said Freddie Ocasio, manager of the Tri-City Dust Devils. "For starters, he is actually two people. And the faggy-looking one [Dunn] always talks his way out of balk calls by signing baseballs for the umpires".

But perhaps the Emeralds are the one at a disadvantage. "Brooks Dunn" is currently 1-4 with a 4.56 ERA, and have allowed 31 hits over a span of 25 innings. Such stats are not going to earn the duo a promotion Class A Advanced ball any time soon. The Emeralds, at 16-14, are currently in third place in the Northwest League's West Division.

That the caterwaulin' line-dancers are on the diamond in the first place is one of the odder stories in baseball this year, and a triumph in and of itself. We at High and Inside will attempt to follow the season of "Brooks Dunn" as it progresses, so please check back here for periodic updates.

"Brooks Dunn" player page:

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