The new Chicago Cubs manager, Craig Counsell, was once a great hitter in the big leagues. He had a successful career as a major league baseball player from 1995 to 2007.

Counsell was known for his unconventional batting stance: He held his bat way up in the air, and nobody knew why he did this. He never explained it, either.

Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images

When Counsell was hired as the manager for the Chicago Cubs, he attended the 2024 Cubs Convention, where someone finally asked him why he used to hold the bat so high up in the air.

He blames it on Garth Brooks.

"I was not a very good hitter, and at the time, I was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and I was at spring training with them. I couldn't get any hits," Counsell explains.

"I hit a line drive to left field, in spring training, I was like, 'Yes! First base hit!' I put my head down and started running to first. The crowd went absolutely crazy. I look up and Garth Brooks had made a diving catch in left field, to extend my 0-4 streak."

The audience at the press conference found this story hilarious.

"I was released the next day. I had a talk with myself, saying, 'Why can't you get any hits?,' and that led me to putting my hands way up in the air," Counsell adds. It helped!

"So I blame Garth Brooks for a horrible batting stance."

Brooks — one of the biggest stars in the history of music — was also an athlete growing up, playing baseball and running track and field. He had three stints with the New York Mets, but ultimately did not make the team.

Evan Paul is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show heard on more than 120 country radio stations nationwide, every night from 7PM to midnight. He plays the best new country music and interviews today's top stars, like Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Morgan Wallen, + more! 

See Inside Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood's Malibu Beach House:

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood's former beachside house in Malibu offered a gorgeous vacation paradise for the country music power couple to relax.

Brooks and Yearwood bought their 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, 4,200-square-foot house in Malibu for slightly less than $5 million in June of 2008. The house itself is fairly modest, but very well-appointed, featuring an open floor plan.

The living room boasts a corner fireplace and multiple sets of French doors that open to the backyard. The kitchen includes marble countertops, while skylights offer plenty of natural California sunlight. The den features floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side of a fireplace of white brick.

The backyard is spectacular, featuring a loggia, an outdoor fireplace, a half-court basketball court and elaborate landscaping. The house provides direct access to the world-famous Malibu beach via a set of steps.

The couple sold the house in Malibu in late 2016 for $7 million.

Gallery Credit: Sterling Whitaker

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