Craig Counsell is the new manager of the Chicago Cubs . . . but back in his playing days, he had a pretty funky batting stance.  In a new interview, he said he blames that stance on Garth Brooks. Craig’s career was starting out in the late-’90s, when Garth was spending some time at spring training with the San Diego Padres.

Craig said he was with the L.A. Dodgers, and was struggling in spring training.  He FINALLY got a hit . . . or THOUGHT he did . . . but Garth was playing left field, and he made a diving catch to rob him of a hit.  (???)

Craig was released the next day.

So from that point onward, he changed to his . . . uh . . . UNCONVENTIONAL stance, and he kept it for most of his career.  (American Songwriter)

(Here’s that clip from the interview.  And here’s Craig’s batting stance.  Garth spent several years playing minor league ball, but he never made it to the big leagues, obviously.)