August 23, 2011
I saw this nostalgic look back at Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns on Redleg Nation today.
The duo was going to, if you believed Jim Bowden’s hype, form one of the greatest outfields of all time.
And it was easy to believe in him. Dunn was a tall, incredibly strong young man when he arrived in 2001, with no foreshadow of the flabby oaf he would one day become. Kearns would be his counterpart, a coveted five-tool player. (Six-tool, if you counted his ability to make up for Dunn’s ineptitude in left field.)
Of course, that didn’t happen. Instead we were left with losing years and futile hopes. And a lingering hatred of Ray King’s fat ass.
Oh, and one of my favorite fake news stories that RHM ever wrote: Dude, Where’s My Bat.
August 19, 2009
How does one become a baseball wife?
I imagine some women must stumble into it, entirely by chance, meeting their future hubby at a bar or night club or some other gathering place where they could have met anyone, in any profession. Others, I imagine, are AAA groupies, purposely positioning themselves for the life. Either way, I doubt the young bride is entirely prepared for the obstacles that she will face in her married life.
Including being required to name your son “Brady,” if the life stories of Rachel Dunn and Abby Kearns are any indication. Yesterday, the Washington Post printed a story that went into some depth on their experiences, as well as those of some of the other Nationals players’ wives.
Check it out. The story’s a bit wordy, but how can you encapsulate the personal lives of so many people in less? Besides, this is all the words these ladies are likely to get all season. Hopefully it distracts them from the Nats’ performance for a minute.
April 22, 2006
Austin Ryan Kearns was born May 20, 1980 in Lexington, KY. He graduated from Lafayette High School in Lexington, KY in 1998. In 1997, he was a member of the USA’s National Junior Team and hit .478 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI. He was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Florida but instead signed with the Reds.
He lives in Lexington with his wife Abby (whom he married in January 2006) and son Aubrey Ryan (who was born September 2005). The general public did not know that Kearns was expecting, so when he disappeared in the middle of September to attend to a “personal matter,” people were concerned. In fact, it turned out to be happy news, so long as you weren’t hoping to be the one delivering said baby.
Besides his still-high expectations and his impressive defense in right field, Kearns is probably best known for his ears. They stick out rather goofily, which just makes him all the more endearing. “Fear the Ears” was an apt catchphrase for Kearnsy.
Kearns is a looker. He came into spring training in 2005 with the most beautiful hair that Dave Miley soon made him cut and it’s never been back. He’s got the curls trimmed down to show off the ears this year, though, so it’s probably a net gain.
Kearns is bestest buddies with Adam Dunn. I’ve already talked about that at some length in Dunn’s human league profile, but it’s also been well documented in plenty of fake news, such as:
April 22, 2006
Austin Kearns plays right field for the Reds where for years he split time with Wily Mo Peña. The Reds considered moving Kearns to third base a couple years ago to make space for both players, and even sent Kearns to learn the position in the off-season before 2005. But after the experiment failed and Wily Mo was traded this season, Kearns has been able to set up permanent camp it right.
It’s been a tough trip for Kearns. Injury after injury have hampered his development and it seems like someone is constantly saying “maybe this will finally be the year.” The most famous of these injuries was a collision with Ray King in 2003. King “sat on” Kearns, and it eventually led to shoulder surgery for Kearns.
In June of last year, after a very rough start to the year and no indication of things getting better, the Reds sent Kearns down to AAA Louisville to lose a few pounds and get his head on straight, both of which he did after he got over his indignation. On July 5, he hit three home runs in a game against the Indianapolis Indians. He was back in Cincy before the end of the month, trimmer and wiser. Nowadays, Kearns is currently under a 1-year, $1.8 million contract.
As a batter, Kearns is solid with a lot of power. He’s been streaky in the past but, well, maybe this will finally be the year. He’s a respectable base runner and an all-around sound athlete.
Kearns’ real claim to fame is his defense. He takes a good route to the ball and has the awesomest arm I’ve ever seen. I was once at a game where he delivered a strike from deep right field and Jason LaRue didn’t even have to shift his weight on his feet to catch it. On a team known for its offense, it’s not too often that the crowd gasps at a play to keep the runner on third.
Check out the statistical story on Kearns over at JinAZ’s site.