Casey, Plesac enjoy country music experience

MLB Network analysts visit Great American Country studios

Casey, Plesac enjoy country music experience

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The one common thread that connects athletes and musicians is that they'd love to trade places with each other, even for just one day.

Ballplayers want to be rock stars. Rock stars want to be ballplayers. And when these two particular segments of society collide, it's an all-out mutual admiration society.

Dan Plesac and Sean Casey, both former Major Leaguers enjoying second careers as MLB Network personalities, had a dose of the music-sports crossover on Monday while the Winter Meetings were held in Nashville, Tenn. They visited the Paragon Studios in nearby Franklin, to take part in filming this week's Great American Country's "Top 20 Countdown" show, slated to air on Friday at 6 p.m. ET.

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Plesac and Casey bantered with host Nan Kelley and covered a wide-ranging list of topics -- everything from what country songs they would select as their walk-up music to the last country music concert they went to. They also discussed a dream baseball roster comprised of country musicians and which position each would play.

Goofing around on set is old hat to Plesac and Casey, which made this experience particularly fitting.

"I'm singing Brooks & Dunn, he's singing Kenny Chesney," Plesac said, gesturing toward Casey. "We're terrible. And we think we're good."

Country music and baseball have long gone hand in hand, unsurprising given the large number of Major League players who hail from the South and therefore by extension are usually avid country fans. Conversely, most musicians are sports fans, with country musicians leaning toward what they grew up with -- football and baseball.

Garth Brooks is arguably the country music industry's most famous baseball fan, a label he earned during his extensive work over the years incorporating both to raise funds for charitable causes. Brooks' past participation with the Mets, Padres and Royals in Spring Training over the years to raise money was a topic of discussion during the GAC "Top 20 Countdown" taping, as was Jason Aldean's decision to give up a baseball scholarship and the playing career of Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley at Florida State University.

Regardless of the topics, given the basic enthusiastic nature of both Plesac and Casey, it's likely the show will not lack gusto.

"Nan made it easy for us," Plesac said. "We're so used to just flying off the seat of our pants with MLB Network, and having fun, that I think she was even taken back."

Keeping with the theme of baseball, Casey and Plesac also discussed a dream baseball roster of country musicians and where they would play on the diamond. The duo will also introduce a couple music videos that made this week's "Top 20 Countdown Show."

The excursion would have been fun for them no matter what, but the fact that it was something totally different from what they're used to just enhanced their enthusiasm.

"For Dan and I, [baseball is] what we do," Casey said. "When you get out of your element and you're doing a country countdown, you think, 'This is awesome.'"

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.