And so, the Nationals traded Kurt Suzuki back to the A's today for 22-year old minor league pitcher Dakota Bacus. Just another minor league pitcher, right?
Wrong. Bacus has an alter ego, "The Whitewall Ninja," which he developed during his time with the A's single-A affiliate Beloit Snappers this year. Basically, Bacus attempts to hide on the field during games dressed in all white to blend in with the outfield signage, until he gets kicked off the field by the umpires. (Photo above via MiLB.com). More via an interview with Bacus from July on MiLB.com:
MiLB.com: The Whitewall Ninja is a most mysterious character. Can you give me a little background regarding who he is and what he does?
Dakota Bacus: We got a little insight one day from our pitching coordinator about something that his buddy did back in the day, going out along the wall and blending in with the signs. The goal was to see how far he could get out there before being caught by any of the umpires. So now we have a Whitewall Ninja who does that as well. The farthest he's gotten is left-center, by the Carvel sign, and he was out there for an inning and a half before anyone noticed and he had to get off of the field.
MiLB.com: What sort of preparation is needed, then, in order to assume the Whitewall Ninja persona?
Bacus: It's really nerve-wracking because you don't want the ball to hit you, and that's the only thing running through your head. The right time to do it is during the day with an all-white sign, that's perfect, and an all-white ColdGear hat tops it off. You just go out there and see how long you can stand until getting caught.
And with that, Dakota Bacus instantly becomes our favorite prospect in the Nats system. Sorry Lucas Giolito. Here's Bacus Tweeting about the trade:
It's a blessing to say how crazy my job can do a 180. It's a blessing to have such a great woman beside me doing it as well. @aliardi_17— Dakota Bacus (@Dbacus33) August 23, 2013
Welcome to the Nats system, kid. Hope to see you attempting to pull this same stunt at Nationals Park soon...