Whenever I get into a conversation regarding favorite video games, my mind bypasses the Zeldas and the Tecmo Bowls and goes straight towards Baseball Stars – a Nintendo-based baseball game with all fictional players and teams. What made Baseball Stars unique in the era of Bases Loaded, RBI Baseball, and the redundantly titled MLB Major League Baseball (by the way, will someone please take the initiative to create a Wikipedia entry on this game?), is that long term gaming became possible (I think I’ll actually try and post a story on this later). Soon enough, I came to the realization that what I enjoyed about playing these games was not limited to moving about these digital characters with overgrown heads on a television screen, but rather, it was the idea that I had a team of my own to mold into my liking.
Which is why I think this kid jealously irked me. Gentleman’s Quarterly, aka “GQ” does a story in its May issue about Jake Floyd, the GM of the Ash Fork Miners in the Desert Cactus Independent League. He apparently loves nachos with extra cheese and extra jalapenos. At the age of ten, he asked his then Little League coach if he could permanently be installed as the team’s third base coach. That was three years ago. The kid is 13. And if this article is true, George Steinbrenner wanted to give him a job with the Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder.
His mother raised her son to be a stat-head. Soon enough, Jake became far more interested in the number crunching than actually playing. When the Miners’ owner (a local entrepreneur) couldn’t seem to get a handle on how to put a competitive team on the field, Jake offered his services and was hired to be a statistical advisor of sorts, and soon after asked for the title of General Manager. Jake even had a nine-year old as his intern who was quoted in the article as calling Theo Epstein’s father “a dickhead”.
Ever since this article was published, numerous media outlets tried to contact Jake for an exclusive interview (even the venerable Carson Daly). None had success.
The real “dickhead” is GQ writer Jason Gay, who had tried to pull a George Plimpton (writer of the Sydd Finch article) for some odd reason and it worked for a good couple of weeks. I admit it. He had me until the end of the article when he proclaimed himself to be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. After I saw that, I kind of had a Bruce Willis “my god, I’m dead” kind of a moment as I had come to actually like the idea of a thirteen year old who had a nine year old intern who helped him run a baseball team. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to go back to trying to win a World Series in my newly purchased Baseball Mogul 2008.
Paul Moro is a writer of Umpbump.com and is proud to be the youngest member of the Keith Hernandez Society of Mustache Enthusiasts.