I’ve done some good things and some bad things in my life, but suspiciously few of the good things have involved my participation in a sport. Sure, sometimes I’ll make a couple of threes in a pickup basketball game or accidentally throw one of those Wiffle ball pitches that rises on its way to the plate, but things like that are small potatoes next to my real ambition: nationwide exposure in sports media. How can I go about attaining this? At 22, my window of opportunity for being a professional athlete has likely shut (if we’re going to pretend this didn’t happen at birth). Jose Fernandez and Bryce Harper are both several months younger than me. This is to say that I’m not a very good at baseball for a 22-year-old. What I am, probably, is a phenomenal Little Leaguer, with skills perfectly suited for the 10-12 age group. Each August, ESPN and its camera crews swarm down upon the pint-sized baseball field that plays host to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. This would be the perfect place to test my hypothesis. Here’s a list of reasons why it wouldn’t be an awful idea for me to have tried this year:
The Precedent: Danny Almonte, who captivated audiences across the country with his string of dominant Little League World Series pitching performances in 2001, turned out to be significantly older (by two years, or 16.666666 percent) than he was believed to be, and his team had to vacate all of its victories. Do you know what would have prevented this problem for poor Danny? Better falsification.
The Undeniable Inspirational Story (or, the Falsification): The most important component of my plan to enter the LLWS would be to pass myself off as a 12-year-old who recently immigrated from a Caribbean isle so far-flung and hostile to human life that children have the ability to grow beards. There, armed with only a dream and a tattered steroid-era MLB coloring book, my love for the game grew. I learned to throw with coconuts on the beach, in the absence of common American sporting goods. This training made it incredibly easy for me to throw a much lighter baseball upon my arrival to the United States, after cricket players burned down my house.
Wheaties Money: It is rumored that this year’s breakout LLWS star, Mo’Ne Davis, received a six-figure offer to appear on boxes of Wheaties, a cereal that I have never known anyone in real life to eat, ever. I’ve never met anyone who knows what they taste like. They’re probably in stores, but they’re so unappealing next to the Count Chocula and Honey Bunches of Oats that nobody I can trust would ever notice them, much less make them part of their complete breakfast. That being said, I would be a shining ambassador for all things Wheaties if they gave me multiple times my current salary to be on their packaging. I’d burn the Corn Flakes rooster mascot in effigy if that’s what it took. The concern for Davis is that accepting the endorsement would ruin her chance at NCAA athletic eligibility. I have no such concerns, considering that, despite my convincing middle-schooler exterior, I have already graduated college.
It Would Get Kids Used To People Misrepresenting Their True Ages In Media: The guy who played Miley Cyrus’s brother on Hannah Montana is now 37 years old. I repeat, the guy who played a 16-year-old on a kids show that I was far too old to watch when it came out, is now 37 years old. He was 30 when the show started airing. Nobody cared. Nobody stopped this from happening. That’s a 14-year gap between portrayed age and actual age. Why not apply this reasoning to the Little League World Series? I’m sure that weirdo old guy from Hannah Montana got the job because of his professionalism and poise on set. Have you ever seen an interview with one of those Little Leaguers? The interviews are awful. The kids only talk about wanting to meet Ariana Grande and how much they like to race go-karts. NO SUBSTANCE. If I hurl a perfect game, and then I go on Jimmy Fallon or whatever to bask in the viral success I wrought, I’d wow the audiences with my loquaciousness, and the whole baseball-industrial complex would benefit.
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