Adorably Grumpy 6-Year-Old Baseball Coach Opens Up About His Suspension
"I've been in timeout before, it's nothing I'm not used to."
When you think of legendary baseball manager meltdowns, the first names that come to mind are probably Billy Martin, Lou Piniella, and Earl Weaver. Now we can officially add Coach Drake to the list—the 6-year-old assistant coach who has recently gone viral for his hilariously grumpy and precocious on-field persona.
Coach Drake, whose full name is Drake Livingston, is the son of Cody Livingston, the director of corporate partnerships for the Kalamazoo Growlers, who are part of a summer league for college players. The on-field theatrics that skyrocketed Drake to viral fame started during the Growlers' matchup with the Wisconsin Woodchucks last weekend, when he stormed out of the dugout during the seventh inning to confront home plate umpire Rob Minter.
Apparently, according to Fox Sports, Drake didn't like a call, feeling that a Wisconsin outfielder had caught the ball only after it hit the ground. The ump disagreed, and that's when the first-year assistant lost his cool.
6-year old Coach Drake LOSES it after ejection. pic.twitter.com/S9W0Xuj5fo
— Kalamazoo Growlers (@kzoogrowlers) July 16, 2019
Sure, we've seen kicking a little dust at an umpire before. But throwing bats and balls onto the field? That's the stuff of baseball legend. And it's why nearly 1.7 million people have watched the video so far.
Also, the announcer described Drake's angry circling around the umpire as his "signature move," which proves this isn't the first time the pint-sized coach has blown a gasket. As it turns out, Coach Drake already has the record for most ejections in the Northwoods League's entire existence!
Just take a look at this video from earlier in the season, where the passionate coach is carried off the field, kicking and screaming, by an umpire.
— Dakota Kotowski (@kotowski24) July 12, 2019
On the team's Facebook page, reactions were equally divided between delight ("This kid is absolutely legendary," one admirer wrote) and condemnation ("Absolutely nothing funny about this," a horrified onlooker responded. "Disgraceful is what it is").
At least this time, his behavior had consequences. Drake's most recent fit resulted in a three-day suspension, and according to an official statement by the Growlers, he was also punished with "a fine garnished from his allowance."
"I've been in timeout before," Drake said when reached. "It's nothing I'm not used to."
As the meltdown was more staged silliness than an actual temper tantrum—little Drake's coaching title is, well, let's just say it's more honorary than anything—our guess is he just needed a break from all the excitement. And if you wondered if Growlers management is in on the joke, the answer is absolutely.
"His fiery personality worked his way into the clubhouse," Growlers' managing partner Brian Colopy said when reached. "Once the team met him, we knew he was just what we needed."
Drake himself doesn't dwell on his anger issues. The 6-year-old, whose love of baseball comes from years of playing tee-ball and attending Growlers and Detroit Tigers game with his family, prefers to focus on the positive.
"It's pretty cool," he said of the attention he's gotten as of late. "I love supporting the team and pumping them up. It's a lot of fun."
Some might protest that six is just a little too young to be coaching baseball. And yes, they have a point: According to ESPN, the average age of Major League Baseball managers is 53. But that just means Coach Drake has 47 years to perfect his managerial style.
And if there's any doubt that Coach Drake is inspiring and motivating his players, consider this video:
— Kalamazoo Growlers (@kzoogrowlers) July 9, 2019
When the coach visited the mound during the third inning of a July 5th game with the Kokomo Jackrabbits, the Growlers had a 2-0 lead. After his pep talk, the team went on to win it all with a 6-0 victory. Whatever Coach Drake told his players, it clearly worked.
The mini manager returns to the team on Wednesday, July 24th. Time will tell if he used the forced vacation to do any serious self-reflection on his temperament, but his fans probably hope not. And for more little ones that'll make you LOL, check out 50 Funny Kid Photos That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud.
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