Programming note: For comprehensive A’s coverage from Arizona, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
MESA, Ariz. – Acting on his entrepreneurial spirit, A’s center fielder Coco Crisp has launched his own mobile game. “Coco’s Fro Patrol” can be downloaded for free on the iPhone and stars – who else? – the outfielder himself, as he runs back and forth trying to catch baseballs with his Afro while dodging scissors that fall from the sky.
Crisp created his own company, Crazy Cove, and partnered with app architect MEDL Mobile to design the game, which launched Thursday night. Crisp sounded thrilled that 157 people had downloaded the app as of Friday morning.
“As much time as I spend in the training room, I have a lot of time to think about different things. I think about a whole bunch of different games,” he said, poking fun at his assorted injuries.
Crisp is a gaming fanatic. When he arrived at camp, he brought with him a miniature arcade game from his house that found a home on a clubhouse table. Among his favorite mobile games?
“It used to be Dragon Bane Elite, (but) Dragon Bane Elite was sucking my money,” he said. “Now I play High Noon 2. Words on Tour -- I love word games. Looney Tunes, BMX …”
But Coco’s Fro Patrol is his own creation.
“Basically there’s balls dropping, there’s scissors that cut your hair, there’s trash,” he said. “There’s gum, and if you hit the gum, you get stuck so you have to shake it off.”
Crisp’s own voice is featured in the game and encourages players when they do something good. He’s roped former teammate Daric Barton into playing, among others. As of Friday morning, Crisp himself was still the proud owner of the high score at 94.
“Bartie, he’s playing. He’s at level 37. He’s third in the world right now,” Crisp said. “My mom, she’s fifth in the world. My dad, he’s down a little bit.”
Crisp, who has taken computer programming courses in his spare time, got with the people from MEDL Mobile and talked with them about everything he wanted the game to include, and he’s happy with the end result. If it’s a success, he plans to take it to Android.
Giants catcher Buster Posey also has his own mobile game – Buster Bash.
The money to be made on a free app such as Crisp’s comes from advertising and in-game purchases. But for this first experiment, the aim isn’t to make a bundle.
“It’s not to break the bank or anything,” he said, “but to pay for itself.”