Shireen didn’t find out until today, but apparently, Chris is looking for a new job. Well, Chris figured it’s never too late to chase your childhood dreams, and since his tryouts for the Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins didn’t go so well, he knew he’d be much better at baseball.
I mean, I’ve been playing since I was 4 years old, so I grabbed my glove and went to Marlins Park for my official try out for your Miami Marlins!
Chris Van Vliet: “So there’s the current roster and how nice of the Marlins to leave this open spot here for me.”
Marlins Park. Home of your Miami Marlins, and if things go right today, my new place of employment.
Paul Severino, Miami Marlins play-by-play commentator: “Gone! A three-run homerun for Miguel Rojas!”
Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas personally invited me here and has a bit of a surprise for me.
Miguel Rojas: “This is going to be the plan. If you are able to hit a homerun today in batting practice, you’re going to take my spot in the lineup.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Oh, my God.”
But before I take the field, Miguel wants to see me in the batting cage.
Miguel Rojas: “You’ve gotta look like a baseball player first, so let’s tape your wrist. This is what we do, man — look good to play good.”
Now that I look the part, let’s see what I got.
Chris Van Vliet: “*hits ball off tee* Oh, that’s not good. That’s not good. *swing and miss* That wasn’t good.”
But it didn’t take long until I got into the swing of it.
Chris Van Vliet: “*swing, hit*”
Miguel Rojas: “That’s better.”
Chris Van Vliet: “Homerun!”
Just as I was about to head to the field — another surprise! Marlins manager Don Mattingly!
Don Mattingly: “I heard you’re going on the field. You gotta look official. I mean, it’s a tryout, right?”
Chris Van Vliet: Yeah! Mr. Mattingly, thank you so much. This is about as official as it gets!”
Don Mattingly: “Good luck out there!”
I’m actually so confident that I am going to hit a homerun today that I flew my dad in all the way from Toronto. We’re going to do this dad. You’re son’s going to be a big leaguer!
Chris Van Vliet: “Let’s hit a dinger. That looks like a really long way away out there. Look. Yeah!”
Chris Van Vliet: “*swing, good hit* OK. That’s not a bad start.”
Chris Van Vliet: “I think we’re about 200 feet short with that one.”
Chris Van Vliet: “*swings, hit* Getting closer. Just another 100 feet now.”
After all that, it all comes down to one final pitch.
Chris Van Vliet: “*great hit* Oh, could it be?”
Announcer (in “The Natural”): “It goes high into the right field. That ball is still going!”
It could not be, and just like that, the dream was over.
Chris Van Vliet: “I don’t want to leave. Like, I don’t want to go, and I’m wondering if maybe they have another job for me here even if I can’t hit homeruns. I could sell hot dogs, right?”
Alright, so what should I do next? I mean there aren’t any more pro teams to try out for and not make. Maybe I will swim with alligators next. Let me know: KeepingUpWithChris@wsvn.com
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