As I'm sure you'll all aware, and quite possibly annoyed, I'm still in the running for the MLB Fan Cave Dream Job. Voting ends in a week and I'm doing my best to campaign for votes. I feel like a politician. I'm just waiting for some sort of scandal to come out about me. "But Ricardo, I heard you went to like 3 Dodgers games last season" I WILL NOT ANSWER THAT!! I figured I'd take the opportunity to just kind of explain how this video got made since everyone keeps asking me.
My cousin, Eric Valenzuela, is currently the pitching coach for San Diego St. After applying for the MLB Fan Cave, I told Eric about it and he was pretty thrilled to see how ridiculous my audition video came out. It just so happens that Hall of Famer and Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn, is the Coach for Aztec Baseball over at SD State and was shown the video by Eric. My cousin, being the raddest dude ever, offered to see if Tony Gwynn would shoot a small endorsement video for me but couldn't promise anything. So naturally I took the offer up and made plans last week on Wednesday to go down to San Diego that following Friday to shoot. A couple friends and myself made the trek down from Anaheim and just hung out at Tony Gwynn Stadium. As Eric was giving us a tour of the field, we then met Erik Castro of the Astros organization and filled him in on why I was there. Soon enough, I found out Stephen Strasburg might show up to throw a bullpen session and would have a chance to meet him.
As we waited for Coach Gwynn, my cousin introduced me to Strasburg. After debating whether or not I gave a TERRIBLE handshake, we kind of just started talking and told him about the MLB Fan Cave. After joking around with each other, we asked if he wanted to be in a part of it. He could have EASILY said no, called me a jerk, and make me cry but he seemed stoked to be in it. I was pretty surprised. Not knowing exactly what to do, I just said to go ahead with his workouts and we could catch him afterwards.
While sitting in the dugout, Tony Gwynn showed up and was introduced to me. Still not knowing exactly what to do, because I'm a complete idiot like that, I had to think of something on the spot and improv the video. I then decided to just make the video me auditioning for Coach's team and having me be cut in the end thus having him vote for me. As Tony Gwynn and I sat in the dugout, my buddy Dave just kind of kept rolling the camera and filmed us basically improvising the whole thing. It was pretty surreal to just sit there and crack jokes with a Hall of Famer. Also, it was pretty insane how quick witted and down to earth Tony Gwynn was. After shooting with Coach, we then walked over to watch Strasburg throw bullpen.
As we were watching Stras toss, Bruce Billings just so happened to finish his bullpen and was getting ready to leave. As he was walking up, he saw my shirt with my face on it and just started laughing as Eric introduced us. Not knowing what to do next, we had asked Bruce if he wanted to be a part of it. After some self-deprecating humor on Bruce's part, we decided to make that a joke in the video and gave him the opportunity to well, hit me in the nuts. Again, Dave was already rolling while we talked and filmed our scene.
Standing on the field, Tony Gwynn Jr. showed up out of nowhere. Eric had mentioned he specifically came out to meet me (UH NO ONE WANTS AND SHOULD MEET ME) because he saw the audition video and overheard that we filmed with his pops. TGJ is hands down one of the nicest and most personal dudes I think I have met. He was Hunter-esque. Torii Hunter now has competition as coolest dude I've met. Again, I filled Jr. in on what the Fan Cave was and he was laughing at all the stuff we did earlier. ONCE AGAIN Dave filmed our conversation and just improv'd the scene.
Once Strasburg was done destroying a baseball by throwing the heat, he walked over to us and we told him about what stuff we filmed. First off, I just gotta say Strasburg has a big sense of humor. That was the first thing that kind of struck me. He looks intimidating (which is probably a good thing since he's a pitcher) so him being extremely down to earth was pretty calming. Secondly, THE SENSE OF HUMOR! I was thoroughly surprised he answered the "Kill, Marry, Love" question and we all were pretty much caught off guard. THE MAN EVEN LET ME CALL HIM A CHUMP! So that is a first for anyone. I just hope he doesn't kill me after. For the record, I think I would crap my pants if I had to bat against Stras. 102 MPH? Uh no thanks brah!
The last scene was with Erik Castro. He was already packed up to go and was nice enough to go back to home plate and teach me how to squat. THE MAN CAN SQUAT! Also, the guy has legs like a tree trunk. RIDICULOUS! I felt and looked like the least athletic person standing next to Erik
So there ya have it. The time I filmed with a Hall of Famer, two nasty pitchers, SOON TO BE GOLD GLOVER, and A MAN WHO CAN SQUAT! I just want to talk to thank my cousin Eric Valenzuela. All this cool stuff would definitely NOT HAVE HAPPENED without your help and offering to ask. Also to coach Tony Gwynn, Tony Gwynn Jr., Stephen Strasburg, Bruce Billings, Erik Castro, the San Diego St. Aztecs, my buddies Dave, Jerry, and Jody, and well...ALL OF YOU! So far the Fan Cave stuff is going great and who knows, maybe a month from now I'll be on my way to New York. Or not. Probably not. Who knows what's going to happen. I'll probably be yelling at players at the Big A with all of you. Pretty crazy the stroke of luck I got to have all these rad people helping. Stay weird, posi-vibes, and uh...GO ANGELS!