Michael Chavis hit a patch of turbulence on his path to his major league debut with the Red Sox on Saturday. No, not the 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. The turbulence that rocked the small jet he flew on from Syracuse to Detroit during his 1,300-mile mad dash to make Boston’s game against Tampa Bay on Friday night.
On Thursday, Chavis packed a light bag for what he thought would be a short three-game road trip with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox to Syracuse, New York. He woke up Friday morning in Syracuse to three missed calls from PawSox manager Billy McMillon, who told him he’d been called up to the big leagues, according to ESPN’s Joon Lee.
Then, the flight.
“They couldn’t even do drinks or snack service ’cause everyone was falling,” Chavis told Lee. “I felt like I was in ‘Snakes on a Plane’ going to my debut.”
During the brief break between flights at the Detroit airport, Chavis found a clothing store so he wouldn’t turn up to the team wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants. The employees, once they realized the reason for the rush, let him change into a button-up shirt and jeans in a storage room.
There was no turbulence on the second flight, but Red Sox officials were texting because the game against the Rays was about to begin. Chavis thought, “I’m literally in the air right now. I don’t know what you want me to do. I need to fly.”
The infielder made it to the clubhouse in the fifth inning, where he was immediately informed he might have to pinch hit two batters later. Although the Red Sox coaches weren’t kidding, Chavis ultimately was not called upon in the team’s victory.
The 23-year-old made his MLB debut Saturday, lining a ninth-inning, pinch-hit double to center field in his first at-bat. Chavis started at second base for Sunday’s series finale.