The Tim Tebow Circus is now a reality the New York Mets can’t escape from, at least for the interim. The former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, and NFL bust made his debut at Mets minor league camp this week unlike any minor league player in history.
Tell me, what minor league prospect, even the most highly touted ones, get a press conference on his first day in camp? Tell me, what minor leaguer gets driven around the complex in a golf cart? Tell me, what minor leaguer gets mobbed by throngs of adoring fans? Tell me, what minor leaguer gets to speak to the team owner during BP?
There aren’t any. Especially for a guy who has never faced live pitching at any level of professional baseball. Unless you count the instructional fall league, where Tebow hit a scintillating .194.
The last time a player this insignificant to the opening day roster held a press conference, the New York Jets held one for a third string quarter… oh wait…that was Tebow too.
When asked about his goal to getting to the Major League’s Tebow had this to say:
“[The majors] is not just the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to be able to enjoy it every day, and I can honestly say I’ve had so much fun training, pursuing it and getting hits, striking out, whatever.”
That is a big change from where Tebow was back in the fall when he was trying to convince teams that he had what it takes to be a Major League level ballplayer. Now he’s just happy to be there.
If that is the case, then what is the point to all of this? T-shirt sales?
This is the show that the Mets invested in when they signed Tebow back in September. As a man, by all accounts, Tebow is an excellent role model; one we wish was more prevalent in today’s sports. On the other hand, as an athlete, Tebow has always been a complete and total enigma and exhibitionist.
Tebow teases us with his raw athletic ability, and then baffles us with his lack of fundamentals. When Tebow was the quarterback of the Denver Broncos he was not an accurate passer, but his grit and determination, combined with the fact that he had the ability to drop a dime to a wide receiver made football junkies salivate.
He’s doing the same here with the Mets. Just the other day he crushed nine home runs on 40 swings in batting practice. The guy has pop, but in game situations, Tebow proven already he’s too raw to be a MiLB outfielder, and not discipline at the plate enough to hit even the best of minor league pitching.
Is Tebow a distraction? The answer is no, as long as the Mets don’t allow him to become one. However, the New York Post reported that team officials are open to the idea of playing Tebow in Grapefruit League action. And already Mets captain David Wright is answering questions on Tebow.
“If he comes over we will do everything we can to welcome him with open arms and do anything we can to help him out or answering questions if he has any. The guy is a tremendous athlete,” Wright said.
Oh no, too late! Please Mets, don’t do it. Stop now!
Spring Training is supposed to be a time to hone skills and get ready for the season. It is not a time for sideshow events in order to put butts in the seats in spring training. (Sue me, I’m idealistic).
This is a team with championship aspirations; they should be able to bypass the media blitz that comes with Tebow fairly well. By April this will be a non-story after Tebow is cut, but for the sake of allowing serious minor league prospects see more time on the field in Spring Training, the Mets should dump Tebowmania as soon as possible.