Written and Media by Jesse Getz.
With the World Baseball Classic coming up, many teams are sending players away to play for their respective countries, opening up spots on their major league spring training rosters. This is leading to multiple players being called up from the minor league camps. Probably the biggest name getting the call up is former NFL quarterback, Heisman winner, and two-time national champion, Tim Tebow. If you haven’t been paying attention to the news in the sports world lately. Tebow was signed last September, by the New York Mets to a minor league contract and was placed in the fall instructional league. Tebow went against teams top pitching prospects and batted .194 with twenty strike outs in sixty-two at bats. These stats seem less than impressive, however, they actually are not that bad for a guy who hasn’t played baseball since his junior year of high school in 2005.
Tebow expressed his desire to play professional baseball last year and held a showcase for MLB scouts to attend, in which he ran a 60-yard dash, shagged fly balls, threw from the outfield, and took some swings against two former major league pitchers. Many people saw this as a joke and Tebow wasn’t considered to be a legitimate prospect for a professional ball club. After being signed by the Mets, the negative talks only seemed to increase. One of the popular excuses for the signing was that it was only a publicity stunt and an attempt to gain some extra money for the New York club. This is hardly the first time Tebow has been criticized for his dreams of playing professional sports. The entire NFL career of Tebow was surrounded by criticism of his ability to throw the ball. Now, he is being criticized for his lack of baseball experience.
This week we may see an appearance of Tebow in one of the Mets spring training games.The Mets will be losing fourteen players to the World Baseball Classic, and eleven of those players are on their fifty-five-man major league camp roster. With the roster being so depleted many lower level minor league player will have a chance to see game time. The Mets have split-squad games on Wednesday and Friday, against the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, which will increase the chances for Tebow to see some innings on the field.
Over Tebow’s short MLB career with the Mets in spring training, there have been large crowds that have come just to watch him take batting practice. The fascination that people have with watching Tebow play baseball is undeniable. Now with the rumors started that he may have a chance of playing in an actual spring training game and taking hacks against big league pitchers, we can likely expect the ticket sales to rise. Many Tebow fans will be keeping up with his spring training debut and excited to see how he fairs against the higher level of baseball talent. Even the Tebow haters will likely be tuning in so they can be the first to criticize if he fails.