The Mets seemed to finally have a positive period, winning 14 of 18 and pulling even with the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Wild Card. So then why they found the need to sign a 29-year-old Tim Tebow, who couldn’t make it as an NFL quarterback, to a minor league contract it makes one wonder what motivated them to make such a move.
Tebow was basically retired from football after five seasons after playing for four teams and only starting for two of them. The emphasis is put on Tebow’s return to New York since he spent a season with the Jets.
In terms of publicity, the Mets hit a homerun. Tebow steals the spotlight everywhere he goes regardless of his ability to play. Hence the private showcase for major league talent scouts on August 30th.
“It was a complete waste of time,” an American League scout told USA Today’s Josh Peter. “It was like watching an actor trying to portray a baseball player. He tried. He tried. That’s the best I can say. He is crazy strong, and could run well in one direction, but that’s it. He only had one good throw of all his throws.”
Taking a chance on Tebow doesn’t cost the Mets much money and it will generate headlines for a period of time. They have to take into consideration Tebow hasn’t played in an organized baseball game on any level since high school. There’s no doubt he is a talented athlete but by the time he sees game-speed pitching he’s not been completely tested.
The financials nor talent are not the downfall to this project. To out the sweat equity into Tebow to prepare him for a major league career will be a tremendous undertaking. How much time and recourses do they want to invest in a guy who couldn’t make it in a premier New York sport the first time around?
“While I and organization are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said during a phone conference Thursday. “It is not driven by marketing considerations or anything.”
Alderson must be aware that Tebow brings an Alex Rodriguez-level of media coverage. His adonis-like presence and personality is bigger than anything he has done between the foul lines. When it’s all said and done Tebow might make it to see a major league game, or maybe he won’t ― but he will keep giving us something to talk about.