Tim Tebow: Step right up and greet the Mets (sort of)

Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
Tim Tebow to play with the Mets

The New York Mets have signed former NFL QB Tim Tebow to a minor league deal – and he didn’t have to get food stains on Babe Ruth’s uniform, streak through Yankee Stadium, or even destroy a replica Yankees’ World Series trophy by hitching it to a Buick Regal and driving through the parking lot while screaming insults to the club with a megaphone. Now whether this move will improve the Mets’ MLB betting odds in the near or distant future is something fans who bet on baseball will have to wait to find out. Tebow will start his pro baseball career on their instructional league team in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Tebow put on a two-hour workout for 46 scouts representing 28 MLB teams last week at the USC’s Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles, running the 60-yard dash, shagging fly balls, throwing from the outfield and taking swings against former MLB pitchers David Aardsma and Chad Smith (not the RHCP drummer). Tebow hasn’t played competitive baseball since his junior year at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida about 11 years ago. He has been working out with retired major league catcher Chad Moeller in Scottsdale, Arizona, since Memorial Day. The MLB betting odds for him to land a contract were against him – or would have been if there had been any.

Tebow’s reviews from scouts were mixed – but still better than Ben Hur’s –; his swing is very long but powerful, he is quick in the outfield but does not have an MLB-caliber arm. Yet, reportedly the Atlanta Braves – who need all the help they can get –, the Colorado Rockies, and the Toronto Blue Jays were interested in him as well. Others we’re not quite persuaded, though. “It was a complete waste of time,” an American League scout told USA Today. “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.”

Yeah, but was he like Kevin Costner trying to portray a baseball player, or more like Tony Danza? ‘Cause that would make a huge difference. The Mets may not gain much in the way of MLB betting odds when it’s all said in done, but they will definitely make a boatload of money in terms of ticket and merchandise sales – at least till the novelty wears off. Another winner? Major League Baseball. “Whatever Tim decides, the fact that he wants to play baseball is good for the game,” Braves manager John Coppolella said. “It’s similar to when Michael Jordan or others have wanted to play. It’s positive to draw this kind of interest to the game and make it a story because it’s good for baseball.” There is a difference between Jordan and Tebow, though, and it’s that MJ was actually successful at his primary sport. But who knows? Maybe Tim went about it the wrong way all along.