Tim Tebow’s long awaited unofficial MLB debut resembled Michael Jordan’s appearance in Space Jam.
No, he didn’t lead his New York Mets back from a massive comeback in their spring training tilt with the Boston Red Sox. Rather, Tebow was cheered after being involved in one of baseball’s most hated plays, a double play, much like how Jordan is cheered by Birmingham Barons fans and players after a strikeout in the 1996 classic’s first act. Granted, Tebow’s GIDP tied the game, but Ron Darling, calling the game for SNY, put it best when he called the “first time (he’d) ever seen a standing ovation for a double play”.
The embarassing display from the faithful gathered at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, FL is one of the many reasons Tebow needs to just…stop.
To clarify, I like Tebow. Not to the unhealthy Skip Bayless-extent, but I certainly do try to pull for the guy. He seems like a genuinely good guy, and I’m all for expressing your faith on the field. Under no circumstance was Tebow going to be the next Joe Montana in the NFL, but when I see the performances like Connor Cook’s in the AFC wild card playoffs, I can’t help but think Tebow, who, remember, won a playoff game and pulled off some fourth quarter comebacks. The biggest reason Tebow doesn’t have a job, while subpar subs like Matt Barkley, Blaine Gabbert, and Derek Anderson continuously get opportunities, is because the media turned his already disastrous New York tenure into an absolute circus, documenting his every move like a creature in a nature documentary. Similar appearances in Philadelphia and New England went equally crazy.
Tebow’s latest endeavor is a baseball career, last partaking in the sport competitively in high school. To be fair, Tebow was a solid player in his own right, batting .494 in his junior year, but he’s better known, of course, for his showstopping college football career. Called up to the Mets’ roster due to the influx of Metropolitan talent on the World Baseball Classic rosters, Tebow made his debut in the spring matinee against Boston.
To say it could’ve gone better is an early frontrunner for understatement of the year.
The day got off to a bad start, as Tebow, a left-handed hitter, ventured over to Boston’s on-deck circle to warm-up before he led off the bottom of the third inning, with Boston pitcher Rick Porcello mistaking him for a ball boy. It would be his first appearance on the field, as he was the day’s designated hitter, as well as a foreboding prologue to his MLB debut.
In addition to his celebrated double play (due to the DP, he was not credited with an RBI), Tebow struck out twice, giving some not so friendly eyes to the umpire, a move frowned upon by minor leaguers, never mind quarterbacks. When Tebow did reach base, doing so after he was hit by a pitch, he ventured too far off of first base, far enough that a subsequent line out was able to double him up, though this time, no standing ovation was earned.
I don’t doubt Tebow’s aspirations when it comes to baseball. I truly believe he thinks he can contribute to an MLB organization, while the Mets appear to be toting him out like some sort of sideshow, a marquee name to add intrigue to otherwise meaningless pre-April baseball games. But Tebow needs to make his own decision, one that’s going to benefit him, one for his own sake. Tebow needs to step out of the spotlight. He should go return to the relative obscurity that is pregame analysis on the SEC Network. He’s with his people there, he knows the lay of the land and is very good at what he does. He doesn’t have to deal with lofty expectations. Simply put, he’d be…at home
With this baseball endeavor and his football dropout, Tebow is ruining the amazing reputation he made in college. A strikeout when it comes to the pubic eye would actually be worthy of an ovation.