Why would the Mets sign Tim Tebow to a minor league contract? Well, why not?
My first thought was not that the Mets were seeking divine intervention in their playoff push, but of the more practical acceptance for what it really is – a no-risk opportunity.
The Mets don’t have anything to lose. If Tebow – who hasn’t played baseball since his junior year in high school – doesn’t make it like everybody expects, they haven’t lost anything. However, if the former Heisman Trophy winner and New York Jet does catch lightning in a bottle, then everybody is a winner.
In a conference call this afternoon. GM Sandy Alderson addressed, and as expected, denied the obvious motivation.
“While I and the organization, I think, are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball,” Alderson said, his nose growing with each word.
“This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential that Tim has.”
If that’s the case, then why were the decision makers Alderson and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon, and did not involve the Mets’ baseball operations personnel?
A decision on a prospect that will go to the fall instructional league, Sept. 19, doesn’t go all the way to the top. In addition, just any prospect trying to salvage a professional sports career, isn’t excused a couple days a week to pursue a college football TV analyst position.
Alderson spoke glowingly of Tebow’s work ethic and professionalism and how the Mets’ minor leaguers could learn from watching him. While that’s all well and good, but this is an opportunity to keep the Mets in the news this winter and sell some tickets in spring training and in the minors next year.
Of course, Alderson won’t admit that for it would defeat the purpose.
As for Tebow, who didn’t make it with Jets, Denver, Philadelphia or New England, his motivation is presumably the desire to compete. He likely doesn’t need the money, and if he did, he’s surely smart enough to understand he’s years from major league money.
He’s also smart enough to realize this won’t be easy. As Michael Jordan learned, hitting a baseball might be the single most difficult thing to do in sports.
“I know this is a tough game,’’ said Tebow on the conference call. “ But I’m looking forward to putting in the work and I felt like this was the best fit.”
This is very easy to figure out, but what I don’t get is all the criticism of him doing this and the calls for him to get a real job. Shouldn’t he be free to pursue whatever career he wants?
If this is what Tebow wants to do, and he’s found a willing partner in the Mets, what’s the big deal?
And for those who say the Mets already have enough left-handed hitting outfielders, well, that’s a little premature, don’t you think?
The call-in shows were full of Tebow this afternoon, and he’ll be on the back pages tomorrow.
Just like the Mets want.