The New York Mets announced a handful minor league invitees (not on the 40-man roster) to major league Spring Training on Wednesday. Thankfully, ESPN analyst, washed up quarterback, and pretend baseball player Tim Tebow wasn’t included on the list of 13 players.
Of course, for one reason or another, this led to people getting upset (though some of these people may have their tongues firmly wedged in their cheek) that the 29-year old failed pro footballer, who hit a stellar .194/.292/.246 with 20 strikeouts in 19 Arizona Fall League games, wasn’t going to be in major league camp in Port St. Lucie next month.
And so on and so forth.
This isn’t news, though. Mets GM Sandy Alderson previously stated Tebow wasn’t coming to major league camp.
So why aren’t the Mets inviting Tebow to major league Spring Training? Well, aside from the obvious reasoning of “he’s not a baseball player”, it’s because they want to win and determine what they have with some players that might actually contribute to their major league roster in 2017.
Only two outfielders (the position Tebow is nominally listed as playing) were given non-roster invites – Champ Stuart, a 24-year old that topped out at AA last year, and Travis Taijeron, a 28-year old that topped out in AAA. Neither is on the team’s 40-man, but given their standing in the organization, it’s better to get them at bats than an ESPN talking head that should be focusing on covering spring football rather than trying to live out a childhood fantasy at the expense of people that have actually been working at living their dream for years upon years.
You have to imagine that the scam of Tebow as a baseball player is just about out of steam. The Mets got their money from Tebow jersey sales (though they’re still selling them), and the novelty might fully devolve into a farce if Tebow actually takes part in meaningful activities with the Mets or one of their minor league affiliates.
If Tebow does show up at minor league camp, though…man, say a pray for those poor staffers in Port St. Lucie. They’re going to have one hell of a time trying to ward off the legions of autograph seekers.