Despite looking very overmatched in the Arizona Fall League, Tim Tebow apparently plans to continue his baseball career, and New York Mets manager Terry Collins even wants to see Tebow play in some of the team’s Spring Training games.
Collins told the media on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings that he hopes “you will see Tim Tebow in some of our [Spring Training] games”, and said the Mets’ staff will make Tebow a better player if he indeed goes to major league camp:
“We’re in New York. We can handle anybody with a name on his back in our camp,” Collins said. “If they decide to send him to camp, we’ll get him better. I can tell you, I certainly hope you will see Tim Tebow in some of our games. … I think he’s a name in Florida. He’s a star in Florida. He should be. I think it would be fun to have Tim come over. And certainly one thing about our players, they’re athletes. They’re fans, too. They would probably like to know how to run a quarterback sneak one day.”
The Mets’ camp is in Florida, and the former Gators quarterback is of course a legend in the state as Collins alluded to. So, Tebow would certainly be quite the attraction at camp, and probably sell some more Spring Training tickets.
But while Collins welcomed the idea of Tebow playing in Spring Training games, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson certainly made it sound like that won’t happen.
Alderson told the media that Tebow going to major league camp would only be good for “advertising purposes”, and that we can expect Tebow to start in minor league camp before going to a full-season minor league team for the Mets in April:
“He was in the Arizona Fall League, but that’s the only organized league he’s ever participated in beyond high school,” Alderson said. “And we understand he’s a little bit older, so that the process needs to accelerate at some point. But we still need to be prudent about it and put him in situations where he can succeed and not be viewed as, I was going to say, a circus animal. But that’s probably not appropriate.”
Alderson indicated there’s no compelling reason to have Tebow assigned to major league camp “except for advertising purposes.”
“We knew he’d be overmatched in the Arizona Fall League. We also felt that he needed to play games,” Alderson said. “And so, as we look at going into spring training and his first full season, I think the same priorities would hold true — he needs to play games. Under most circumstances that would mean, look, he’s in minor league camp. He’s playing games every day. He comes over once in a while. And, at the end of camp, he goes to a full-season team. I think that’s what we would foresee. Now, things could change based on how he performs or what have you.”
Tebow — who also serves as a college football analyst for ESPN — batted just .194 with 20 strikeouts in 62 at-bats during the Arizona Fall League (but he did hit a walk-off single). ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law especially was not impressed with how Tebow looked in the AFL.