Tim Tebow‘s Major League Debut Should Come in 2017
It’s amazing how many people like to take pot shots at Tim Tebow. For every person that hopes Tebow’s quest to play major league baseball is successful, there are any number of people that hope he fails miserably. However, Tebow’s major league debut should come this season. The New York Mets will find that it’s the right move.
Ever since hitting the national stage as a phenom quarterback at the University of Florida, Tebow has been both incredibly popular and despised. His clean image and overt Christian values rub many people the wrong way. His naturally gifted looks, physique, and athletic ability certainly create jealousy in the less secure person. However, by all accounts, he is a genuinely likable person. He is the guy you want your daughter to marry and your son to emulate. Yet, the line of people who want to see him fail is long.
Most analysts have assessed Tebow’s pro football career, which was over almost as quickly as it began, a failure. Arguably, however, despite a sub-50 percent completion percentage, he was quite successful. Tebow’s winning percentage was over .500 and he had a 2-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also ran for many more TDs and won a playoff game. He also made a few million dollars in the process. Wouldn’t we all like to suffer such failure?
Legitimate Baseball Prospect?
Those who wanted Tebow to fail in football also hope he falls on his face now, as he pursues his new goal of playing major league baseball. Most experts think he has no chance to make it. However, the outcome is not just based on his progress and potential. The Mets organization will ultimately decide if or when Tebow’s major league debut comes. Currently, Tebow is batting .228, with three home runs and 21 runs batted in for Single-A Columbia. These are hardly numbers that cry out for a call to The Show. But again, the equation transcends the numbers.
Compelling, Interesting, Entertaining
In 1997, Pete Rose, Jr. made his MLB debut. Now, his circumstances were not the same as Tebow’s, by any means. Petey, as he was known (or P.J.), was the son of the all-time hits leader and a lifelong dedicated baseball player in his own right. He had a monster season at Double-A Chattanooga that year. But later, in a dozen games for Triple-A Indianapolis, he hit only .225. Yet, when the September expanded roster call-up came, Pete got the nod and joined his father’s old team, the Cincinnati Reds. He only played a few games and logged just 14 at-bats.
No one was under the illusion that he was on a path to taking over his dad’s old position on the hot corner. But when he started a home game at third base, that night, and every other chance he got to play, was exciting. Petey playing in the majors was compelling to watch, to read about, and to keep up with.
This Move Will Help, Not Hurt, the Mets
The Reds were a sub-.500 team that year and had no chance to make the playoffs. It cost them nothing to call up Petey that year and let him play. Actually, it was the other way around. Petey playing gained them plenty of attention – good attention – during that last month of the season, despite being well out of the playoff race.
Fast forward to this season. The Mets are currently around 10 games out in the NL East and Wild Card playoff race. If the Mets send Tebow to Double-A Binghamton late in the year, let him play some higher-level ball, then bring him to New York at the September call-up, several things will happen. First, barring a major change in fortune, it won’t cost them a thing in the pennant race. Second, the environment will be nothing short of electric each night the Mets play. People far and wide will look in to see if Tebow plays and how he does. Third, people will definitely be tuning in to SportsCenter to see what happened in the Mets game.
Gimmick, or Good Business?
Now, many say that letting Tebow play at all is just a gimmick. They also feel it is cheating a worthy player of a legitimate roster spot. But the truth is, a 2017 September 40-man roster call-up will not cheat anyone. Those on the bubble will get to the majors or they won’t. But why string out the Tebow experiment another year or two? Truthfully, it doesn’t matter if he bats 10 times, strikes out nine of them, and validates once and for all that he has no business in the majors. What matters is that the Mets will get nightly publicity in an otherwise irrelevant season, which is definitely good for business. Having it revolve around a genuinely good guy like Tebow can’t be a bad thing.
Dreams Can Come True
Haters will find many reasons to criticize the move. If Tebow fails, they will eat it up (he should produce at least one magic moment – he has a track record of that). Regardless of how he plays, Tebow’s major league debut coming this season can only be good for the Mets, as well as Major League Baseball. It could inspire every dreamer out there to believe that if they set a goal and work hard to achieve it, they can defy the odds and succeed. How can that be a bad call?