Skill or Money?

Tim Tebow has been promoted by the New York Mets organization to their high-A affiliate in Port St. Lucie Florida. This bothers me on quite a few levels. Now, I have plenty of respect for Tebow as a person and as an athlete. He has consistently defied odds to accomplish some pretty great things. But what is happening now whether he would admit it or not, is an embarrassment.

It doesn’t bother me that he is making an attempt at playing pro baseball, but what does bother me is that this seems to have turned into a PR stunt to sell tickets rather than to have the best teams and improve their young players. I mean, if we are looking at Tebow’s merits as a baseball player, this promotion should leave you scratching your head.

This season with the Columbia Fireflies he has been exceedingly mediocre. In 64 games he has posted a blistering .220 batting average with a .648 OPS. Neither of which are particularly impressive, especially for an outfielder. He has 3 home runs and 23 RBIs in 214 at-bats, another not overly impressive set of stats.

On to the more impressive stats. In those same 214 at-bats, Tebow has struck out 69 times, for a .322 strikeout average. Literally striking out more often than getting a hit. And to have 7 fielding errors in 64 games is not exactly awe-inspiring defense either.

Now if you were to look at ticket sales for the Columbia Fireflies this year, the average attendance for home games was a little over 5,000, which is a 40% increase over the previous year. Gee, I wonder why that happened. I guess now it is just Port St. Lucie’s turn to share in the money machine that is Tim Tebow. Because it doesn’t seem like they’re needing him to improve the team.

Now to be fair, the Mets’ GM and scouts may see something that the stats don’t show, improvements in the intangibles that go along with being a good baseball player. I for one will be checking back in on ol’ Tim to see if I’m wrong about all this. For now, I’m just going to continue to be annoyed with this because I feel like he might be taking a roster spot and a job from a kid that is more deserving and might actually have a chance at making it to the big leagues, and that would be a shame.

-A

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