The much maligned former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is now even more maligned because he plans to pursue a career in Major League Baseball.
Although Tebow has been working for ESPN as a college football analyst, he has spent the last year training to play baseball and will soon have a workout to which all 30 MLB teams will be invited. Tebow played baseball in high school and was good enough that the Los Angeles Angels were interested in drafting him. Of course, he ultimately chose football. Well, let’s just say he treated football a lot better than its treated him.
When I looked at Twitter in response to this news I was amazed by the level of animus towards Tebow to this very day. We have a very sorry state of affairs when Tim Tebow is more hated for being a Christian than Aaron Hernandez is for killing a human being, possibly several.
I spent part of the morning on Twitter engaging with Nick Filipowski, a sports reporter for WKBW, the ABC affiliate in Buffalo about this story. Filipowski objected to Tebow being signed because he’s Tebow, not because he’s a good player. I asked isn’t there a possibility that Tebow is in fact a good ballplayer and further inquired what harm would be in the 30 MLB teams taking a look at what he’s got. Filipowski basically said that Tebow would be taking away an opportunity from someone who has worked their whole life trying to play baseball. And what about Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson? Filipowski replied that Wilson was a “legit” prospect who eventually gave up baseball for football. Well, not entirely. The Colorado Rockies traded him to the Texas Rangers and Wilson has been in spring training with the Rangers in both 2014 and 2015. I also reminded Filipowski of the Angels’ interest in Tebow when he was in high school. Filipowski said Tebow lacked commitment because he didn’t turn in his information card. That doesn’t change the fact that the Angels were interested in Tebow. Who knows? They could still be interested in him now.
Tim Tebow turns 29 on Sunday which is an old age to begin pursuing a professional baseball career. I don’t know what kind of baseball skills Tebow in fact possesses at present. He’s aiming to be a position player, but given that Tebow is a southpaw I’m sure MLB clubs will be curious as to his abilities as a pitcher. Left-handed pitching is a scarce commodity and if Tebow can throw north of 90 MPH there will be interest. Obviously, there are no guarantees anyone will be interested in signing him at all. Tebow might very well fall short of what is necessary to be a viable big league player. So be it. But why can’t he try?