- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2017

In case you somehow haven’t heard, former Heisman trophy winner and aspiring professional baseball player Tim Tebow has been promoted to the New York Mets‘ high-A ball affiliate in St. Lucie, Florida.

With the former Florida quarterback spending less time at the low-A level than Nationals star Bryce Harper did, some pundits are giving serious consideration to the possibility that Tebow could appear in a major league game before season’s end.

In fact, Clay Travis of Fox Sports Radio guaranteed Tebow will play for the Mets in 2017.

“The Mets are awful, they’re out of the race already. They’re like 12 games back” Travis pointed out on his show “Outkick the Coverage” Monday. “The Mets are gonna need to get people in the stands, they are going to need to sell gear. They need to have a reason why Mets fans care at all about late September and early October, and [Tim Tebow]’s gonna be the answer. Tim Tebow’s going to play in the major leagues this year.”

Tebow’s promotion is being widely criticized as a marketing ploy by the Mets to sell tickets and merchandise, given the 29-year old’s less than impressive slash line with the Columbia Fireflies, New York’s low-A team. Through 64 games with Columbia, Tebow hit just .220 with three home runs, striking out 69 times and committing seven errors.

Dan Patrick of NBC Sports questioned the Mets‘ intentions in promoting Tebow, predicting the organization would keep moving him up the ranks regardless of his performance.

“‘We used him for promotional value here, and now we’re gonna get the word out that he’s going to Port St. Lucie. Then after that, he’s going to go to AA,’” Patrick said on his radio show, sarcastically impersonating New York general manager Sandy Alderson. “‘And then AAA in August, and don’t be surprised if he’s on the [major league] roster in September as we’re 25 games out of first place.’ That’s the feeling I get.”

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick also noted that it “wouldn’t be unprecedented for the Mets to bring in Tebow for a late-season look-see,” but went on to say that such a move could easily backfire.

“The fan base is already angry over this fiasco of a season, and Mets management would risk a major PR backlash and put Tebow in a difficult spot by promoting him to the big club this quickly after he has barely hit .200 in the minors,” Crasnick wrote Tuesday. “There are enough cynics who view Tebow’s foray into baseball as a cash grab and a circus without the Mets helping to feed the narrative.”

Regardless of if Tebow ends up playing in the majors this season, it’s pretty remarkable that this is even a remote possibility. This time last year, Tebow hadn’t played in a competitive baseball game since high school, and now there’s a discussion about him playing on the game’s highest level.

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