The announcement that Tim Tebow was going to try and play professional baseball was a move that incited snickers across the country.
The date was Aug. 9, and most of the public immediately laughed off the idea that Tebow could now go and play baseball. In all fairness, Tebow was a great baseball player in high school.
He had a batting average of .429 his junior year, and word from some major league scouts indicated there was a chance he would have been drafted into baseball right out of high school. However, his junior year of high school was in 2004, and he is now 29 years old.
Between the last time he played baseball competitively and now, Tebow has won the BCS championship twice, won the Heisman trophy, become a first-round pick in the NFL and secured a job with ESPN.
There were about three weeks of ridicule toward Tebow, including from me, for thinking anybody would ever sign him to play baseball. I was surprised to see that 28 teams actually made the effort to send a scout to Los Angeles to watch his workout.
Though the turnout was impressive, according to Tebow’s agent, there were a few teams who were considered contenders to try and sign Tebow.
As a baseball fan, I never thought there was a chance Tebow would be given a real opportunity. Then I woke up on Sept. 8 to see that not only did Tebow sign a contract, but that my favorite team, the New York Mets, signed him.
I was definitely stunned, but I cannot honestly say I was speechless. Among fans, there was a popular theory that the signing had less to do with baseball and much more to do with publicity.
That was also a question posed to Mets’ General Manager Sandy Alderson when he announced the signing.
Alderson said, “This decision was strictly driven by baseball. This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort.”
This was right about the time that details about the contract started pouring out. First, is that it is a minor league contract, meaning there are no guarantees about Tebow making a roster, let alone reaching the Major Leagues.
He did, however, receive an incredible signing bonus. He was given $100,000, which is the maximum amount the Mets could possibly pay him without giving up a draft pick. Suffice it to say, this irked quite a few minor league baseball players.
Cody Decker is also a 29-year-old minor league baseball player. The only difference between the two of them is that Decker has thus far played seven minor league seasons.
After the announcement, Decker tweeted, “Just so we are clear. Tim Tebow just got a 100K signing bonus to play baseball…. Mine was 1K….”
He is one of many players — and fans — who doesn’t believe Tebow has earned the chance or his signing bonus.