IT’S TIM TEBOW’S FIRST INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE WORKOUT DAY!
Come on, you knew it was going to happen.
Oh, and a few other Mets prospects, but there are only a few of the top 30 for the organization present. No big deal or anything.
Can't believe all the attention Gene Cone and Michael Paez are getting at Instructs. Oh, you think it's for Tebow? pic.twitter.com/0VfaaAAy4r— Brooklyn Cyclones (@BKCyclones) September 19, 2016
That, by the way, is the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short-season Single-A minor league team for the Mets. In case you were wondering.
Before getting too far off the beaten track, it’s important to note that Tebow is now a minor league player — because that seems to have gotten lost in all the hubbub with 70 media members present. He’s now one of dozens of players fighting their way to the big leagues, and has binding obligations to the organization. Except when he’s serving as a college football analyst on ESPN.
But that’s beside the point. Tebow is taking baseball quite seriously.
And so is all of Twitter.
There are play-by-play tweets of Tim Tebow playing catch at instructs. I don't feel like today is going to be a good day on the Twitters.— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) September 19, 2016
Tebow just airmailed one from 45 feet. Over the throwing partner and fence. Not sure i've seen that before on this field.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 19, 2016
Tim Tebow not only picking up the baseballs on ground, but carrying bags of baseballs to dugout, just like any other #Mets minor leaguer— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 19, 2016
That throw, tho ...
At least one minor leaguer, Tigers center field prospect Ross Kivett, gaffed at that last tweet.
No way? You're telling me he doesn't have a guy pick the balls up for him...he is one of us ! https://t.co/leQrkxJRYs— M. Ross Kivett (@RossKSU7) September 19, 2016
Buuuuuut anyway, he’s not just any minor leaguer. And that brings with it a certain level of crowd gazing and—oh hey, marketable profit!
Tebow isn’t in the big leagues (yet ... hey, stop laughing), but the Mets have what you’d call a golden opportunity. Ordinarily players’ names can’t be used for profit until they reach the majors (union stuff), but there’s an exception.
Because of an agreement Tebow made with Majestic Athletic, "which allows the company to merchandise him before he makes the majors," the Mets can sell as much Tebow memorabilia as they’d like. And the Mets get to keep every red cent.
It didn’t take long for Tebow sales to skyrocket, either.
But as of 12:30 p.m. ET, the Tebow jerseys are No. 1 at the team’s official site. Ahead of Noah Syndergaard, Your Name, Darryl Freaking Strawberry, Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, and Yoenis Cespedes.
I feel sorta bad for Matt Reynolds, because, well, that’s his jersey number. At least, it was, until the Mets repurposed it for Tebow. Now, you can’t even buy a Matt Reynolds jersey on the team’s official website. That’s rough, man.
There’s only one thing to be done.
Aaaanyway. That, and the entire Tebow signing, has created quite the mixed reaction on Twitter. This entire thread is really something:
What does #MetsTwitter feel about the Tebow jerseys already being among the most popular?— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) September 19, 2016
@MarcCarig Is the jersey money going to be used to retain Céspedes? If so, it's all good— John W. Tomac (@johnwtomac) September 19, 2016
Not sure it works exactly that way, but sure. OK.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Tebow bats (no word as to whether those are for sale yet, though).
Lest we forget, there are the fans — over 400 of them, actually. Don’t expect the crowds to thin out, either, in the event you’re planning a last minute I got really sick and can’t come to work for a week trip. If anything, they’re expected to get bigger. For instructional league. When playoff baseball is about to begin. And other minor leaguers just want to get their work in. Or recover.
But that’s baseball, and sometimes that’s why fans flock to random events. Whether Tebow is truly serious about his career in the game, it’s a marketing gold mine for the Mets organization. You’d take advantage of the chance, too, if you could.
Now, I’ve never really understood the effusive adoration for a person of fame. Not when I was a kid, and not as an adult interacting with Major League Baseball players and staff on a daily basis for my job. The closest I came to being googly eyed over someone famous was when I figure skated competitively throughout my childhood, and wanted to become good enough to meet and compete against Michelle Kwan ... but that was so that I could win and kick her butt. So this, this I don’t get and never will. But to each their own, I suppose.
But the takeaway from it all, is that at least there was fun to be had. By all. Or at least, by Tebow. Not sure about his new teammates because no one’s talking about them or how their workouts went. Let the Tebow madness begin (and you thought it was nuts before, silly you).
Tim Tebow: It was a lot of fun pic.twitter.com/MDUWWC9hog— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 19, 2016
Tim Tebow says some of the young players took pictures of him in #Mets clubhouse, and told stories, but no autographs yet— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 19, 2016