The stage was set for Tim Tebow: two runners on and the Mets rallying in the eighth inning.
“Gosh, try to hit a dinger and win it,’’ Tebow said, via the New York Post. “That’s what I wanted to do.’’
What he didn’t want to do is strike out – but that’s what he did.
And thus ended the Tim Tebow Grapefruit League experiment. The former Heisman-winning QB went 0-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games with the Mets’ major-league squad this week, reaching base only when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday. After Friday’s loss, manager Terry Collins said he doesn’t plan to use Tebow in any more Grapefruit League games this spring. But he doesn’t consider the brief call-up a failure.
“The speed of the game is really something he hasn’t seen before,” Terry Collins said, via the New York Daily News. “The other day was his first game, he went back and took live (batting practice) and he saw better at-bats today. He was more rested at the plate, a lot more comfortable. All things considered I thought he did a nice job.”
In true Tebow form, the 29-year-old aspiring outfielder also was upbeat:
“You want to be an inspiration in how you carry yourself, and why you’re going after something and how hard you’re going for something,” Tebow told MLB.com. “But I think also for me, it’s been improvement the entire time — trying to focus on the improvement, not just the results. … I’m just going to continue to work and continue to build, and believe in the process. It’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems.”
So for now, Tebow will play in relative obscurity on minor-league fields in Florida and then on Rookie or Single-A fields as he pursues this unlikely dream. But don’t worry, that first non-batting practice homer surely will make headlines.