For those who think Tim Tebow’s acquisition was made for the wrong reasons, let’s put to rest any lingering ideas.
The popular commentary which has incessantly followed Tim Tebow everywhere he goes – from the New York Jets, to the SEC Network, and now, in a shocking way, to the New York Mets of Major League Baseball – is that whatever the party that decided to bring in the controversial athlete has ulterior motivation.
Most frequently, you’ll hear the transaction dubbed a so-called “marketing ploy.”
The New York Mets’ signing of Tebow to a minor league contract is no such thing.
It is instead, a pure “baseball move,” just as general manager Sandy Alderson called it.
And here’s why he’s not lying.
First, let’s hear about the narrative. It goes something like this: “The Mets signed Tebow because of the marketing spark he would provide to a money-hungry ownership group’s prized product.”
Now let’s dispel the notion, and rip its legitimacy – or lack thereof – to shreds.
That the Mets would have financial gain in signing a player is, in reality, the motivation for each and every transaction the team makes. From promoting a player from High-A to Double-A, to signing a multimillion dollar contract with a notable free agent, every move has its financial stake. The system, the foundation of which we often forget, runs like clockwork because of that very base – which is money.
Major League Baseball is undoubtedly best classified as a business.
I say this not to disparage the league, but rather to disclaim a notion that money had “nothing” to do with the Tebow signing.
Sounds contradictory to my point, right?
Well, here’s to clarification.
While I acknowledge that the factor of money was not completely absent from the decision-making process as it pertained to signing Tim Tebow (because every baseball decision is essentially driven by financial gain, even if not explicitly figured that way), I submit that his acquisition was by no means a marketing ploy, and instead a move most considered for the interest of winning baseball games.
Because, with Tebow set to start his career in the minor leagues, his signing has no immediate financial implications. In fact, the chances that Tebow actually makes the bigs are stacked against the Heisman Trophy winner, a guy hasn’t played competitive baseball since high school.
In what world – and I say this to those who call this move a marketing ploy – can an unwanted athlete shuffling from one sport to another for the earnest sake of opportunity, who is playing baseball in the instructional league, be a marketable token for a Major League franchise?
For the sake of society – for the sake of humanity – it would be ludicrous to think that Tim Tebow, beloved Florida Gator and disgraced NFL quarterback, can bring in money for the New York Mets in the near future.
The reason is twofold: for one, practically speaking, the Arizona Fall League – where Tebow will play – is MLB property and therefore the Mets have no financial interest; and secondly, to put it bluntly, we’re talking about the Arizona Fall League, a place where most fans are really players’ relatives.
So I’ve beat a dead horse on the immediate marketing prospects presented by Tim Tebow. They are nonexistent.
But to appease the whining objector who thinks the Mets have a financial eye for the future, meaning the highly questionable day on which Tim Tebow actually suits up in a Met uniform, it is apparent that for such an event to happen, Tebow must earn a roster spot.
For him to earn a roster spot, he’ll have to be deserving. And if he’s deserving, and able to produce, then there should be no fuss with the Mets’ potential bank gains.
This is not an apologist defense of Tim Tebow’s athletic talent, as his baseball ability is unseen by the public to this point.
To call the acquisition a marketing ploy simply because of that stated fact – that we don’t know what he can do with a bat or glove – is irresponsible.
We don’t know what Tebow can bring to the table. We do know, however, that scouts and officials from multiple big league clubs liked him enough to pursue him. The Mets rose above those teams and decided to sign him.
When clear heads prevail doubt, you can see that the decision was evidently a baseball one.