Tim Tebow reported to spring training on Saturday. Oh, and the New York Mets were there too, for some reason.
New York Mets prospect Tim Tebow has been in camp for about two days, and he’s already gone viral on social media and turned down a football contract.
The former NFL quarterback somehow found time in his busy celebrity schedule to take some swings in the cage:
Tebow BP pic.twitter.com/xhr6RsZLUO
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) February 16, 2019
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen intends to start Tebow off at triple-A Syracuse in 2019. If he plays well at all, he could see MLB at-bats—and sports news cycle domination—before season’s end.
That’s especially true if the Mets find themselves out of contention.
The 31-year-old slashed a surprisingly productive .273/.336/.399 with six home runs and 36 RBI at double-A in 2018. However, he struck out 103 times in just 298 plate appearances.
He may have debuted with the woeful Mets in September last season, but he broke his hand in July.
Now, Tebow is ready to prove that he’s fully recovered and back on track in spring training. He’ll first have to get past the distractions created by his fame, though.
His first press conference on Saturday was a typical message to his haters and self-help sermon to his fans. It’s been viewed 4.3 million times on Twitter:
"You’re always going to have critics and naysayers and people that are going to tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t."
Baseball aside, there's no doubt he's an inspirational guy pic.twitter.com/FDTwUuKXI2
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) February 16, 2019
The former New York Jets backup also answered questions about a potential return to football.
The brand-new Alliance of American Football (AAF) and coach Steve Spurrier came knocking, but Tebow politely turned them away.
Tim Tebow says Coach Spurrier keeps calling him about playing in the AAF ? pic.twitter.com/d19jbJovsS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 16, 2019
Spurrier, now with the AAF’s Orlando Apollos, won two BCS National Championships with Tebow quarterbacking his University of Florida team.
The Mets’ first spring training contest is on Feb. 23 at 1:10 (ET) against the Atlanta Braves. SNY will handle the TV coverage, and WCBS 880 will pick up the radio broadcast.
Tune in to see if Tebow can top the 1-for-18 show he put on last spring.