The St. Lucie Mets already are witnessing the Tebowmania, even if he still hasn’t played a game for the Single-A affiliate of the New York National League team.
Tuesday’s debut, which was rained out, had 500 advance tickets sales, via David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Typically, the St. Lucie Mets have no advance ticket sales.
“This is to see if he can walk on water,” said one fan who showed up for the game that wasn’t played due to the weather.
And so the ice cream stand that was opened for the first time this season will have to wait a day, as will the tables of No. 15 T-shirts at $28 a pop. Likewise, Tebow will have to wait until a Wednesday doubleheader for the next step in what started last year as a One-Man Fantasy Baseball Camp.
“I’ve got a long way to go,” Tebow said, via Hyde. “But I’ve come a ways, too.”
Not as far as his recent elevation would suggest, however. As Hyde notes, Tebow’s .220 batting average with the low-A Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies was higher than only 10 other players in the entire league. Tebow also struck out 69 times in 64 games, against low-A pitching.
The real question is whether he can do enough to pass the eyeball test at this level to go the next one. Eventually, chances are he’ll land against a level of competition that puts him not only on the wrong side of the Mendoza line, but also dangerously close to the Blutarski line.
Wisely, Tebow isn’t obsessing over that possibility.
“It’s a scary place to get caught up in, the ‘Where’s this going to lead?,’ ‘What’s going to happen to my future?’, ‘What is the next day?'” Tebow said Tuesday, per Hyde. “I get today. Tomorrow’s not promised. I’m going to make the most of today.”
The mindset is admirable. The circumstances remain daunting. For as much as he has overcome to get to this point, it’s about to get a whole lot harder. As long as it remains profitable for the minor league teams that will see an influx of cash thanks to Tebow’s presence, that may not matter.