Tim Tebow wants to play baseball. But he’s apparently not interested in spending much (if any) time playing minor league baseball, because at the minor league level it would often be less about honing his baseball skills and more about marketing a modern-day Mighty Casey to those who would buy tickets and jerseys and hats and bobbleheads and food and other stuff.
“You’re taking a 28-year-old,” Tebow’s baseball trainer, Chad Moeller, told USA Today regarding the player who will be 28 for only three more days. “You know what you’re getting. It’s either going to work or it’s not, and it’s going to have to be fast-tracked.”
Gary Sheffield, who is trumpeting Tebow’s talents but whose financial or other interest isn’t as obvious as Moeller’s, suggests that Tebow could make it to the major leagues within two years. That means Tebow would have to spend plenty of time in the minors, and it’s unclear whether Tebow really wants to do that.
“Do I think [teams are] selfishly going to want to sell some seats? Yeah. And he knows it,” Moeller said of Tebow. “And that’s why he really hopes [and] wants a team that thinks he can do this, and not just, ‘We’re going to send him to every level and sell a whole bunch of seats and sell a whole bunch of merchandise and we’re just going to have a sideshow.’ He knows he’s partially a sideshow to start with. But he does want a team that actually thinks this is for real and thinks this is someone that can help us.”
Even then, Tebow will likely have to humble himself and accept the lifestyle of a minor-league player.
“That’s buses, or really bad flights, and not making close to what he’s making probably taking much better flights talking to people or doing TV or whatever. It’s a big, big difference. And so he knows those things,” Moeller said.
Moeller’s comments tend to underscore the notion that Tebow doesn’t want to fully and truly climb the mountain in pursuit of his dream, and that he hopes to get to the top by taking short cuts due to his advanced at. Whether he has the talent at his advanced age to justify short cuts remains to be seen.
If he does, the headline should be that he missed his true calling in life, because if he can cobble together a Major League Baseball career on on the doorstep of 30, Tebow could have played baseball a lot longer, and made a lot more money, if he had embraced baseball immediately after high school.
Which is, frankly, what anyone good enough to play baseball or basketball at the professional level should do. Yes, I prefer football to those sports but, no, I’m not blind to the reality that, all things being equal, it makes a lot more sense to play baseball or basketball professionally than football.