New York Mets Sign Tim Tebow in Obvious PR Move
The New York Mets signed the now 29 year old Tim Tebow to a minor league contract today. I don’t care what kind of an athlete Tebow is, the chances that he will become a major league player or even a legitimate AAA player starting his professional career at his current age are effectively nil. There is a reason why MLB teams never, ever sign unknown amateur baseball players older than 23 or 24.
The Independent A leagues have created an avenue for a select few players who haven’t been signed by a major league organization by their age 23 seasons to eventually make the majors. However, the Independent-A leagues are professional baseball, typically playing between 96 and 140 games per season.
There is also a hierarchy of Indy-A Leagues, allowing players to move up to better leagues with better competition as their skills develop. A player who has played in the Atlantic League, the American Association or the CanAm League and succeeded there at least has a reasonable chance to succeed at the AA or A+ level when signed into the MLB system.
The one thing I have never understood about Tim Tebow’s football career is why, when it turned out he was too scatter-armed to be a successful NFL quarterback, he didn’t move to another back field position like fullback or halfback. His talents as a running back were always obvious and he was certainly big enough to take the pounding running backs take.
Professional football players with some regularity are moved to other positions than the ones they played in college when they reach the pro ranks, based on where the professional team thinks the player has the best chance of becoming a successful professional player or where the pro team has an unmet need. For example, Bruce Miller, recently released by the San Francisco 49ers for a drunken off-field assault, was a former 7th round draft pick who had played linebacker and defensive line in college, but played his first four years as a pro exclusively at fullback and was slated to play at tight end this upcoming season.
The fact that Tebow, given his obvious athletic and football abilities, did not move to another position to continue his pro career has long made me wonder whether Tebow wasn’t more interested in building his brand and his celebrity than in playing pro football. His turn as a professional baseball player at age 29 doesn’t do anything to erase my suspicion.