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a frenzy of attention in spring

  • April 24, 2019
    The New York Mets announcement that theyre signing Tim Tebow to a minor league contract elicited the predictable array of snark and sarcasm from the teams fans on social media. Typical Mets, said a few cynical Mets die-hards, who are apparently unaware that the team did reach the World Series in 2015.Amid the negativity and resistance to Tebows being handed a uniform and given an opportunity to take his shot, the natural question is: Why?Why is it such an affront to the baseball community for a team to take a flier on a 29-year-old mega-athlete who can run a 60-yard dash in 6.7 seconds and hit a baseball 450 feet (albeit in batting practice)?And whats so abhorrent about that pursuit generating interest in the game and selling some extra tickets in spring training or Tebows first minor league stop? Is Tebow fatigue so rampant and ingrained in the sporting consciousness that were not the least bit curious in seeing how this story plays out?I get it: The chances of Tebow ever making it to the majors are roughly equivalent to that of?Jose Bautista and Rougned Odor becoming Facebook friends.Tebow hasnt played organized ball since 2005, so hes 6,000 at-bats and hundreds of hours of backfield development time behind the curve. During his two-hour audition in Los Angeles last week, Tebow looked rigid and mechanical in the outfield and displayed a throwing arm that was surprisingly weak by former Heisman Trophy quarterback standards.Tebow looks imposing in a form-fitting T-shirt, but that 6-foot-3, 255-pound frame (with 7.3 percent body fat) isnt doing him any favors. Hes not busting through the line anymore in pursuit of the goal line, so he might want to pare back on the weightlifting.That said, I talked to several scouts at Dedeaux Field who found snippets of encouragement. One evaluator took note of Tebows weak arm but said the results were better when Tebow chased down balls on the run and came up throwing without obsessing over his mechanics. Former big league reliever David Aardsma, who threw live batting practice to Tebow, said after the workout that Tebow was gripping the bat too tightly and looks more natural on the back field when hes not trying to impress 40-something scouts.The Mets decision was a collaboration between chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson, who took the plunge despite minimal interaction with the teams scouting folks or baseball operations people. That helps fuel the perception of the Tebow signing as a circus, publicity stunt, dog-and-pony show and all the other derogatory terms that will be used to characterize it in the coming weeks and months.The flip side is that Sandy Alderson is an innovator with a Hall of Fame-caliber résumé. So is Atlanta Braves?vice chairman John Schuerholz, who acquired two-sport stars Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan earlier in his career and was on board with the teams pursuit of Tebow. While some clubs dispatched area scouts to Los Angeles to watch Tebow out of due diligence, the Braves sent special assistant Roy Clark and amateur scouting director Brian Bridges to the showcase and were serious from the outset. When Clark and Bridges delivered their scouting reports to the front office, there was a lot more discussion about Tebows bat speed than the potential impact on ticket sales with the Class A Carolina Mudcats.Baseball talent evaluators point out, correctly, that Michael Jordan failed in his brief fling with the game. But Jordan did hit .202 with 30 stolen bases for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, and Tebows swing is infinitely better than Jordans. After last weeks workout, USA Today quoted a scout who said Tebow looked like an actor trying to play baseball. Other than Robert Redford in The Natural, how many actors do you know who can hit a baseball farther than 400 feet?Could Tebow possibly block a young outfielder in the Mets system? Sure. But thats their problem, not ours. Could he generate a frenzy of attention in spring training at the expense of the other players? Yes. But thats a problem that ace PR man Jay Horwitz will have to address, not us.In the 2008, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed two pitchers out of a reality TV show in India. They both washed out in the minor leagues, but the 2014 movie Million Dollar Arm grossed $39.2 million on a $25 million budget and garnered 63 percent positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. If a publicity stunt is fun because it involves two scrappy, anonymous underdogs, why cant it be fun with a former Heisman Trophy winner whos a fish out of water?If this venture ends the way most people expect it to, Tebow will get discouraged by the bus trips and the failure in the minors and go back to his TV work with ESPN. If that happens, baseball purists can nod their heads in agreement and say, See, we told you this game is a lot harder than everybody thinks.Or maybe Tebow is less of a joke and sticks around for more than a season. Either way, he gets to see his quest through to fruition with no what ifs.For me, you pursue what you love regardless of what else happens, Tebow said last week in Los Angeles. If you fail or fall flat on your face, and thats the worst thing that can happen, its OK.In a roundabout way, that same thinking applies to his new employers, the Mets. Their partnership with Tebow might end with a big, fat oh-fer. But at least theyll know they tried. Black Air Jordan 3 Retro . It is a cliché dragged out by fans and pundits regularly when discussions take place around which teams are better than others. Womens Air Jordan 3 Retro . -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson asked his players a simple question during Fridays morning shootaround: How many of them had ever been on a team 14 games over . . Calgary scored on the first shift, and Michael Cammalleri scored twice as the Flames cruised to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Blue Air Jordan 3 Retro . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. Air Jordan 3 Retro Sale . 9. Price, heading to the 2014 Olympics for Canada, was named the First Star after posting wins in three starts with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .971 save percentage.Ross Barkley admitted he has been through a difficult spell after scoring his first Premier League goal since the opening day of the season as Everton beat West Ham 2-0 on Sunday. The midfielders performances have come under scrutiny in the last few months and he has been dropped from the England squad and also left out by Ronald Koeman against Manchester City.But he was man of the match against the Hammers at Goodison Park and wrapped up the win when he finished from Romelu Lukakus cross in the 76th minute. Barkley produced a man of the match performance to help Everton to victory over West Ham in the Premier League It meant a lot to me, Barkley told Sky Sports. I havent scored for a few games now. I came through a difficult spell. Ive just been working hard and today it paid off.Toffees boss Koeman was aalso impressed by the display, calling it one of his best of the season.dddddddddddd Watch highlights of the match He was working hard, he was tackling and offensively he was important in the game, Koeman said. He had some shots on target, Adrian made an incredible save from him in the first half, he scored the second goal, he was the link between the back and the front in creating and thats the play we want to see from our midfield.Thats what you need to do and then, normally, these kind of players, with the individual qualities that they have, they make the difference. Also See: Everton 2-0 West Ham As it happened Koeman pleased with nervy win Roo return would be patronising ' ' '