The media circus has left town, but Tim Tebow remains.
The people who expected him to fail or quit have lost interest. For the rest who follow Tebow’s baseball journey, skepticism has turned into curiosity.
As Tebow toils away at his craft, the Mets are strongly considering a move that could legitimize Tebow’s baseball future.
The Mets could pull the trigger and promote Tebow to a higher minor-league classification.
From the New York Post:
Tim Tebow’s recent surge at Single-A Columbia — he has a .849 OPS over his last 16 games — hasn’t gone unnoticed by team officials.
According to a club source, there has been discussion about moving the former Heisman Trophy winner to a higher level within the minors, but such a jump likely won’t occur until after the All-Star Game in midseason.
Overall, Tebow has a .250/.330/.370 slash line with two homers and 11 RBIs in 28 games for Columbia.
The Mets aren’t the only ones impressed by Tebow. He’s also earned the respect of his peers with his tireless work ethic and positive attitude.
From the New York Daily News:
“It’s a grind for sure,” said Fireflies catcher Brandon Brosher, who crushed a mammoth home run to left-center field in the fourth inning Sunday. “There’s no glam in the bus trip.”
It’s all part of the acclimation process for Tebow, who’s embraced his new reality as a low-level prospect about as well as you could expect from a global icon.
“I definitely don’t feel above that at all,” Tebow, 29, said of the bus rides.
Brosher admitted he was “skeptical” when he first learned Tebow would be joining the Fireflies. But Tebow has earned the respect of his teammates the only way he knows how: working his tail off and offering unrelenting positivity.
“He does everything the right way,” Brosher said. “He’s definitely one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. And I really respect what he’s doing.”
“He’s the first one to pick us up and let us know we have so much to look forward to in the game and even in life,” added Paez, who also homered Sunday. “He’s a great influence to have in there.”
“I’m just focused on this game today and facing a lefty that we faced last time and trying to be on rhythm timing with him and have a good approach, quality at-bats,” Tebow said before the game. “That’s my focus. Nothing else.”
The stands in Lakewood were littered with No. 15 Tebow jerseys Sunday — Broncos, University of Florida, Mets and even Eagles, where he spent training camp in 2015 before being cut.
“I just look up to him,” said Point Pleasant native Matt Kimak, who held a copy of Tebow’s first book, ‘Through My Eyes,’ in his hands. “My work ethic and the way I live is just based off of everything that I’ve read about him or heard about him. …He’s just the perfect role model.”
The Fireflies will play a doubleheader at Lakewood on Monday before embarking on the 12-hour drive home to Columbia — no stops this time.
Tebow will nestle into his mattress and endure the journey alongside his teammates, slogging through the grind, the same way all minor leaguers who came before him did.
He may have a New York Times bestseller. He may be the most recognizable minor-league baseball player in the nation. He may have a past full of publicity and fame.
But now, he’s just another player pursuing his dream.
“If you get to know him, he’s not one of those hot-shot celebrities that can’t deal with it,” Paez said. “He’s doing it because he wants to make it to the big leagues, and he knows that this is the first step.”
The reasons to doubt Tebow are dwindling. He just may turn out to be a decent baseball player, which is a feat in itself after being away from the sport for so long.
Even though the national media and camera crews have faded, the Mets are still scrutinizing closely. If they choose to promote Tebow, it will be well-earned.