Tim Tebow has been scrutinized since he signed with the Mets. Through three minor league games, however, he has hit two home runs. Can it continue?
The minor league baseball season may have just started, but Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow seems to be in mid-season form. On Sunday, he hit his second home run of the season and now has a hit in each of his first three games.
A Lightning Rod
Tebow has gone through more criticism than any player at the Single A level in recent memory, but that has not stopped him from impressing in his first few games as a minor leaguer. He has been a polarizing figure for almost a decade now. Since his college football playing days at Florida, he has been a lightning rod for criticism because of anything from his mechanics to his religious practices. It became even more of a distraction in the NFL, where he played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. But nothing has given him more criticism than his decision to pursue a career in professional baseball.
Since he was signed by the Mets, Tebow has had his fair share of bad press. He had reportedly been warming up in the wrong on deck circle, been mistaken for a ball boy by Rick Porcello and had his mechanics scrutinized (again). Now that he is in South Carolina, he is settling in. Tebow has two home runs in three games, which is good for second in the South Atlantic League. He has even been embraced by the people of Columbia, who are just happy he is not beating their beloved Gamecocks anymore.
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But He Is Having Fun
While Tebow gets bad press, that hasn’t stopped the positives. Tebow is one home run away from the total Michael Jordan put up in 1994 for the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the White Sox. Tebow shouldn’t have a problem eclipsing that total at this rate. Also, it took Jordan 127 games to put up that many home runs. It has only taken a mere three games for Tebow to hit two.
Jordan did, however, drive in 51 runs and steal 30 bases to make up for his 11 fielding errors and .202 average. While Tebow gets his share of criticism about his game, there’s a good shot he is better than His Airness on the diamond.
Through it all, Tebow seems to be having fun and enjoying the opportunity to play professional baseball. He seems to be doing it for all the right reasons and using his platform for positives, saying (per MLB.com):
"“I can honestly sit here before every one of you and say I’ve had so much fun training, pursuing it, getting hits, striking out, whatever it’s been.“Today is just the next day in that process. I’m going to enjoy that. I’m excited about that opportunity to work for this and pursue it, and in the meantime hopefully make some people’s day by giving them a hug or signing an autograph, or getting a couple hits.”"
Hopefully Tebow is able to keep the production going. He is having fun and the fans seem to enjoy it. It is hard to root against a player who has so much joy for the game and cares about the experience he is able to give to the fans. He is still a long shot to make the majors, but with his attitude you can’t help but hope he gets there.