The Tebow Watch is back!
And if early reports are any indication, the best place to catch a glimpse of the phenomena may be over the outfield wall.
The football-star-turned-baseball-hopeful arrived at the New York Mets’ Minor League Spring Training Camp and promptly belted out nine home runs during batting practice.
Tebow also took part in other baseball-related drills during his first official day back on the diamond. And in an ancedote reported by NJ.com, he also signed autographs for fans – until the Mets public relations pulled him away for another workout.
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 27, 2017
“I’m not going to worry about what everyone’s writing or what everybody’s thinking or however I’m being marketed,” Tebow said. “I just want to be able to continue the process, enjoy the process, enjoy every day, get to know my teammates and have fun out there.”
Or, more succinctly, “mash taters and ignore haters”, in the words of MLB.com’s Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo.
Some critics have dismissed Tebow’s baseball dream as a mere publicity stunt. ESPN’s Keith Law called him an “imposter pretending to have talent he does not possess,” and that the Mets should be “embarrassed when they’re done counting their money.”
Still, comments such as those haven’t deterred the former Heisman winner. If anything – it may have fueled his competitive desire. Tebow spent the offseason training with and learning from a fellow Jacksonville, Florida resident: former New York Met Daniel Murphy, who was an All-Star last year and had the second-highest batting average in the National League.
“He’s as much as an addict for sports as I am,” Tebow said. “Even Thanksgiving morning, we were out there hitting before he had to go back to his wife and his family. That’s how addicted he is, but it’s also how helpful he was to me.”
The next step for Tebow: more training and (hopefully) a few Grapefruit League games. It’d be his first game action since last year’s Arizona Fall League, where he hit .194.
And even if he never makes it to the majors, the former quarterback says he’s going to enjoy the ride.
“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,” Tebow said. “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.”
For more Tim Tebow – check out his interview with CBN’s Abby Robertson.