By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor
If one is to believe that Tim Tebow will become a fan favorite at Citi Field in a few weeks step right up and get your tickets for Opening Day. “TebowMania” continued Wednesday afternoon in Port St. Lucie and his presence in the Mets lineup resembled a spectacle that WWE superstars will exhibit in a few weeks at WrestleMania.
For all intents and purposes, Tebow is a fan spectacle and nothing else. So as much as the Heisman Trophy winner has caught on with fans there is no hope to see TebowMania at Citi Field and not anytime soon. He needs the baseball Gods, and the Mets, unless they completely fail to expectations, will keep TebowMania waiting until Tim Tebow finds out this was just a fantasy.
This is not a knock on his credibility and making a transition from one sport to another. By all means has been done and this is not the intent to mock Tim Tebow who has proved to be a role model to many. But this is not a Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders that made the transition from football to baseball and playing two sports at the same time.
This is more about the New York Mets and their future with Tim Tebow. Honestly, there is no plan for Tebow and the Mets, perhaps with brief stint as a minor league player at some point this Summer as a way to get more fans into the ballpark at MCU Park in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Cyclone in their short-A season.
Again, the Mets intent is to win a World Series and TebowMania is not the answer. A draw at the gate, yes, because TebowMania and the spectacle is a ticket seller but the Mets will have no issue with selling tickets this season or next with the roster as constructed, and the names of Yoenis Cespedes, Noah Syndergaard and that pitching staff will keep the Mets as a viable contender.
Writing about TebowMania is a way to sell whatever newspapers remain on the newsstand and we report because this is news and a sports story working hand-in-hand. To ignore Tim Tebow and the pursuit of this transition is not so-called “Fake News” as someone says in the White House and there is more of an emphasis on comings and goings of the long spring training schedule.
With that in mind, the Mets continue to prepare for their season opener in 25 days at Citi Field. Manager Terry Collins and minus a few participating in the World Baseball Classic is focused on comprising that roster and Tim Tebow is not one of those 25 men that will come up north.
Instead, there is more of a focus on analyzing and getting a close look at how this transition from quarterback to baseball player takes place. That includes watching every at bat and of course the spectacle of fans getting that photo and purchasing something at the concession stands has anything with the name of Tim Tebow.
Yes, this is a part of TebowMania and the Mets. HIs first at bat and Tebow could not handle a fastball. His 0-for-3 day at the plate was analyzed more than the fastballs that were thrown by Syndergaard who is designated as the Opening Day starter.
And there were the fans who watched the swing and cheered for Tebow on deck, at the plate and his return to the dugout after striking out twice.
TebowMania was discussed in dugouts of the Mets and Red Sox. There was more talk about Tim Tebow the quarterback who led the Denver Broncos to a memorable overtime win over the Steelers in the 2011 playoffs. That was TebowMania the football player and any dramatics as a professional baseball player will not top that.
The destination for TebowMania? That is pure speculation when the Mets break camp later this month. For all intents and purposes the circus down in Florida will slowly come to an end and the Mets can focus on their upcoming season of anticipation.
Now it’s a spectacle and if this was indeed a reported favor to lure Cespedes back to the Mets, because of a friendly agreement with an agent, then mission accomplished.
A good man, yes, that is Tim Tebow. A baseball player he is not and a spectacle he is. As he said, “I know a lot of other people will sensationalize it and regardless of what happened it will be the best day or the worst day of all time. But for me, It;s just a day.”
And for the Mets and their fans, just another day of TebowMania.
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