Because Tim Tebow hasn’t played competitively since 2005, it’s time to take a step back and realize exactly how long ago that was. America witnessed the following events just over a decade ago:
- George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term as President of the United States of America
- The New England Patriots won their third consecutive Super Bowl title
- YouTube became a thing
- The New York Stock Exchange experienced the greatest first-hour trading ever witnessed
- Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France before vacating those victories and earning a lifetime ban from cycling
- Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and neighboring states, killing over 1,800 people
- The U.S. housing bubble began to burst
- The first NFL game played outside of the United States occurred in Mexico City, Mexico between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals
- The Chicago White Sox won the team’s first World Series since 1917
- The Unemployment Rate fell below 5% for the first time since August 2001
- Luther Vandross passed away at the age of 54
- Tim Tebow played his last high school game as a junior
Yep, all that happened in 2005. It’s been a while, eh?
ESPN reported on Saturday that the Atlanta Braves were expressing legitimate interest in signing Tim Tebow to a minor league contract. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports previously reported a Venezuelan winter league team offered a contract to the former NFL quarterback before his August tryout. While this may come as a surprise to some, signing Tebow would make a lot of sense for the Atlanta Braves.
First, the Braves are set to open a new stadium this year after playing at Turner Field since 1997. While the current major league roster is filled with players making affordable salaries, signing Tebow would lead to merchandise flying off shelves. I understand revenue generated from merchandise sales won’t pay for the new stadium, but it could certainly help fill seats should he ever step to the plate. In the meantime, fans everywhere will purchase tickets to watch Tim Tebow take hacks for a minor league affiliate.
Second, why the hell not? He’s one of the purest athletes ever, and works as hard as any player in any sport. I admit, after watching videos of his workout in Los Angeles, which 28 MLB teams attended, his swing needs significant attention. Tebow attacks pitches from a batting stance with minimal movement. Though his head remains calm and steady, he’ll need to generate more momentum with an effective loading technique to be consistent at any level. His footwork in the outfield is suspect at best. The lefty’s throws were respectable from right field, but I can’t see him playing anywhere other than left field should he receive an opportunity.
Third, he doesn’t need money. Signing Tebow won’t put Atlanta in the red. Without knowing inside information, I’d be willing to bet he’d exchange a real chance for a league minimum salary.
Fourth, Tim Tebow would make an outstanding clubhouse presence. Despite not having played in a baseball game since 2005, he would become an instant leader and mentor in the clubhouse to younger players. There should be a blank check for any guy who can provide that service for a team with countless prospects to develop.
No doubt it’s been a while since Tim Tebow took a competitive hack. For some people, however, certain sport skills return as easily as bike riding. Tebow has the basic baseball talent and above-average physical acumen to showcase his abilities on the diamond. It remains to be seen however if he’ll garner a real opportunity to succeed at the professional level without being signed primarily as a dog and pony show to generate revenue.