And so it goes. This week, the Lord taketh Alex Rodriguez and the Lord giveth Tim Tebow. On Tuesday morning the misunderstood ex-quarterback announced he would be pursuing a career in baseball. Tebow is basically implying that baseball is easier than football, a game he could never quite master, and he might be right. Take, for example, the popularity of amateur recreational slow-pitch softball compared to flag football. People prefer to leave football to the professionals, and Tim is finally saying the same thing.
Proving that this was more than a publicity stunt, former major league catcher Chad Moeller, who has been training with Tebow, offered the following statement: “I truly believe Tim has the skill set and potential to achieve his goal of playing in the major leagues and based on what I have seen over the past two months, it could happen relatively quickly.” Moeller’s definition of “major-league talent” isn’t exactly trustworthy, as he played most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But let’s push the limits of our imagination and say Tebow is for real and meditate on his MLB career.
What position would he play? As a former quarterback, the obvious position would be pitcher. Yet, Tebow’s bat is thought to be too powerful to be kept out of a lineup. Teebs hit .494 in high school, which, if translated to the majors, would be a major embarrassment to Ted Williams. Williams would probably unfreeze himself to go head to head against Tebow in the 2017 Home Run Derby. To get his bat in the lineup everyday, but still utilize his arm, he could be put at third base. Tebow played outfield in high school, but we would have to assume he would want to maximize the spotlight on himself and play some infield. Throwing only 90 feet to first base would improve his pass completion percentage greatly. His NFL career pass completion sits at 47.9%, which, okay, not great, basically every other throw would be an error in MLB. But if he’s also getting a hit every other at bat like he did in high school, this could be balanced out. So what team is in God’s plan for the power-hitting third baseman?
New York Yankees
The Yankees have found themselves in an interesting position. They have the second-best farm system, but it doesn’t matter because they don’t have any stars. With Mark Teixeira retiring at season’s end and Alex Rodriguez gone, the Yankees are in need of someone to get them in the headlines again. Maybe they even knew about Tebow’s upcoming audition, so they released A-Rod before the season’s end to clear up a spot on the 40-man roster. The future isn’t going to provide any celebrities considering top prospect Clint Frazier is kind of weird looking. On the field, their current third baseman, Chase Headley, is still “chasing” his glory days with the Padres, and hasn’t lived up to the Yankees expectations.
The Indians are contending for their first division title since 2007. They recently DFA’d Juan Uribe, and current third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (Nickname: Lonnie Baseball) isn’t getting the job done. Cleveland fans have a bad taste in their mouths for players whose nicknames are just the sport they play as their last name, after Johnny Football decided drugs and alcohol were more important than winning. Fans could place their trust in Tebow, whose biggest vice is ice cream, to take the game seriously. Tim’s work ethic and religious views would fit in well with this mid-western city, who are currently reaching to their faith to ask why LeBron James is still a free agent.
On Saturday night, young third baseman Nick Castellanos, in the middle of a breakout year, had his hand broken by a wild pitch, and the Tigers playoff chances might have broken with it. With Cameron Maybin, Jordan Zimmermann, and Castellanos on the disabled list, this team could use a prayer to make the playoffs, and Tebow is basically a prayer in human form. Between Tyler Collins flipping off fans and Miguel Cabrera fighting off his alcoholism demons, his positive attitude and religious ways could lift up a clubhouse that needs Jesus. Not sure how the pious Tebow would respond to the temptation of being in the same room of Kate Upton, who would surely be around from time to time to watch her man pitch.
Los Angeles Angels
Has there ever been a more perfect team for Tim Tebow? Aside for their name, this flailing team needs something to get going. Yunel Escobar is currently manning third for the club, sitting at 0.7 WAR–not enough. I am no mathematician but I am guessing a .494 average would be worth something like 17 WAR, getting them in the playoffs. Not to mention Mike Trout could probably learn a thing or two about leadership from Tim Tebow. The Angels currently sit at 17 GB in the AL West, something Tebow would never let happen to an NFL team he was in charge of.
Los Angeles Dodgers
If the City of Angels’ American League team doesn’t take a shot at Tebow, expect the Dodgers to try their hand. The Dodgers have the payroll and the need to afford a player of Tebow’s caliber. In fact, they even saw him workout prior to the season, and liked what they saw. Their third base chart currently sits at Justin Turner, Chase Utley, and Howie Kendrick. With the latter two aging veterans being more than dispensable, Turner could slide back to second base and make room for baseball’s new star. Consider Tebow’s arm and the Dodgers starting pitching injury woes. Tebow could make spot starts or pitch in relief at times. New manager Dave Roberts would be overjoyed thinking about all the different ways he could use Tebow. Your turn to learn third base, Madison Bumgarner.