Red Sox

Friar: Mets signing Tebow is an insult to real baseball players


Friar: Mets signing Tebow is an insult to real baseball players

Nick Friar played Division I college baseball but never made it into the professional ranks. He reacts to the Mets' signing of Tim Tebow . . . 

The inconceivable has happened.

Not only is Tim Tebow once again a professional athlete, but he’s making his comeback in a sport the 29-year-old hadn’t played since high school.

RELATED: Tim Tebow signs with New York Mets

Apparently the Mets thought his month of preparation was enough to earn him a spot in the Instructional League, and they signed him to a minor-league deal early Thursday morning.

As with anything Tebow has done, reaction is split into two camps -- supporters and haters.

I fully admit I'm a “hater” in this instance. Although to say this issue is important enough to have that strong of an opinion is giving this PR move more traction than it deserves.

Regardless, there’s a litany of reasons why this is aggravating.

As a former Division I college pitcher -- albeit an average one -- I can attest that you work to achieve success so some MLB scout is impressed enough to take a flyer on you. Even if just to pitch in the minors as an “organizational player” -- someone who can fill out a roster in order for the real prospects have a team to play on.

Making it just that far that isn't always enough, though it beats not making it at all.  But I get it. I respect the game’s a business -- not just a game -- and I understand I wasn’t good enough.

But to see a guy who throws like Johnny Damon, but can’t track a fly ball or hit with the same consistency as Damon, get a chance just because of his pedigree in another sport is insulting.

Mind you, I use the term “pedigree” loosely. Tebow deserves credit for being a successful college football player, but there’s a reason he didn’t make it as a professional quarterback.

So for those who think this is similar to Michael Jordan signing with the White Sox, save it.

Jordan -- who was rumored to leave basketball for reasons besides the desire to follow in his father’s footsteps -- set the bar in the NBA. That doesn’t mean his move was entirely logical, but it doesn't leave the same bad taste in your month as Tebow's. After all, Tebow was a failure in his pro sport whereas Jordan was perhaps the greatest of all time in his.

I guess having players nicknamed “Thor” or “The Dark Knight” doesn’t provide enough chatter in Queens these days. Apparently the Mets feel they need a player who’s more famous for being outspoken about his religion than his play on the field.

He even has a move -- “Tebowing” -- associated with his faith. Maybe he'll resurrect it if he hits a double or a home run.

But a word of caution:

If the Mets decide to keep Tebow past instructional ball, he'd best keep his head about him in the batters box. Not because he’ll need to scramble frantically the way he did on the football field when he couldn't find anyone open 10 yards away -- that being pretty much his max throwing range -- but because there could be some surly “organizational player” 60 feet, 6 inches away who might be insulted by what he’s done.

For those that might not know what I mean: Angry, emotional pitchers don’t typically use their fists to send a message. They usually use the five-ounce piece of cowhide.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.