The Tim Tebow hype train pulled into the station on Wednesday.
The cameras were turned on and focused on Tim Tebow as he took his first at bat in Spring Training. His blue and orange jersey glistened in the bright Port St. Lucie sun. The crowd of Mets fans gathered near home plate stood up in recognition of the moment. He tapped the bat on home plate and stood ready to take his cuts.
Then he struck out looking on four pitches.
That first at bat was a microcosm of what Tebow’s entire afternoon would be like.
The former Heisman trophy winner made his debut on Wednesday against the reigning Cy Young award winner, Rick Porcello, and the Boston Red Sox. He batted 8th and was the “designated hitter” (a.k.a. we don’t want you out on the field yet).
The scorecard will show that during this first Spring Training game Tim Tebow went 0-3, but he managed to be responsible for five out of the 27 outs the Mets were allotted.
He struck out twice (both times looking) and grounded into a double play on the one at bat he managed to put the ball in play. After the latter, since a run came in (the bases were loaded), Tebow got a standing ovation from the Mets faithful. You might be asking yourself, much like my Rising Apple co-Editor Michelle Ioannou did this afternoon, “Why in the world is anyone giving Tebow a standing O for grounding into a double play?” (Some language may have been cleaned up). We’re still not sure.
Oh, and the fifth out? Well, that came after being hit by a pitch on the shoulder, taking first base and then being doubled off on a line drive. Oops.
It wasn’t all bad on Wednesday for the Mets though – quite the opposite actually. For starters, they won the game 8-7 with a great surprise performance from Jay Bruce. He hit a home run and brought in three runs. Bruce looked really comfortable at the plate all afternoon. It was almost like he had a miracle worker helping him out in the lineup.
The Mets are officially 1-0 in games started by Tebow, so maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.