It has been some time since the last breathless update on Tim Tebow, the minor league baseball player, And for good reason.
The Columbia Fireflies rightfielder is hitting .226 with three home runs through 56 games. For the first few weeks of the season he was afforded intense media coverage but that’s subsided a bit as he settles into what appears to be the most milquetoast of players.
While it’s great that the former football player isn’t embarrassing himself, he is now mired in this tepid no man’s land. His deficiencies preclude him from being promoted with even the slightest illusion of merit. His production is significant enough, however, to give hope that — somehow, someway — he’ll develop into a high-level talent.
What Tebow actually does on the field, of course, is immaterial to his drawing power. People in small towns across the south want to catch a glimpse of the guy for the sake of catching a glimpse, not to see him stroke a double in the gap or make a fine running catch.
The whole thing, at this point, has the air of a retired player signing autographs at a car dealership. The famous person is there, he’s just not doing a whole lot.
Tebow is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound corner outfielder who doesn’t hit for power. His anemic .349 slugging percentage is only slightly higher than his strikeout rate. He is a below average defender whose only stolen base attempt failed.
Just two months shy of his 30th birthday, scouts are still looking for one solid tool out of the five. It’s probably time to admit there’s nothing there. His greatest skill is being Tim Tebow. There’s nothing wrong with that. Deep down, that’s what even the most optimistic member of the Mets brass knew going into this experiment.
At a certain point, it’s tough for even the most willing media to find things to say about a guy who is just kind of … there. Tebow’s season is one of failure but not shame. One of mild, but infrequent success.
People can pretend it’s not been boring all they want, in the interest of fun. The truth, however, isn’t on their side.