Brace yourself for some stunning news.
Tim Tebow doesn’t want to spend much time in the minor leagues, according to Chad Moeller, the former major league catcher training him. Moeller jumped on Gary Sheffield’s claim that Tebow could be ready for the big time in 18 months, using it to explain the former Heisman Trophy winner’s approach to realizing a lifelong dream of playing in the majors.
“That’s still two years of minor league baseball,” Moeller told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s buses, or really bad flights, and not making close to what he’s making probably taking much better flights talking to people or doing TV or whatever. It’s a big, big difference. And so he knows those things.
“This is open and out front. Now, do I think a team is going to send him to rookie ball? No. You’re taking a 28-year-old. You know what you’re getting. It’s either going to work or it’s not, and it’s going to have to be fast-tracked.”
A generous interpretation of those comments? Tebow understands that he has a very small window in which to prove he he can hack it. A more cynical view? Tebow will quit if the endeavor is too hard and the spotlight dims.
Look, by all accounts Tebow is a tremendous human being with a heart of gold. I am rooting for him to prove the doubters wrong and become the real-life Roy Hobbs. But does he really think people don’t see this for what it is, a charade?
There is no existing evidence to suggest Tebow has what it takes to make a major league roster. And yet people believe in him due to his determination and work ethic. Doesn’t this statement fly in the face of that narrative? Doesn’t the fact that Tebow will get special treatment diminish his underdog story?
Moeller paints Tebow as an earnest dreamer trying to wade through a predatory system to find a like-minded match. In reality, he’s just asking for a shortcut.
“Do I think (teams are) selfishly going to want to sell some seats? Yeah. And he knows it,” Moeller said. “And that’s why he really hopes (and) wants a team that thinks he can do this, and not just, ‘We’re going to send him to every level and sell a whole bunch of seats and sell a whole bunch of merchandise and we’re just going to have a sideshow.’
“He knows he’s partially a sideshow to start with. But he does want a team that actually thinks this is for real and thinks this is someone that can help us. And he’s going to have to go out and perform and show he can do this. There’s no way to simulate that.”
Tebow’s desire to not be a sideshow is more impossible than his dream of becoming a major leaguer. There is, however, some good news for Moeller and Tebow.
They don’t have to worry about slogging through a five-year minor league career. Hell, they probably don’t have to worry about a five-week minor league career. Deep down, I think they know this. That’s why the announcement of a baseball career came just a few weeks before Tebow’s college football broadcasting duties begin.
Tim Tebow, baseball player is and always was destined to be a sideshow. And I’ll bet on a very limited run.