The Padres drafted Johnny Manziel in a late round in 2014. It was seen then as a joke that no one laughed out. Now it is almost tragic given Manziel’s direction. So when I heard that Tim Tebow was trying out for baseball, I hoped the Padres would not be tempted.
To be fair, between Manziel and Tebow, I would probably put odds on Tebow being successful at baseball over Manziel anyway, but I also think there is more going on here that needs to be talked about.
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I do think the report that about 20 MLB teams will be attending Tebow’s workout is a little out of proportion. The draft is over, the season is winding down…a lot of these scouts just have nothing better to do.
Tebow is 29 years old, and hasn’t played baseball since high school. Still, he clearly has a chip on his shoulder. It wasn’t always this way.
Tebow of course is arguably one of the greatest college football players of all time. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He won championships with Florida in 2006 and 2008. After being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2010, he replaced the ineffective starter for the Broncos and led the team to the playoffs. There he led a dramatic overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then…he essentially vanished.
Sure, he had a few appearances for the Jets but already seemed to be more of a cheap trick than a real part of the offense. A couple of failed try outs later and he had seemed to resign his fate to be an analyst. Until this baseball idea came along.
Great competitors – which whatever you think of him he certainly is – have a tough time letting go. This is surely the same. I am surprised slightly that Tebow deosn’t seem to be able to step outside of the situation and see how desperate it looks. I would have hoped that his failed try out last year with the Eagles and Chip Kelly would have been his last hail mary / Tebowing try, but that might have only galvanized his resolve to get it back. To get back the roar of the crowd and the respect of his teammates.
I wish him well, but surely hope the Padres have matured enough too that they won’t even consider actually signing him. That Manziel signing epitomized the Josh Byrnes GM Padres era more than anything else I can think of. He was having fun but had no focused strategic plan for the Padres. After a spending spree when he came into town, A.J. Preller has settled down, focused on the future, and rebuilt the Padres farm system almost as quickly as it was turned down.
Tebow was immortalized in meme culture when he sat on the sideline with his arm to his chin praying. Praying for victory? Praying for health? We won’t know. It doesn’t matter. Now, as Tebow prays for one last moment of glory, the Padres are praying that a World Series Championship might be less than five years away. They don’t need Tim Tebow for that.