Tebow slammed a two-run homer in his debut for the Columbia Fireflies. The crowd went wild. It was like a moment out of “The Natural” or “The Rookie.”
Sports outlets scrambled to report the colossal feat and analyze it from every angle. His fans are ecstatic, letting loose the I-told-you-sos as they have before. But, let’s not forget what we’re celebrating– a home run in a single-A baseball game.
Let me clarify something really quick: I like Tim Tebow. His work ethic is admirable, his character above reproach, and he is unashamed of his faith. I’m sure we would get along outside of the sports realm. I bet he is an awesome friend. His story is inspirational and I have no problem with kids looking up to him as a role model. You could do much worse in that department. But, he is not the great athlete we make him out to be.
The Columbia Fireflies are a minor-minor-minor-minor league team. Sluggers who want to get to the Big League need to work their way up through three leagues before they can even sit in the dugout of a MLB club. Players at Tebow’s level make about $15K a year, meaning everyone in that league works a day job, if not two. The Fireflies aren’t even the biggest baseball team in Columbia, South Carolina. The “big show” is across town at the University of South Carolina. Mets believe there are three teams of players better than Tebow, that his ability is not worth a full-time salary, and that he is competing against a college team for attention. He isn’t even the best player on the Fireflies– Dash Winningham (amazing baseball name, by the way) is statistically better in every category.
Feel free to call me a hater, but before you do let me know who your favorite MLB player is. The MLB is in a bad place when an average single-A player is the face of your sport. If you want to celebrate an at-bat performance, celebrate what Yasiel Puig who smashed two home runs the same day as Tebow bounced one off the wall.
Feel free to enjoy Tebow, his storybook is still being written. But it ins’t what we are making it out to be.