Marc Malusis: You can’t blame Mets for trying to cash in on Tim Tebow

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Give the Mets credit, they see a way to make money off of Tim Tebow.

He is certainly a polarizing sports figure, the likes of which we have not seen in quite some time. Maybe it is his college success at Florida or his faith or college celibacy or his brief NFL success. Maybe it is a combination of all of these things that lead some people to be angry at the thought of Tim Tebow signing a minor-league contract with the Mets. There are his followers, the disciples of Tim Tebow, that feel he is a special individual that will always support him through thick and thin.

I have no issue with Tebow. Follow your dreams and do what makes you happy because we all know you can’t make everyone happy in life.

With that being said, Tim Tebow is a marketing agent’s dream. He sells. Right now, you can pop on his website and buy a signed bat for $175 and a signed baseball at $125. He knows how to take advantage of every single opportunity to sell himself.

The Mets were reportedly one of ten teams that offered the Heisman Trophy winner a contract, but they were the only team that was willing to allow Tebow to continue his TV work for the SEC Network, while he chases his dream to become a Major League Baseball player.

So we have learned that Tim Tebow is not willing to go all in and bet on himself that as a 29-year-old he will develop quickly enough to become a major leaguer. He is still leaving the TV avenue open. Good for him.

On the conference call on Thursday morning, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said, “while I and [the] organization are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball. It is not driven by marketing considerations or anything sort.”

So baseball clubs are in the business of developing 29-year-old former football players who has not played competitive baseball since high-school?

Don’t insult our intelligence as sports fans in this city. The Tebow signing is what it is. The Mets, along with other teams in major league baseball, were “intrigued” about profiting off of his popularity. He sells tickets. He brings people out to the ballpark. Tebow is a drawing card and that can’t be forgotten about or dismissed.

He will sell jerseys and tickets in the minor leagues. Just imagine if he ever played in Brooklyn for the Cyclones. The coverage of Tebow playing in Brooklyn would be off the charts. How about the crowds he will draw and the attention he will get down in spring training in Port St. Lucie.

To say that it is anything else other than what we all see it to be is an insult. When Alderson said this is a “classic player development opportunity,” I chuckled because there is nothing classic about Tim Tebow the baseball player and there is nothing classic about his age.

I am sure the Mets farmhands will benefit from having the presence of Tebow around the organization. He is a good guy that has lived a full and fruitful life and I am sure his life experiences on the field and off will be of great benefit to his teammates in the instructional league. He is a leader and a hard worker and will give great effort in the journey ahead. There is a lot of reasons why an organization associated with Tim Tebow can benefit from his intangibles.

However, intangibles only take you so far and we saw that in the NFL as Tebow ultimately showed he was not good enough to consistently succeed as a NFL quarterback. Sandy Alderson will continue to defend this decision as a pure baseball decision, but he needs to understand the skepticism about that statement in this market.

Afterall, Alderson was skeptical on Aug. 9 when he was asked about if the Mets would be interested in Tebow before his showcase in California. Alderson paused and grinned and answered, “are you insinuating we need a Hail Mary at this point? That’s not something we’ve given a lot of thought to. I’d say it’s probably unlikely, but that’s without any real information on his baseball background. So we’ll keep an open mind.”

They kept their mind open and liked the total package that Tebow represents and wanted to bring him into the organization.

There was nothing “pure” about this baseball decision.

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