If the All-Star Game is supposed to count for something — like
homefield advantage in the postseason — then the managers should manage
the game in that vein . . . The culture of the event has shifted to the point where we are now at
the every-Little Leaguer-gets-a-trophy stage, which is unnecessary.
— Buster Olney, dropping some righteousness.
I don’t think baseball has the practical ability to make a rule that requires managers to play their starters longer in the All-Star Game. Indeed, how would you even draft such a rule that retains the manager’s ability to run the team?
But how nice would it be if a future All-Star manager said “look, you’re all big boys, so you’ll understand it when I tell ya that I’m going to play my best players the longest in this one. If you start and you’re the best guy at that position, I’m keeping you in for the whole damn game. If you got voted in and you’re not my best player at that position, I’m subbing someone in for you early and keeping them in there. If that bothers you go tell the media you’ve got elbow tendinitis and stay the hell home, but we’re winning this game, fellas.
OK, I promise that will be my last All-Star Game item of the season.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.