Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review just posted an interesting note on Twitter saying: “Privately, folks in Pirates clubhouse are steamed Derrek Lee is taking his time getting here.”
Of course, it couldn’t have been all that private if a newspaper reporter knows about it.
Biertempfel notes that Hunter Pence took a late-night flight across the country to be in the Phillies’ lineup as soon as possible, whereas Lee only has to travel from New York (where the Orioles are playing the Yankees) to Philadelphia (where the Pirates are playing the Phillies).
And since Lee hasn’t arrived yet, the Pirates are giving Lyle Overbay what could be his final start at first base this afternoon.
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.