We’ve heard people piling on Marlon Byrd for his positive PED test as if he owed them something and, frankly, it’s pretty unseemly. Contrast this with an excellent column from Doug Glanville today which outlines true disappointment.
In it Glanville explains how veterans mentor young players and how young players grow up and do the same to the next group of kids. Glanville was Byrd’s mentor when the latter came and eventually took over his job with the Phillies, and he describes how that all works and the sort of relationship that is formed if everyone has their head on straight.
Byrd, by almost all accounts, had his head on straight his whole career, which is why Glanville is saddened to hear the news about the PED test. It’s not a judgmental thing like you get from the sanctimonious jerks in the media. It’s the sort of valid and honest disappointment one can only have for someone about whom they care deeply as Glanville clearly does for Byrd. And based on the tone, it’s a disappointment, one suspects, that will one day go away because good people eventually make amends when necessary.
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.