Jeffrey Loria is optimistic

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The Marlins are eight and a half games out and have a run differential of -66. Still, their owner, as he usually does, claims that this is a playoff team and that the future is bright, bright bright:

“School is now out, the [Heat’s] championship is accomplished, and we have a spectacular team — I still believe that, and I love our chances. The Dolphins don’t play significant games until the fall. We’re going to play our significant games in August and September, and by that time people will be so in love with us they won’t want to go anywhere else! … It’s a playoff-caliber team, absolutely. We’re going to have our run.”

The stuff about school being out and people wanting to go to Marlins games instead of Dolphins games, you’ll notice, is more geared toward how the team will do at the ticket office than it is in the standings. Which is pretty par for the course for the bottom-line-first Loria.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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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.