Lucas Giolito is buddies with Samuel L. Jackson, has Mace Windu lightsaber hanging in his room

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Samuel L. Jackson tweeted out an amusingly quasi-obscene congratulations to Lucas Giolito after the Nationals’ first-round pick agreed to a $2.925 million deal just moments before last Friday’s signing deadline and it turns out the actor is a family friend.

Giolito’s mom and dad are both actors and they live in California, so here’s what he told Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com:

My dad has played golf with him a bunch of times, he is actually friends with Sam. I was able to meet him and talk to him a couple of years ago. I have actually gotten a couple of presents from him. I got a signed Mace Windu light saber from him, the purple one. Those are the kinds of things I hang up in my room.

In related news: Lucas Giolito is 18 years old … and so is Pulp Fiction.

(Full disclosure: I had to ask Calcaterra if “lightsaber” is one word or two.)

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.