It feels like open season on Yasiel Puig these days. Miguel Montero dumped on him, he was accused of being disrespectful to Luis Gonzalez, he lost the Final Vote to Freddie Freeman and now he’s accused — or rather, his interpreter is accused — of going up into the stands to get a woman’s phone number.
That was reported by ESPNs Pedro Gomez — in the most serious of tones — last night. I get it. I myself am shocked that a young baseball player was scoping women in the crowd too. I wish players these days were more like Mickey Mantle and didn’t do such things.
Wait. Bad example.
Whatever. I do think it’s pretty remarkable how quickly the pile-on Puig has been of late. It’s like everyone is suddenly realizing that A-Rod is going to be gone soon and we’ll need a new villain.
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.