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The lineups for tonight’s NL Wild Card game

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Your lineups for tonight’s battle between the Mets and the Giants are as follows:

GIANTS

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Hunter Pence (R) RF
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Angel Pagan (S) LF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Conor Gillaspie (L) 3B
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P

The most notable thing being chattered about regarding the Giants this afternoon is who Bruce Bochy might use out of the bullpen. Some are saying that, if Bumgarner goes seven innings, the first reliever out after him would be . . . Johnny Cueto. Which isn’t the worst idea ever as far as overall pitching quality goes, but is weird considering he is far, far worse in the first inning than he is in any other inning. Guess we’ll see.

METS

1. Jose Reyes (S) 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
4. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
5. T.J. Rivera (R) 2B
6. Jay Bruce (L) RF
7. Rene Rivera (R) C
8. James Loney (L) 1B
9. Noah Syndergaard (L) P

Yes, T.J. Rivera is hitting fifth in a do-or-die playoff game and James Loney is starting at first base. Lucas Duda isn’t even on the roster, in fact. Which is likely because he’s hurt. As for the relief corps, starters Bartolo Colon and Robert Gsellman will be available in the bullpen.

Tim Tebow homers in spring training game

Tim Tebow
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Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow hit a two-run home run during Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. It’s his first spring training home run since beginning his professional baseball career in late 2016.

Tebow, 32, is, of course, a former college football legend. He had a much-anticipated NFL career that ended up brief and disappointing, prompting a change of vocation. Tebow was passable with Double-A Binghamton in 2018, but the Mets promoted him to Triple-A for the 2019 season anyway. That was a mistake. Through 264 plate appearances, Tebow hit .163/.240/.255, ranking as the worst hitter in the minor leagues.

Tebow also walked along with the homer in three plate appearances on Tuesday. While it’s a solid early showing, Tebow participating with the other big leaguers or soon-to-be big leaguers in spring training is something of a sideshow. If he were a regular ballplayer working his way up the ranks, he likely would have been cut after last season. He certainly wouldn’t have been given an invitation to big league camp the next year.

There are aspects of the Tebow situation to respect: that he’s athletic and dedicated enough to attempt a professional career in another sport, for example. He moves tickets and merchandise. But one can’t help but wonder about the roster spot he’s holding that would otherwise go to a more deserving player.