While it’s far from good news, it’s at least a sign of an equal playing field. So to speak. Tim Tebow has tripped on a sprinkler head in spring training and suffered a minor sprain of his left ankle.
It’s actually something field builders are always warning facility owners about – making sure all sprinkler heads retract, creating a smooth and safe playing surface for athletes.
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened to Tebow – and any sprain, though minor, comes at a particularly bad time. According to MiLB.com,
Tebow, who switched from football to baseball, has steadily moved up climbed from Class A Columbia to Class A Advanced St. Lucie last year in his first Minor League season and compiled a .226/.309/.347 slash line with eight homers and 52 RBIs in 126 games. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner improved his line after he made the jump to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, going from a .220/.311/.336 line in 64 games in the South Atlantic League to .231/.307/.356 in 62 contests with St. Lucie.
It happened in the outfield at the team’s St. Lucie complex several weeks ago. “I’m trying to be smart about it and keep [the ankle] taped,” Tebow told the New York Post later.
The Mets invited Tebow to Major League camp this spring as part of an effort to “accelerate the process” of the 30-year-old’s development – which seems promising.
“I think he will play in the Major Leagues,” Alderson said last week. “That’s my guess, that’s my hope and to some extent now after a year and a half, a modest expectation. So I’m happy he’s here. He’s great for the team, he’s great for baseball. He was phenomenal for Minor League Baseball last year.”
Tebow likely will return to St. Lucie to start the 2018 season but could be assigned to Double-A Binghamton if the Mets choose to be aggressive.
All he has to do is not trip on another sprinkler.
The takeaway for ASBA members: it’s actually not a bad marketing tool. A quick note to field owners, reminding them to check that sprinkler heads are fully functional, could result in some field visits and touch-up work. It can also build good relations with high school and college teams, all of which are returning to the diamonds now.