Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gm: Amazin's Believe in Ex-Quarterback's Skill

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gm: Amazin's Believe in Ex-Quarterback's Skill

Article excerpt

ATLANTA - Beyond the hoopla and potential dollars that accompany Tim Tebow wherever he goes, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson saw enough unquestioned athletic talent to be intrigued.

Alderson said that for every reason the ex-Jets quarterback should falter in baseball, there are "four or five" reasons the Mets believe Tebow's skill set can lead to success.

Ultimately, Alderson evaluated Tebow as too good of an opportunity to pass on, and not just one that brings with it certain fanfare and potential monetary rewards.

"While I and the organization are mindful of the novel nature of this situation, this decision was strictly driven by baseball," Alderson said. "This was not something that was driven by marketing considerations or anything of the sort. We are extremely intrigued with the potential that Tim has.

"He has demonstrated over his athletic career that he is a tremendous athlete, has great character [and] a competitive spirit, and aside from the age [29], this is a classic player-development opportunity for us."

The Mets came out of left field Thursday and announced they had signed the former Heisman Trophy winner and ex-Jet to minor-league deal, and Tebow soon will report to the team's Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which begins Sept. 18. Tebow, who recently held a workout for 28 teams, received a $100,000 signing bonus and chose the Mets from a group of roughly five teams, according to sources.

Tebow, who said he's most comfortable at first base and in the outfield, is scheduled to play for one of the Mets' minor-league affiliates next season, but an invite to major-league spring training is not a given.

He said he doesn't have to say anything to those who wonder if this is a publicity stunt.

"I get to go pursue my passion and what I love," Tebow said. "That's a great thing. That's our opportunity in America. We get to do what we love [and] pursue it. We don't have to listen to what everyone else tells us to do with our lives and we get to pursue it. I get to pursue this awesome game of baseball."

Roughly one month ago Alderson had joked about the possibility of signing Tebow by asking if the team needed a Hail Mary, but the general manager has done a complete reversal since then. …

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