Tim Tebow held one of those circus-act tryouts earlier this year in an attempt to get Major League Baseball teams to bite and give him a chance at playing baseball at the highest level.
It went moderately well, he got a contract, and he got some pretty good internet traction with some of the shots he hit. But, according to an article today by The MMQB (and subsequent New York Post article these excerpts were taken from) he was getting some help.
Two problems with this fresh start: Tebow was hurt, and one pitcher was grooving him pitches.
The truth about the workout was uncovered by The MMQB in a comprehensive feature, which relived the Los Angeles showcase by coloring it with the behind-the-scenes workings, including that Tebow tore his left oblique days before the tryout.
Let's start with the injury first. He apparently tore his oblique days before the tryout due to overworking it because he works out so much. That sounds like staying up too late studying the night before the test and sleeping through your alarm when you're actually scheduled to take it.
This, you have to understand, was always going to happen. He is an aging body (seriously, he played football) and is trying to learn new techniques in a very short period of time. Injuries will happen. It's the second part of the story you should care about.
According to the report, Chad Smith, one of the two former major league pitchers brought in to put Tebow’s skill level in context, served him some meatballs. As Tebow struggled along — feeling pain with each swing, and perhaps some embarrassment with a growing number of whiffs — Smith and scouts sniffed out his weakness. Tebow could hit fastballs, but a good major league changeup was new to him.
Smith, a professed Tebow fan, was the first pitcher up and mostly mowed him down. Then David Aardsma, another ex-big leaguer, added to the damage to Tebow’s psyche.
It was more sad than comical until Smith strolled back to the mound, with his newfound knowledge of the pitches Tebow could (and couldn’t) hit. On his way, Smith advised him to be ready for some fastballs. And sure enough, many came, right where Tebow liked them.
Well, there you have it.
Tebow, the circus, and the story you probably assumed.
Step up and meet the Mets.