If Braves sign Tebow, it’s about circus and revenue, not baseball

Former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow finishes his work out for baseball scouts and the media during a showcase on the campus of the University of Southern California, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. The Heisman Trophy winner works out for a big gathering of scouts on USC's campus in an attempt to start a career in a sport he hasn't played regularly since high school. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Former Florida and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow finishes his work out for baseball scouts and the media at the University of Southern California on Aug. 30. The Heisman Trophy worked out for a big gathering of scouts on USC’s campus in an attempt to start a career in a sport he hasn’t played regularly since high school. (AP photo)

I’m doing it. After several days of just hoping this story would go away, I’m writing about Tim Tebow. (I feel shame.)

The Braves are considering signing Tebow. The reason for this, general manager John Coppolella told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, is “There’s no risk,” financially.

Coppolella is right about that. There is no financial risk. Tebow would be paid a signing bonus of around $100,000, which is significant money in the middle-class world but not in baseball. The truth is, signing Tebow almost certainly would lead to financial gains for the Braves’ organization and their affiliates because any minor league stadium Tebow plays in will sell thousands more tickets, he’ll generate more concession sales and he’ll spur jersey sales.

It’s also great for Tebow because, while he might just be scratching his “competitive” itch with this baseball thing, he gets more exposure and generates more revenue for himself and his foundation. It’s not about a serious pursuit of a sports career. (Note: If Tebow was really serious about football, he would’ve gone on to play in Canada or the Arena League when he couldn’t get another NFL job.)

So I’m not going to knock the possibility of Tebow-to-the-Braves from a business standpoint.

But let’s stop there. Because anything else you hear from the Braves or any organization about Tebow’s prospects as a baseball player are just this side of bunk.

Tebow is 29 years old. He hasn’t played organized baseball in almost 12 years — since his junior year of high school in 2004.

Are we really to believe this is about the greatest baseball comeback since Roy Hobbs came back from being shot by that woman? Will replicas of Tebow’s “Wonder Boy” bat be sold at souvenir stands?

Tebow hit .494 as a junior in high school. So I’m sure if he wanted to pursue baseball as a career instead of football, or at least play in college, he could have. That doesn’t mean he would’ve made it but he would’ve been drafted because almost everybody gets drafted in baseball (40 rounds, more than 1,200 players annually).

Coppolella to Bowman: “Our interest in Tim Tebow is predicated in our belief in (scouting director) Brian Bridges and (special assistant/former scouting director) Roy Clark. They went to see Tim more in the spirit of ‘Leave no stone unturned,’ and they liked what they saw. They thought he has the upside potential to help us. That is why we’re exploring the possibility of bringing him into the Braves organization.”

I agree Tebow could help them financially. But any thought that he can help them in baseball just doesn’t make sense. The Braves are about stockpiling and developing prospects. Nothing about Tebow says “prospect.” Everything about Tebow says “circus.”

Is the circus the new plan in Atlanta?

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31 comments
jmccoy1252
jmccoy1252

I can't be believe the amount of Tebow supporters in here.  So the Braves see something 29 other teams don't?  20 years ago the Braves would not have made a decision like this.  I want a World Series Trophy, this has no chance of enhancing that possibility.  Hence, I do not like this possible signing of Tebow.

Berserker
Berserker

Jeff have you ever seen Tebow play baseball? Or even take batting practice? It's a good thing the Braves don't rely on you for their player evaluation.

Falcons63
Falcons63

Good Lord... Professional sports is about financial gains!  What is the harm if the Braves(or one of the other 3 teams considering signing him) sign the guy to a minor league contract.  You don't think attendance in Danville or Rome would skyrocket for whatever time Tebow might be there?  I would buy a ticket.   How many any actual "prospects' are on the roster of these teams.  A handful at most.   The other guys and the league itself is there to make these guys better.  Did you feel shame when Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball?  The shame you should feel is the never ending drip of negativity that seems to constantly fill your article's.   Remember.. this is the same guy who said "Hard Knocks" coming to Atlanta was a circus!  I wonder if the Rams have to endure the writers in the local papers ridiculing the Rams for participating.  What a joke!!!

Wonderboy Hobbs
Wonderboy Hobbs

Jeff, the whole point of pro sports is 1 million to 1 odds. Tebow won a playoff game with skills most experts would say were "just this side of bunk", he should have stayed home. Middle class America's chances of being CEO are "just this side of bunk", they should all call in sick. Dara Torres, Rouln Gardner, Rick Ankiel, all bunk. Next time you watch Hoosiers, imagine Ollie reading your article. His team's chances were "just this side of bunk".  Plainly speaking Tebow does have a statistical chance, and is just stubborn enough to make it. I smell a bitter writer, smells bad. Good writer, bunk article. GO HICKORY!!!

Quiet_Freak
Quiet_Freak

As funny as Jeff's article was, the comments are even better.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

I actually like Tebow. He's a stand up guy who lives his Christian faith. Hope things work out for him. That said, the circus will always be in town as long as Liberty Media is in charge. Formula 1 now gets to find that out. Malone & Co. are probably licking their chops trying figure out how to ransack them.

Buck24541
Buck24541

If you have been paying attention, the Braves are currently spending millions of dollars in Atlanta and getting nothing in return. The same can be said for most of their farm system. Check out Gwinnett, and see how they are doing. Then look at the Gulf Coast Braves, Danville Braves, Carolina Mudcats, and Rome Braves. They ae not what you would call settin' the woods on fire. They need to sign anybody who can help them.

LEWWHEEL
LEWWHEEL

Let me understand this, no chance for Tebow to play baseball at $100, 000. He is 29 on the way to medicare? 


It is OK for  Dodgers  and Braves pay  a 30 year old, no skill, no character,  prospect  named Hector Oily Boy 60 million for about 100 major league at bats? 



PCEK
PCEK

It takes a clown to know a clown! However, Schultz you're not that funny. Give Tebow a chance. The White Sox gave Michael Jordan a chance. Jordan was a bust in baseball, but he was entertaining and drew fans. Does anyone think that Tebow is going to be a great baseball player? I doubt it. But, baseball is still just a game, and a game is entertainment. If I want to go and see Tim Tebow play baseball, what's that to you Schultz. Don't tell me how to spend my entertainment dollar. After all, going to see the current Braves, I think a little circus pizazz would be a welcome change!

Goldj Kelly
Goldj Kelly

Jeff Shultz your a douchbag and a Tebow hater!!, Give him a chance and stop trashing him your just like all the other Tebow haters treating Tebow like a villain when he is good for the sport you DUMMASSz

Goldj Kelly
Goldj Kelly

Haters always attacking Tebow, you guys are the same idiots that gave him a hard time in the NFL when he won most of his Broncos games as a QB, SCREW YOU HATERS!! I HOPE TEBOW SHOWS YOU HATERS IN BASEBALL HE CAN DO IT!! what you suppose to say is I wish him welland give him support you bunch of douchbags!!

Goldj Kelly
Goldj Kelly

The Haters are at it again leave Tebow alone SCREW YOU HATERS GO TEBOW SHOW THEM! You guys are the same idiots that gave Tebow a hard time in the NFL when he won most of his games as a starting QB, You bunch of douch bags, I hope Tebow comes thru in baseball and wish him well you bunch of SCUMS!!

Kimberly Dixon Smith
Kimberly Dixon Smith

If Tim Tbiw wants to play baseball and the Braves are willing to sign him and pay him to do that....WHY is that a problem or your business??!! Get off Tebow already SMDH

POV1948
POV1948

This is an un-serious front office, having Coppolela as GM is proof enough. Fielding a competitive baseball team is a secondary (or less) priority.  Flush the Johns.  

Matt Clairmont
Matt Clairmont

This article and the comments below are just sad. I'm from Nova Scotia, Canada and I've been a Braves fan since the last time they were the worst in baseball. Then what happened? 15 straight division titles. If you don't have faith in the process and respect for the absurd amount of young talent we've stolen from other MLB teams in exchange for our overpaid veterans, you don't deserve to call yourself a Braves fan. If you're not impressed by what this young team has done this year, don't come to Sun Trust Park when they're back on top. 


As for this article, I have a lot of respect for Jeff Schultz but I think he got this wrong. I don't think Tebow has much of a chance to make an impact in Atlanta, but he's gifted. I'm unclear on the relevance of how the middle class might interpret the signing bonus, but in the world of pro sports a $100,000 gamble on a pro athlete is not a game-changer. This administration is all about getting the best on-field product they possibly can as quickly as they can and they wouldn't even consider Tebow if they believed he had no chance. Are you seriously suggesting that the goal here is to sell Tebow Mississippi Braves jerseys?


Riceville1
Riceville1

At least if the Braves sign him we will know for certain that he has no chance at a career in the major leagues.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Riceville1 No.....mainly we will know he won't be attempting a career as a Sports commentator.....he's awful at that.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Tebow will never make it to Atlanta, but he will be a good draw for minor league teams. Nothing wrong with that. All teams have minor league players that will never make it to the show. Sign him! Use him as a draw for minor leagues. He's a good guy from all appearances so he may be good for minor league players.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

The "circus" was what we've witnessed in Atlanta the past two years. They've driven me away from attending games and they'll have to demonstrate (when it matters) they are serious about contending to get me back (new ballparks notwithstanding).


If Tebow helps sell tickets in minor league towns, what is wrong with that? Is he any more of an unknown commodity/risky investment than, say, Hector Olivera for x-millions of dollars??? No, he is not. 

inforrmed
inforrmed

All professional sports are about revenue. Always have been always will be. Excellent athletic performance is only a part of the business. 

Tebow may develop into baseball player or not, but the claims of clairvoyance are hilarious.

Imrightandyournot
Imrightandyournot

The Braves are a business and if signing Tebow gets more fans to the ballpark then it is a great move.

Stephen Phillips
Stephen Phillips

This is really a joke. Tebow will NEVER play in the bigs, so this is just a sad, lame, attention seeking device from my once proud franchise. Come on guys, enough with the circus, let's get serious about prospects who may help at the big league level some day!

Can'o'corn
Can'o'corn

we should bring tebow in and then see if we can schedule a game against the globetrotters. fun for the whole family..........i think coppy hates us.

mdet
mdet

Circus means Schultz and his colleagues are the clowns!


Jeff ... you just put on your "red nose"!

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

Worst team in baseball now becomes the circus??? Nice. It's awesome being a fan of teams in this state. 

Dawglin
Dawglin

Frankly with some of the deals that the Braves have struck in some of their minor league towns for new stadiums, the Braves owe it to them t Send him to Pearl, Mississippi to sell some tickets and get some much needed cash flow, then send him to Gwinnett so maybe they won't have the worst attendance in AAA.

Samuel Hollister
Samuel Hollister

The AJC must be concerned about Circus too having two clowns like Schultz and Bradley writing for them.

OH:IO
OH:IO

There's been no other reason to get excited about the Braves for the last decade. 

tmc
tmc

The fact that the Braves management is even considering Tim Tebow and trying to justify the potential move to the ATL media and fans... just shows how screwed up and out of touch the upper management is.