Over the weekend, Tim Tebow and his Single-A Columbia Fireflies visited the Charleston RiverDogs, who opted to repeatedly mock Tebow throughout the series. Their mascot wore “John 3:16″ eye black like Tebow did when he was a college football star. They played “Hallelujah” on the loud speakers when Tebow came up to bat. They labeled other Fireflies players as “Not Tim Tebow” on the video board.
It was the type of humor that minor-league teams usually use in promos, but not so much as a way to mock opposing players.
This caught not only the eye of the Tim Tebow-believing internet but Mets GM Sandy Alderson, who on Tuesday scolded the RiverDogs, who are a Yankees minor-league affiliate. According to Marc Carig of Newsday, Alderson said:
“I guess my comment would be that it was all very minor league,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said.
“We had some of that even before he arrived in the Sally League in spring training,” Alderson said. “I was a little surprised that halfway through the season that somebody decided to be cute and pursue that. But he’s bigger than that.”
I've caught the Tebow fever. pic.twitter.com/l0UeNOqHQw
— Charlie T. RiverDog (@charlieriverdog) June 17, 2017
— Charleston RiverDogs (@ChasRiverDogs) June 16, 2017
— Daren Stoltzfus (@DarenStoltzfus) June 18, 2017
Earlier on Tuesday, after catching some flack on social media, RiverDogs GM Dave Echols issued an apology to the local newspaper, saying in a statement:
“While we believe that our promotions were poking fun at Mr. Tebow’s celebrity status rather than his religion or baseball career, our intent was not to offend anyone, and for the fact that we did offend, we are sorry.”
A lot has been said about Tebow — who is hitting .224 this season — getting chances other people wouldn’t since he decided to attempt a baseball career. That’s true. Other 29-year-olds who hadn’t played baseball since high school wouldn’t get this sort of opportunity. But that comes at a cost and you’re seeing it.
No other Single-A players will be mocked like this. No other Single-A players will be forced to be bigger than the potshots dreamed up in a minor-league front office. Tebow, no matter what, has to grin and bear it.
Yes, this is the circus for which Tim Tebow signed up, but this circus isn’t all peanuts and cotton candy.
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