Sale, Tebow to DL; No Entry Tomorrow

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Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday afternoon, August 18.
As if we didn’t know it, while our baseball heroes sometimes play like video game characters, they’re made of flesh and blood like we are. The Yankees have been suffering with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez on the DL, and while Sanchez is about to start rehab, Judge’s pain in his broken wrist continues with no letup in sight. But the Yankees’ two biggest rivals have problems of their own. The Red Sox’ prize lefty Chris Sale is back on the DL with the same shoulder inflammation that sent him to the shelf at the end of last month. He came off the DL, pitched one fine game–and went back on the injured list this afternoon. While the Red Sox are the de facto champions of the Eastern division, when it comes to playoff time Sale is the man they want to make that first critical start. They would rather not leave such a vital game in the hands of their other lefty David Price especially if that first game is against the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers have a habit of knocking Price around, much as they used to batter the last great Red Sox hurler, Pedro Martinez.
Meantime, whatever deity rules the Mets has told them “BOHICA” which means “Bend over, here it comes again.” God only knows the Mets have been a sad sight these two seasons, and now their freak in residence-Tim Tebow-is on the DL. From the very beginning Tebow was brought in for a purpose. To be exact he was brought in to sell merch and put customers’ fannies in the seats at Columbia, South Carolina and Port St. Lucie, Florida where the Mets have A-ball teams. He hit .226 combined between the two A-ball teams and surprisingly was doing better at AA Binghamton before his first baseball-related trip to the shelf. His Binghamton team was facing the Yankees’ AA Trenton Thunder Thursday night. In the 7th inning of that game Tebow left with a hand injury. He underwent both an X-ray and MRI Friday and is now heading to New York to see a hand specialist in the coming week.
Before his injury he was hitting .273 in AA, and over .300 since the All-Star break. With the Mets far out of contention it seemed a certainty Tebow would be brought to New York to see if his act played at Citi Field. Now, his injury puts that plan at risk. At best it was a long shot, since Tim Tebow figures to be Tim Nobody north of the Mason-Dixon line. People did in fact choose to see Tebow rather than an underground dogfight in some South Atlantic League towns where entertainment choices are few. It was a foregone conclusion that he would own the fans in the Florida State League since he won a couple of Heisman trophies while at University of Florida. Tebow did his public relations job brilliantly, as attendance soared not only in St. Lucie but in most of the other Florida State League towns. New York is another game entirely, as Tebow may still find out depending on the severity of his injury. On Mets’ games the radio ads are for Mercedes rather than pickup trucks. Even the “cheap” seats are at least 3 times as expensive as AA tickets. And if you have the shekels (or know somebody who does) your entertainment choices in the Big Apple are boundless. That can’t be said of places like Jupiter or Osceola County, Florida or even Binghamton, New York where Tebow has played this season. When we used to roll into Binghamton, the radio ads during their games were mostly for liquor stores or bars. There were so many of these ads I jokingly nicknamed the town “BingeHamton” though I never used that sobriquet on the air.
For now at least, Tebow is in the company of the Mets’ Jay Bruce and David Wright–on the DL and hoping to play in September. If and when Wright returns that will be almost as ceremonial as bringing in Tebow. Wright hasn’t played competitively since Donald Trump was a pretender to the highest office in the land. The Mets’ captain in exile hasn’t played at the highest level since the Mets were in the 2015 World Series. Somehow, if their superannuated bodies will let them I can imagine both Wright and Tebow in Mets’ uniforms when the rosters increase to 40 in September.

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