Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

On the other hand …

Picture this: Tebow playing for the Rays

Now that Peyton Manning has signed with the Broncos, the buzz in the NFL centers on Tim Tebow. Will Denver trade Tebow to his hometown team, the Jacksonville Jaguars? Maybe the Miami Dolphins?

Both teams need to put fans in the seats, and Gator Nation would be sure to turn out for its favorite son.

There's even a school of thought that says the best fit for Tebow would be New England, where the Hooded One is seen as the only person who could turn him into some type of hybrid weapon to compliment Tom Brady.

As intriguing as I find that prospect, there's only one place I think that Tewbowmania can be resurrected:

Tampa Bay.

I know, the Bucs aren't interested. But I'm talking about a deal with the … Rays.

This could be a marriage made in, well, heaven.

Let's set aside, for a moment, whether Tebow can actually play baseball. (Details, details!)

For the Rays, it's a marketer's dream. Tebow becomes an instant goodwill ambassador. Just imagine him, muscles straining the fabric of his baseball uniform, asking you — politely — in TV commercials to support HIS Rays. Think of the promotions at the Trop. A bobblehead of a Tebowing Tim is sure to send eBay stock soaring. Maybe all of those empty seats will morph into fans wearing orange and blue.

Maybe Tebow could even persuade Hillsborough fans to walk on water, well, at least cross the Howard Frankland.

Then there's baseball. Tebow last played in high school. In 2010, he offered a glimpse of his potential when he took batting practice with a prep team in Memphis. Tebow smacked 12 homers on 15 pitches. "The kids were just awed by how far he hit the ball," Tebow's agent, Jimmy Sexton told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

Hmm, I envision him as a power-hitting first baseman.

Of course, the Rays know that Tebow would be a project, but that's something the much-maligned quarterback is used to since being drafted by Denver. Still, it instantly livens up spring training and those late-season call-ups. Just imagine him as a pinch-runner on a close play at the plate. (Heck, just imagine him on date nights with the Zobrists.)

Sure, he might never rise above the low minors, but the Rays could pitch a Tebow reality show to HBO while he's putting his faith to the test. (My suggestion for a title: At First, Timothy.) After all, remember the publicity garnered by the White Sox from minor-leaguer Michael Jordan?

Last year, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN mused that Tebow would be a better fit for baseball because his physical idiosyncrasies wouldn't be a liability: "Baseball allows its players to throw a ball, catch a ball, swing a bat and run whatever way they like, no matter how unconventional, inartistic or ridiculous it might be or look, as long as it works."

Rays fans who've seen Johnny Damon play the outfield can attest to that wisdom.

On Tuesday, ESPN reported that the minor-league Lake Elsinore Storm, a Padres (!) affiliate, is pursuing Tebow.

Time to step up to the plate, Rays. And it might help to bow down and Tebow, too.

Picture this: Tebow playing for the Rays 03/21/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 11:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning needs to hold onto Sergachev


    Here’s hoping the Lightning holds onto Mikhail Sergachev.

    Mikhail Sergachev has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games.
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: Defensively, Bucs have regressed to early 2016 stages


    The Bucs lose another game they should have won because in less than a minute they went from everything is back on track to blowing it. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the …

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is pressured by Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Abominable Bucs Missing Their Chance


    Of course, they can still win the division.

    They can still make the playoffs.

    Another Sunday, another celebration for the other guys
  4. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'


    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  5. No more looking at Jim Harbaugh, but should we look at Notre Dame?


    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Overheard Sunday morning in a hotel elevator, among two Penn State fans: "Did you see Coach Harbaugh's interview? He looked shellshocked. One of those coaches with his job on the line."

    Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are falling out of the national conversation; Sunday they fell out of the AP rankings after a blowout loss to Penn State. [Detroit Free Press/TNS]