What normally would be just a Spring Training game against a division rival has turned into a media must-see as Mets rookie manager Mickey Callaway has penciled in Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow to start the game and face 3 x Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. On any paper, this is a severe mismatch if you are playing baseball. For media circus appeal, this is a Kodak moment. As you will see below, this pair has faced each other before.
The last we saw Tim Tebow was over 8 months ago. He was looking like the media star he is — love him or not. Part of the debate last year was whether Tebow was taking up a roster spot from a more deserving player. Last year, Tebow was playing in A-ball in the Minor Leagues and actually was promoted from Low-A to High-A. I did two interviews with Tebow on that day in June last year.
Then it was time for action in Hagerstown, Maryland and judge for yourself how Tebow looked in the batter’s box on that day as he struck-out looking. The pitcher was Carlos Pena. Who? Here was the day’s boxscore showing Tebow batting .219 against A-ballers.
You can also see in this video (below) Max Scherzer striking out #97 Tim Tebow last year in Spring Training on March 27th. That was the first time they had ever faced each other. Scherzer struck out Tebow twice on the day and Tebow was schooled on a total of 7 pitches in the 2 at-bats on a mix of high heat and cutters and a slider. Scherzer did appear to give Tebow a chance by throwing him four 4-seam fastballs. There are other great highlights from that game like Trea Turner and Bryce Harper going “homer happy”. It is worth reading the pre-game build-up to that game.
There is other news besides Tebow. In the line-up is Ryan Zimmerman who will make his spring debut. Tomorrow Nats’ manager has penciled in Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. The Nationals also re-signed Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal which did not include an invitation to spring training but De Aza will appear in today’s game.
As part of the original site plan, the Nats and Astros dedicated Lincoln Park which is adjacent to the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and is now officially open to the public! Check out some photos from the ribbon cutting.
Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets
Stadium: First Data Field, Port St. Lucie, Florida
1st Pitch: 1:10 pm EDT
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
Here is the Mets line-up against Scherzer which has a lot of Mets’ regulars surrounding Tebow who is batting clean-up:
- Jose Reyes 2B
- Jay Bruce RF
- Adrian Gonzalez 1B
- Tim Tebow DH
- Amed Rosario SS
- Juan Lagares CF
- Jose Lobaton C
- Matt den Dekker LF
- David Thompson 3B
Rafael Montero RHP