Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

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


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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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.