PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — It’s possible that Tim Tebow’s at-bat in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 7-6 spring training loss to the Astros at First Data Field on Friday will be the last one he ever has in a major-league game.
Tebow’s two-game stint as a starting player for the Mets ended Friday. Manager Terry Collins said there are no plans “right now” to bring the 29-year-old rookie back to big-league camp.
Based on what Tebow showed on the field, his dream of making the major leagues seems as far away as ever, but he will keep plugging away on the minor-league side.
So when Tebow stepped into the batter’s box against lefthander Brian Holmes with the Mets trailing by two runs and the tying runs on base, boy, was the former Heisman Trophy winner and the crowd of 4,916 hoping for something dramatic.
“Gosh, I was trying to hit a dinger and win it,” Tebow said. He struck out to end the inning.
“What did you expect?” one fan said. “He’s a football player.”
Holmes fell behind Tebow 3-and-0 before throwing a strike. Tebow swung through the 3-and-1 pitch and then the 3-and-2 offering to finish 0-for-4 on the day and 0-for-7 with three strikeouts and a hit by pitch in his two appearances.
Tebow was the designated hitter against the Red Sox on Wednesday and started in rightfield before shifting to left Friday. He hit eighth both times.
“I felt like I was seeing the ball really well [Friday],” said Tebow, who grounded out in his first three at-bats. “I also felt a lot quicker to the ball. I think two days ago I was just excited, trying to take big hacks.”
It was Tebow’s first game in rightfield. He got a huge ovation from the crowd after catching his first chance, a routine fly ball in the third inning. He also got cheers after each of his outs, including the last one.
“You want to push the envelope and fall down as many times as you can,” Tebow said. “When you start to catch your feet, you get there a lot faster.”