An ex-Mets minor league player took a shot at his former organization’s signing of Tim Tebow, calling it “a mockery” designed to “sell more tickets.”
Andrew Church, a 2nd round pick of the Mets in 2013, was released this week along with dozens of other minor league players across baseball as the impact of the pandemic continues to ravage America’s pastime.
In an Instagram post late Thursday night, Church vented about his frustrations with his club’s parent organization.
“The Mets made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets,’’ Church wrote. “I saw players lose their jobs because of it.
“We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money. Not the players. We never saw a cut. Well, allegedly one player did.”
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Please read to understand my true feelings. Today I got released by the NY Mets organization. The people on the other end of the phone had nothing but good things to say and I appreciated that very much. Anyone that has seen me play and compete knows that I lay it all on the line no matter what. Every practice, every game. I am a competitor, a true warrior. It’s in my DNA. From the outside looking in, my baseball career probably raises a lot of questions. Why did you retire and come back? How come your numbers aren’t very good if you were that dedicated? I have always kept my opinions to myself out of respect for the organization I signed a contract with. But now that it’s officially over with them I’d like to say some things. One of the main reasons I retired was to keep myself from expressing how I felt. I was bitter, frustrated, and angry at the Mets organization. I felt my competitive nature was being taken advantage of. They knew I would never say no to competing and would fly me around to fill in for anyone that got injured. I realized this wasn’t in my best interest when my delayed flight finally landed in the 3rd inning, and I was on the mound in a AAA baseball game for the first time, without any warm up throws. My UCL originally tore that night. Instead of seeing a doctors like I asked, they sent me back to High A to pitch in the playoffs. When I told them I couldn’t I was made out to be the bad guy. Then the next year, they made a mockery of our team by putting a celebrity on it to sell more tickets. I saw players lose their jobs because of it. We weren’t playing to win, we were playing to make everyone else money. Not the players. We never saw a cut. Well, allegedly that one player did. I think people are starting to understand that more now but they didn’t in 2018 when it was happening again. I was fed up. I spent my whole childhood honing in my passion and anger, to not let it get out of control, but it was and I was going to explode. So I took the opposite direction, I bottled it and silenced myself. I took some time away and cleared my head. Continued in comments..
Though Church never mentions Tebow by name, a careful reading of the minor league rosters reveals no other “celebrity” that could have sparked ticket sales.
The Mets, however, have been transparent about their reasons for signing Tebow. Former Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson admitted that Tebow’s “celebrity” factored into their decision to sign him.
“Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business,” Alderson told Newsday.
Regardless of the reasons for prompting Tebow’s signing, his time with the Mets has been largely an unproductive disappointment. In four seasons playing at all levels of the minor leagues, Tebow is hitting a paltry .223 with 18 homeruns.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn