For Tim Tebow, there's an unwritten rule on the baseball diamond --- thou shalt not brawl.
The New York Mets minor leaguer got some firsthand experience in the rivalry between his program and the New York Yankees when their Triple-A affiliates met over the weekend. As The New York Post reported, tempers flared in the seventh inning when Mike Ford hit a home run for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Yankees farm club. Afterward, Syracuse Mets reliever Arquimedes Caminero threw at Breyvic Valera in what appeared to be an act of retaliation.
This set the two sides off and led to the benches clearing. While there wasn't much in the way of actual fighting, Tim Tebow wasn't having any of it and decided to put his efforts into diffusing tensions.
"Tim Tebow and RailRiders skipper Jay Bell tried to break up the skirmish, which subsided after a few heated moments," The New York Post report noted.
It was some of the most action Tim Tebow has seen this spring. After rising through the Mets farm system and even earning himself a trip to the Double-A All-Star Game last year, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL starting quarterback has struggled in his transition to Triple-A, as his MILB.com stats show. Tebow is struggling at the plate, hitting just .161 with 12 RBI and one home run this season while striking out 51 times in his 124 at-bats.
Tebow's manager thinks it could be the transition to the level just below the major leagues, where pitchers have a much more advanced arsenal than in the lower levels of minor league ball.
"He's still learning how to hit some of this pitching," Syracuse manager Tony DeFrancesco told ESPN. "I mean, these guys are throwing 97, 98 miles per hour. They're spinning the baseball. He's making some adjustments."DeFrancesco had hinted that Tebow may be demoted back to Double-A ball, but so far this season appears to be saved by the injury bug that's bitten the big league team. The Mets have suffered a number of injuries to outfielders that have led them to call up some of their minor league outfielders like Carlos Gomez. That has saved Tebow's spot on the team for now and kept him an everyday player, but he may need to improve in order to hold that spot through the summer.
Tim Tebow and the Syracuse Mets certainly didn't get the last laugh after the "basebrawl" this weekend. The RailRiders defeated them with an 11-6 score.