A former New York Mets minor league player has continued to discuss the organization’s “preferential” treatment of Tim Tebow.
Tebow, 32, began his pursuit of professional baseball in September of 2016, signing a minor league contract with the Mets. He’s been in the NL East team’s organization ever since, rising up to the Triple-A level in 2019.
Former New York Mets prospect Andrew Church appeared to call out the team’s handling of Tebow in a recent Instagram post.
“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,” he wrote.
View this post on Instagram
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..
Sunday, he expounded on his comments, speaking with Lance Medow on Mad Dog Sports Radio.
“Personally on a relationship level between me and Tim, I think he’s a respectable human being,” Church said, per 247Sports. “I think he carries himself well. I think he works pretty hard for an athlete. As a person and a human being, I can’t blame this man for following his journey. I’m bitter. He felt like we had some tension between me and him. I sat down and talked to him myself and I said ‘I am angry at this organization for what they are doing and how they are handling this.’ I said we have spent all of our lives….I have spent since I was two years old playing competitive baseball. All we wanted was the same rights he had, the same respect he got. Not from the fans but our organization and we felt that didn’t happen at all.
“There’s speculation that he made more than the average minor leaguer, but it wasn’t about that. It was about how they treated him. For example, it’s mandatory to take a bus to every trip we go on. The team bus. I know for a fact he did not. None of us can do a separate job in the middle of the season and definitely be back in the lineup. He was able to. As a family man, if my wife is here while we’re playing…and this happened, and my son’s sick and i want to go on the road and take care of them so my wife can get here and we drive to the destination, I’m not allowed to do that but I’ve seen it happen with one specific player.”
Church and Tebow were teammates at three different minor league levels from 2017-19. The starting pitcher was among the players released by the Mets earlier this week.