in the country and he owed him a
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Tim Tebow has an answer ready for the?New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns?and any other NFL team with a void at quarterback: Hes a baseball player now.After taking part in his first day of the?New York Mets instructional league, Tebow said he is committed to his new sport and has no interest in fielding calls from NFL teams that have a need at quarterback because of an injury.I have to play baseball now -- thats what I would tell them, Tebow said. Im part of the Mets family now.Tebow signed a minor league contract with the Mets for a $100,000 bonus 11 days ago after an open tryout in Los Angeles in late August. He last wore a football uniform during the 2015 NFL preseason with the?Philadelphia Eagles; his previous stops include the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Patriots.Tebow joined 57 other minor leaguers and 24 coaches Monday at the Instructional League, which runs for three weeks at the Mets spring training complex at Tradition Field. More than 400 fans and about 70 media members watched him take part in a variety of drills and routine baseball activities for about two hours.Before donning a Mets uniform, Tebow last played organized baseball as a high school outfielder in suburban Jacksonville in 2005. He gave up baseball at the University of Florida and went on to win a Heisman Trophy and lead the Gators to two national titles.During a 30-minute news conference Monday, Tebow said he is unconcerned with the negative fallout from critics who have called his foray into baseball a publicity stunt and have written off his chances for success.The good thing is, I dont have to say anything, Tebow said. I get to go in the locker room, get a workout, take a shower, hang out with my teammates and show up tomorrow and go train again.A lot of people might say, You have a chip on your shoulder. Well, I guess I have a little chip. But its not really the naysayers. I want to prove the Mets organization and the coaches here right, and try to be the best baseball player and person that I can. Im doing it to pursue whats in my heart and live out a dream and live life to the fullest.Tebows first day was relatively uneventful. At 10 a.m. ET, he took the field for 15 minutes of stretching. Then he participated in baserunning drills and shagged balls in the outfield before taking soft tosses from coaches and stepping in the batting cage.Although Tebow didnt hit any home runs in batting practice, he made solid contact throughout his four sessions in the cage and drove two balls off the right-field fence. The crowd cheered him after every round.Mets manager Terry Collins checked in with his counterparts in Florida, including rehab coordinator Jon Debus, after Mondays workout to see how Tebow performed.They said it was pretty interesting, Collins said. ... Jon said, Ive seen a lot of guys work hard. He said, This guys a monster. He said he was sweating pretty profusely at the end of the day, but he said he was in good shape.He said everything he did, he got a round of applause. So Im sure it was fun.Timmy Truong, a 2015 University of Florida graduate, was among many Gators fans who showed up for the workout. The fans mobbed Tebow for autographs, and he signed for about five minutes on a back field before heading to the main complex in a golf cart to meet the media.If you went to UF, you know Tim Tebow, Truong said. You have to come out and show him some respect for what he brought to the school. Im pretty sure 90 percent of the people here are for Tim Tebow -- not for the Mets.At age 29, Tebow is significantly older than the other players in Port St. Lucie. Pitcher Cameron Griffin is the second-oldest player at 25, and pitchers Keaton Aldridge and Ronald Sanchez are the only other Instructional Leaguers older than 23.Standing 6-foot-3, 255 pounds -- with roughly 7 percent body fat -- Tebow is also significantly bigger and more muscular than the other campers. His size made him easier to spot for fans who leaned on chain-link fences as he shagged fly balls or ran sprints in the distance.In addition to widespread skepticism about his playing ability, Tebow has received some criticism for his plan to leave the Instructional League each week to continue his TV work with ESPNs SEC Nation. He said he will typically leave Port St. Lucie on Friday morning and return on Saturday after his analyst duties are complete.When I give my word to somebody, Im going to keep it no matter what, Tebow said. This is something I had to do because I gave my word to my SEC family. Im a big believer in that. Its how I was raised. Thats what I want my integrity to stand for. When I give my word on something, I want it to mean something.Tebow said he plans to develop one-on-one relationships with his younger teammates in camp and address any issues that might arise. At the moment, his specialized schedule doesnt appear to be a problem.In the course of talking with guys, a couple of them have already brought it up, Tebow said. Theyre like, So youre flying to Auburn this weekend? Some of them are already trying to get college football advice.ESPNs Adam Rubin contributed to this report. Ben Smith Avalanche Jersey. The Montreal Canadiens announced on Friday that the veteran forward will return to the teams line-up on Saturday night when the Habs visit the Nashville Predators. Teemu Selanne Jersey. Numbers Game examines the deal that sees Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein switch places. The Predators Get: D Michael Del Zotto. The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. Blake Comeau Avalanche looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Joe Colborne Jersey. - Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic has broken a shutout record that was only three months old in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Superbowl winner Marshawn Lynch says Jarryd Hayne failed to make it in American football because of the cultural divide between the NRL and NFL.The code-hopping league star left the San Francisco 49ers in May in a bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics with the Fiji Rugby Sevens team.Lynch, in Australia to promote the US College Football season opener in Sydney this weekend, said on Thursday that while he was in awe of Haynes athletic prowess, there was too deep of a cultural chasm for him to cross.Hes a good athlete, Lynch said.I just think the culture of the game out here didnt translate back in the states.The recently-retired Seattle Seahawks running back is in Sydney with his old alma mater University of California ahead of the Golden Bears first game of the season against the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at ANZ Stadium.The man known as Beast Mode made a surprise appearance at South Sydney training at Reddfern Oval, leaving several members of the Rabbitohs squad starstruck.ddddddddddddLynchs PR man Grant Vandanberg also manages Souths co-owner Russell Crowe and shocked club officials late on Wednesday by informing them Lynch would be doing a last-minute photo op.Lynch took a handful of questions from journalists, however needed Rabbitohs big man Sam Burgess to translate because he couldnt understand the Australian media accents.He said Hayne was responsible for lifting the profile of American football in the country and he owed him a debt of thanks.Id tell him thank you if he was standing here right now, Lynch said of Hayne.Because as Ive been roaming throughout the city, a lot of people have been saying `thats that American football playing guy.And I think his awareness brought it out. 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