John Kekis/Associated Press
Minor league pitcher Andrew Church was one of a number of players who lost their jobs Thursday. A now-former member of the New York Mets organization, Church spoke out on Instagram, saying the team took advantage of him to the detriment of his health and career.
“[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 that one player did.”
A quick glance at the timeline Church offers seems to point to Tebow’s signing as well.
Church says he tore his UCL the year before the unnamed celebrity signed with the club. The hurler’s injury occurred in 2016 only a few months before Tebow signed.
The injury itself may concern baseball observers. Church writes the team sent him to AAA Syracuse to make his first appearance and inserted him into the game without any warm-up following a delayed flight. His elbow blew out that night.
“Instead of seeing a doctors like I asked, they sent me back to High-A to pitch in the playoffs,” Church wrote. “When I told them I couldn’t I was made out to be the bad guy.”
The following September, Tebow joined the AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
What was at first described as a “baseball decision” by general manager Sandy Alderson was later revealed as a MARKETING idea.
Alderson admitted as much in 2017 while speaking at the SABR convention (per Roger Rubin of Newsday):
“Look, we signed him because he is a good guy, partly because of his celebrity, partly because this is an entertainment business. My attitude is ‘why not?’…
“The guy we sent to see him in California did not exactly send back a glowing report. I knew immediately he would not want his name as the signing scout…Ultimately, the guy that we put down [as the scout who signed Tebow] was the director of merchandising.”
Church said he kept his thoughts to himself until now out of respect for the organization. After the Mets took away his job Thursday, there was little holding him back any longer.