PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Tim Tebow says he’s just trying to get better each day in the New York Mets’ instructional league.
After two days, so far, so good.
Tebow homered to right during batting practice on Tuesday, one day after the quarterback-turned-baseball-hopeful put three balls off the fence at the Mets’ training complex. A Mets’ staff member went behind the fence a few minutes later and returned with a baseball, though it wasn’t clear if it was the actual one Tebow hit.
“Felt a little more comfortable with a day under my belt, just getting more used to everything, the preparations,” said Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner from Florida and former NFL quarterback. “All those silly things that you have to go through, right? Getting in the building, finding everything that you need, cafeteria, everything, and just getting used to the routine.”
The composition of the workout from Day 1 to Day 2 was similar. The atmosphere wasn’t — the media contingent was considerably smaller than it was on Monday, and maybe about one-quarter as many fans showed up as the day before.
Then again, plenty of people welcomed Tebow to Port St. Lucie when he made a Target run on Monday night. He said he needed supplies, specifically drinks and almonds.
“Whether it’s five people or 500 people, you can’t let that bother you, the size of the crowd or what people are saying or the hype or no hype,” Tebow said. “I just try not to get involved at all and just try not to pay attention at all and focus on being a baseball player.”
He’s also finding time to stay on top of his other job as an analyst with the SEC Network, with time management not an issue. Tebow will work out at least twice more in Port St. Lucie this week, then head to the Auburn-LSU game this weekend before returning to the Mets’ complex.
When instructional league games start, Tebow expects to play — though there’s no firm plan yet for what will happen after these three weeks, such as whether he’ll go to the Arizona Fall League. For now, he said he’s trying to take advantage of every opportunity to meet with coaches, talking situational play in the outfield and the Mets’ preferred approach to hitting.
The goal of Tuesday’s batting practice session, Tebow said, was to find outfield gaps. He just managed to hit one a little farther, saying he felt more comfortable with additional preparation and warmup time.
“Not necessarily the goal,” Tebow said of the homer. “But if you do it, that’s good, too.”
NOTES: Tebow was asked if he had any thoughts on Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and others taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. He said he’d keep his thoughts to himself on the issue. “When people have belief in something or conviction about something, I think trying to stand for that is a good thing. And then it’s all about trying to stand for it the right way,” Tebow said.