The Braves were supposed to have four ace pitchers heading into the 2020 playoffs, but entering Wednesday’s wild-card series against the Reds, they were down to one. Atlanta’s entire postseason hopes rested squarely on the fleshy pink palm of Max Fried after losing Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels to season-ending injuries and failing to rebuke the evil spirit that lives within Mike Foltynewicz.
But late Tuesday evening, Atlanta bolstered its playoff rotation with the shocking addition of former Heisman winning quarterback and Baptist Backstreet Boy Tim Tebow. Tebow has not pitched since high school, but team GM Alex Anthopoulos says the Braves need a “proven winner” who can instill confidence into its young roster before a tough series against the Reds’ potent 3-man pitching rotation. The team will pay Tebow $6 million in base salary in addition to his standard $50,000 appearance fee for each start.
“We looked at a handful of veteran pitchers with playoff experience,” Anthopoulos said Tuesday night, “but we felt like Tim was a guy who could come in and instantly lead our young team in jersey sales.”
Critics have called Tebow’s recent foray into minor league baseball “an embarrassment” and “unfair” to better prospects who lose out on job opportunities because Tebow brings in more value to the team’s bottom line. The fact that he went from struggling outfielder in the Mets farm system to the Braves starting playoff rotation without pitching any games will certainly garner plenty of discussion, but it makes perfect sense to Jesus.
“Look, I’m not perfect; I don’t know everything about baseball,” Jesus explained, “but I know for a fact if you can snip the baby-clits off a slew of Filipino newborns, you can toss a few innings for the Daddamn Braves.”
The only part of the Tebow package that concerned Anthopoulos was the lefty’s throwing accuracy and velocity. The former Florida Gator was known for his looping shotput-style throwing motion that led to a historically low completion percentage in the NFL, and several team executives feared his left arm was actually a baby deer’s leg wrapped in bacon paper.
However, once Tebow reported to the Braves facility Tuesday night, Atlanta pitching coach Rick Kranitz discovered that Tebow has actually been throwing with the wrong hand this whole time. After a couple of warm-up tosses with his right arm, Tebow registered 99 MPH on the radar with significant movement, a vast improvement from his first left-handed pitch, which was intercepted by the guy holding the radar gun.
The newfound heater may power the Braves deep into the postseason, but Kranitz said the team is more excited about getting to know Tebow as a person. “We don’t know much about his personal faith or anything like that,” Kranitz explained, “so we’re hoping if we ask the right questions, we can get Tim to openly discuss his religious beliefs and opinions.”
Atlanta Manager/boneless toe Brian Snitker couldn’t wait to get Tebow to the team’s facility, and he’s optimistic it could help the Braves win a postseason series for the first time since 2001.
“If Timmy can pitch us back into the World Series this year, that’s at least three or four more Saturdays he won’t be able to fuck up College Gameday.”
Tebow declined to comment unless we paid his speaking fee, but he offered to pray for us. We declined.