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#pounditSaturday, August 15, 2020

Minor leaguer Andrew Church rips Mets over Tim Tebow, ‘toxic’ culture

Tim Tebow

There was a massive purge of minor league players by MLB teams on Thursday, and Andrew Church was among those to lose his job. The former New York Mets second-round pick proceeded to rip the team in a lengthy Instagram post in which he also took a jab at Tim Tebow.

Below is Church’s Instagram post.

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..

A post shared by Andrew Church (@papachurch36) on

Here is what he said in his lengthy note:

“Please read to understand my true feelings,” Church began.

“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.

“Baseball has always been the only constant in my life. No matter if I’m active or not I will always play. It’s my release. I asked to be reinstated in 2019, when a new player development regime took over for the Mets. I honestly think they are making strides to be a better organization, but the culture that has been built for decades within that organization is toxic. Filled with snakes and bottom feeders trying to elevate their professional careers at the expense of the players, with no remorse.

“I hadn’t pitched in a competitive game in over a year, but they needed a filler because someone got hurt the night before. I took a red eye flight, to one stadium, a 7 hour bus trip, another flight, and a taxi to the stadium I would be pitching in. Again I was in a AAA baseball game with no worry about my well being. I lost my drive to perform for an organization who continuously treats us as pawns in their chess games. Especially when the ones doing it, don’t know what it takes to be a baseball player. And some must’ve just forgotten.

“Ignorance is a scary thing. We see it in mainstream society too often. Ignorance with power and a lack of empathy is, in my eyes, the scariest of all evils. Thank you to all the players and coaches who had the passion and drive to empower each other and push the game forward. F–k you to everyone who wasn’t. You have no place in professional baseball.

“To my future, you all know I can’t stop. And I get scary when I’m motivated. Watch out! CarveNation.”

Though he didn’t mention Tebow by name, it’s very clear he was talking about the former Heisman Trophy winner when he said they put a celebrity on the team to sell tickets. From 2017-2019, the two were teammates on the St. Lucie Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and Syracuse Mets at various stages.

There is no doubt this was an awful day for Church and any other minor leaguer who got released. It stinks for anyone to have their dream of playing pro ball come to an end like this — not on their terms. But that doesn’t mean Church’s rant was necessary, and it certainly does not reflect well upon him.

Church was a second-round pick by the Mets in 2013 and has had seven years to make his mark. He has had plenty of chances. He has a career 7.11 ERA in 62 innings in Double-A and a 7.83 ERA in 16 innings in Triple-A. He walked away from the organization to briefly retire and then was allowed back. He wrote in his note that he was angry at the Mets before retiring. That shows me he was blaming the wrong sources for his problems and not looking at himself.

The Mets have given us plenty of reasons to laugh at them over the years, but they’ve also developed plenty of good players (Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil to name a few). Church seems to be blaming the team for all that has gone wrong in his career, and is taking unnecessary shots at Tebow. He needs to look in the mirror about the reasons why he didn’t make it. His performance just wasn’t good enough.

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