Andrew Church was among the minor league players who the New York Mets released Thursday as part of a wide-ranging amount of cuts throughout the sport.
Church posted a lengthy Instagram message on his way out and appeared to rip Tim Tebow in the process. Tebow has spent his entire baseball career in the Mets’ minor league system but apparently was not among those who were cut by the organization.
In his statement, Church addressed how he tore his UCL and accused the Mets organization of still continuing to play him and ignoring his requests to see a doctor.
“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,” Church wrote. “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.”
He then appeared to take a shot at Tebow without naming him.
“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.”
Church said he thought the organization was making strides when he asked to be reinstated in 2019.
“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.”
He wrote that he continued to be bused around and that he lost his “drive” to perform for the organization.
Church was among 39 Mets players who were released Thursday. Minor league players were originally getting $400 per week.
MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of its minor league season in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league launched a policy March 19 to provide most players who are not on the 40-man roster signed to minor league deals with stipends through April 8 and then again to May 31.
Minor league baseball may not have a season as MLB owners and players negotiate how a season is going to take place in 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.