Pete Alonso, whether by design or coincidence, is quickly establishing himself as the Aaron Judge of the New York Mets. Alonso Inc. is up and running…
Pete Alonso, in the long tradition of New York City’s love affair with players who drive baseballs far into the night, has quickly established himself as an offensive power force in the National League. Already the winner of the league’s Rookie Player of the Month for April, Alonso is fast becoming a fan favorite of a team still wincing from the departure of David Wright.
New York City loves its heroes and curses its fraudsters. There’s no in-between. Only winners survive. For every Mickey Mantle or Gary Carter, there’s an A. J. Burnett, Kevin Maas, Sonny Gray, Bobby Bonilla, Matt Harvey, or Travis d’Arnaud. As the song goes, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”…
Pete Alonso is definitely making it, as his 12 home runs and 32 RBI attest to at the quarter-pole of the 2019 season. Multiply each by four and you have a ballpark number for his first season with the Mets, surely enough for Rookie of the Year honors in the National League.
But it’s off the field that Pete Alonso is also drawing attention. His recent dustup with Chris Paddack, the Padres pitching sensation, has tell-tale signs of fiery competitiveness that burns inside Alonso. When chided by Paddack, who thought he deserved the April Rookie award, Alonso came back with, “I’m not in this to win the Rookie of the Year, I’m here to win a World Series”.
Pete Alonso: The Lessons Of Stardom In NYC
Lesson number one to be a hero in New York City – always downplay yourself and talk only about winning. Lesson number two and equally as important – always be true to thyself. New York fans are sophisticated and smart. Over time, they will sort out the fraudsters, just as many are doing in retrospect with the King Of Soundbites, El Capitan, Derek Jeter.
Pete Alonso’s counterpart across the river, Aaron Judge is passing the litmus test of sincerity with flying colors, and it not a coincidence that Alonso is following Judge’s footsteps in inking a contract with Fanatics, a well-known authenticator of sports memorabilia.
Alonso Inc., in taking that step, now catapults himself into a whole other realm of professional baseball few players ever see. Once again though, we need to take pause and listen closely to Alonso’s words as he signed the deal with Fanatics:
In using language that sounds so “Jeteresque” it’s scary, Alonso takes care to single out the Flushing Faithful and his alignment with Fanatics because “that’s what Mets fans deserve”. Check that, Pete. As far as I know, the checks will be made out to you, and not deserving Mets fans who will pay through the teeth for the privilege of owning an “authentic” signed Pete Alonso bat.
Alonso: Too Much Too Fast? – Hope Not
Time out. I am not in any way insinuating that Pete Alonso should be cast into the fraudster club. He’s only been a big leaguer for six weeks, hardly enough time to “get to know” Pete Alonso. But it is worthy of noting the trap he can easily fall into if he is not careful and surrounded by people who have his best interests in mind at all times.
Alonso Inc. is off and running and best wishes to all involved. Pete Alonso will be making the major league minimum ($555,000 this year) until 2022 when he reaches his first of three arbitration years (subject to change in the new bargaining agreement due in 2021). During that span, Pete Alonso will be producing for the Mets disproportionately to his salaries.
So, who can begrudge the man for finding ways to increase his standard-of-living, just as you and I attempt to do every day?
Pete Alonso is stepping into a role many expected Michael Conforto to assume. No harm, no foul. Just, keep it real Pete.
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball (Thank You For Sharing)
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