— Brooklyn Cyclones (@BKCyclones) June 20, 2017
Former New York Mets infielder Edgardo Alfonzo made his managerial debut for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, Edgardo Alfonzo made his return to the New York Mets organization before a sellout crowd of 7,271 impassioned fans.
And while things didn’t go as planned — his Brooklyn Cyclones fell to the Staten Island Yankees, 7-4 — his managerial debut was well received by the Brooklyn faithful. That being said, he’d like to move onto the next one.
“Everyone on our side was anxious,” Alfonzo said. “…excited to get to home plate. I’m glad this game we got this game over and hopefully, tomorrow everyone goes back to their normal thing.”
For eight seasons, Alfonzo manned the middle of the Mets’ infield, earning a reputation as one of the best fielders in the game. Over an eleven year career, he batted .284 with 146 home runs and 744 runs batted in, and was named an All Star (2000) and a Silver Slugger (1999).
Following a post-retirement hiatus, Fonzie accepted a gig with Brooklyn’s coaching staff. He moved up the ranks of the club, first assuming a part-time gig (only coaching home games and select road games), then taking a full-time gig, and finally, when “the situation presented itself,” as he told the NY Post, he took over the reins from former top dog Tom Gamboa.
“I’m glad this game we got this game over and hopefully, tomorrow everyone goes back to their normal thing.”
For Alfonzo and his staff, the challenge will be to balance the development of prospects and the need to keep winning ballgames. The guys on Fonzie’s squad have surely seen a current Mets roster flowing with Brooklyn alumni. Four big leaguers — including Michael Conforto and Lucas Duda — once played for the Cyclones.
“As a manager you want to win,” Alfonzo said. “When you are in a situation to win, that’s what you want to do, but you also want to develop guys in pressure situations. This is a good place to do that.”
Akin to their big league affiliate, the Cyclones have enjoyed tremendous success on Opening Day. Heading into the 2017 season, they had only lost four times in their seventeen year history.
But it’s awfully tough to come out on top when your pitchers are struggling with their command, as the Cyclones’ staff was all night. Of the Yankees’ seven runs, six reached base via a walk. Quite tellingly, 2015 draft pick Jake Simon lasted only four innings because his pitch count ballooned to 81.
The Cyclones managed only four hits all game, though third baseman Reed Gamache touched home twice. Alfonzo will be looking for a better effort on Thursday when his club travels to Vermont to take on the Lake Monsters.