There are lots of ways to describe Mets first baseman, Pete Alonso. One is that he’s perpetually positive. But he may be onto something as New York prepares for the 2023 season.
How positive is Alonso? Even when the Mets were in the midst of that horrific second-half tailspin out of first place in 2021, he continually made statements about how the club was going to turn it around and get to the playoffs.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. In a game of failure like baseball, though, it’s important to have confidence in yourself and your teammates. If you don’t, then it’ll be hard to go out and actually have success on the diamond. Alonso spoke with the media before his “Battle of the Bay” Home Run Derby event in Tampa, and he said lots of stuff that isn’t surprising to many Mets fans.
Among the things he discussed was the immediate outlook for New York (quote via Tampa Bay Times):
I think that we have a great core of kids. We have great talent. And I feel like we made some really positive additions. So it’s going to be really exciting.
I feel like we’re on the brink of something extremely special. And I know that we don’t just want to win one (championship). We want to win multiple championships. And in order to do that, we’ve got to perform. We definitely have the talent to be able to do that.
If I had to guess what Alonso would’ve said about the Mets’ future, this is pretty much what I’d think he’d say. Unlike the second half of 2021, though, he’s got legitimate reasons to feel this way. Sure, New York was eliminated from the postseason way too soon, but it was still a banner year. After all, the last time the Mets won at least 100 regular-season games was in 1988. And there were many moments throughout the year when it felt like something special was brewing in Queens.
That ultimately didn’t happen, but Alonso likely thinks it’s still the foundation for a special run. Mets fans will just take one World Series title right now. It’s been a long wait since 1986. But once that first one is finally achieved, more would be cool, too.
During this media availability, Alonso was asked if he and the Mets have had discussions about a potential contract extension. He’s fresh off setting an arbitration record for first basemen with his $14.5 million contract for 2023, and that’s all he was willing to talk about at the moment.
If the Mets are smart, they’ll find a way to extend Alonso (and Jeff McNeil) before the first pitch is thrown on Opening Day. Even if it doesn’t happen within the next few months, there’s no way Alonso wants to be anywhere else. There are many Mets fans that feel the same way about the Polar Bear.