Q&A: Alonso talks recent hot streak, playing in NY

June 18th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Anthony DiComo’s Mets Beat newsletter, written this week by Bill Ladson. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

In a recent interview with MLB.com, Mets first baseman answered questions on a wide range of topics from his impending free agency to his love for New York.

MLB.com: The Mets are showing signs of life. How do you feel about the way they are playing these days?

Alonso: I think we are playing clean and crisp baseball. We are doing the right things by taking care of the baseball defensively. We are not giving away free outs on the basepaths. We are having good at-bats up and down the batting order. If you do those things consistently … that gives our pitching staff a chance to really bear down. I think we have been playing really good team baseball.

MLB.com: The team’s hot streak comes at the right time because Edwin Díaz is back to his old self. What does his presence mean to the club?

Alonso: Having Sugar back is fantastic. Having him healthy is extremely important for our team's success. There are guys that we need to be healthy and he is one of those guys.

MLB.com: I say, in order for the Mets to make a big run to the postseason, they need Pete Alonso to come up big. How do you feel about that?

Alonso: Yeah, I agree. It’s not been an ideal start over the course of 162 games. I think things will kind of even out the way it’s supposed to. I think I’ve come a long way from early May. That was really tough. I slowly worked my way out of that [slump]. I feel I’ve been able to contribute in a lot of good ways. I feel like I’ve been able to play good defense, as well, which is nice.

MLB.com: I feel when you are going well at the plate, you are using the entire field.

Alonso: That’s something that can sometimes be difficult where I’m not getting pitches to do so. I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of being more selective, taking walks, having good at-bats. But, also, I had some opportunities where I have gotten pitches [and] not hit them as hard as I would like. But as we continue on, I think things are going to really start finding another stride.

MLB.com: As you know, the Trade Deadline is on July 30. The big question is, in your heart of hearts, do you think you will be with the Mets after that date?

Alonso: I hope so. I really do, because that means that we are playing good baseball. We are playing winning baseball. For me, this is a special place. I love the guys and the staff in the clubhouse. This is home. … If I don’t get traded, which I hope I don’t, it means we are playing winning baseball, we are clicking and we are doing what we are supposed to be doing as a team. We are winning games.

MLB.com: The way you talk about New York, you don’t want to leave.

Alonso: It’s a really special place. I would like to stay. It’s a great city. It’s a great place to play. Yeah … this is my ninth year with this organization. I’ve grown up here. It’s just so many special things that have happened. Some of my best memories in life have been in New York.

MLB.com: Considering that Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil received long-term deals, are you surprised that you haven’t received one?

Alonso: I wouldn’t say surprised or not surprised. I think that every player is different. Every player’s story and what they deal with at certain times – it’s different. For me, it’s different. My story is different. Nimmo went to free agency and he loves it here. He has been here since 2011. He has gone down the same path. I know Francisco signed an extension. Jeff has signed an extension. There are examples of guys signing extensions and there are examples of guys … signing here via free agency because it’s a special place. Why wouldn’t you want to come back if you love it?

MLB.com: You obviously love it here.

Alonso: I love it here.

MLB.com: Is there any progress in contract talks?

Alonso: Honestly, I’ve been focusing on baseball and the season. That’s really been the whole focus this year. … I just want to win every day, trying to prepare for each game and attack each day.

MLB.com: How do you stay away from the distractions? I don’t have to tell you there are stories written every day about you. Where are you going to go? Are you going to stay?

Alonso: It’s relatively easy, because I’m just focused on trying to win. I’m focused on competing and giving my best effort. I just want to win. It's as simple as that. I’m focusing all my energy just as I’ve done through every single season I’ve played. People ask, "What’s different?" Nothing is different. Every season is the same goal. Go out there, compete and win as many games as possible. Go to the playoffs and hopefully win a championship.

MLB.com: Scott Boras is now your agent. Some of his clients took a long time to sign deals last winter. Are there any concerns on your end that it could take a long time for you to sign a long-term deal?

Alonso: As much as people like to blame Scott, it’s the player that has the ultimate choice. Every agent – not just Scott – their job is to represent the player as the player wishes. So every player is a case-by-case [basis].

MLB.com: Darryl Strawberry loves to talk about how you are able handle the pressures of New York. Why have you been able to handle a big city like the Big Apple?

Alonso: For me, I love being here. Pressure here is a privilege. I think that this organization and this fan base deserve my best efforts every day on the field. I want to be able to go out there with a clear head and a full heart knowing that I’m giving every single bit of myself every single day when I put on the uniform.