'We want to keep him': Cohen hopes to keep Alonso a Met for life

Mets owner set to kick off franchise's new flagship podcast

February 24th, 2024

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- In need of a splashy first guest for their new team-sanctioned podcast, the Mets looked to the very top of their organization. And Steve Cohen delivered.

On the first episode of "Meet at the Apple," Cohen said that he hopes to make a Met for life.

"Listen, we want to keep him," Cohen said in a teaser clip the team released Friday on social media. "He's an important part of our team today and hopefully in the future. We know the fans feel strongly about him. And I'm not tone-deaf. I totally understand the fans' love of Pete. I hope he hits 55 home runs and makes it so difficult on me in free agency. I would call that a great outcome."

Cohen's stance on Alonso has been consistent since last August, when he said "we hope to work things out" with the star slugger. But he and other Mets officials, including president of baseball operations David Stearns, have also been realistic in saying that they expect Alonso first to reach free agency this winter.

Cohen is expected to speak at length and take questions from a wider media group later this spring.

Until then, fans can hear from him on the first episode of the "Meet at the Apple" series, which is set to drop on Saturday. Longtime radio play-by-play announcer Howie Rose will serve as a guest host on the podcast, continuing his tradition of interviewing Cohen in a video format around this time each year.

'Meet at the Apple' hosts Vito Calise and Jon Baron with Pete Alonso.

"He's so easy to talk to, because he projects -- as much as someone of his stature and status can -- as a regular guy," Rose said. "You don't feel like you're on eggshells wondering, 'How's he going to react to this or that?' It's just a very relaxed, easygoing conversation. And that's because he projects that attitude."

Beginning Saturday, podcast episodes will air twice a week on YouTube, Spotify, Apple and other popular sites. Future guests will include current Mets players, coaches and executives such as Brandon Nimmo, Alonso, Carlos Mendoza and Stearns, as well as David Wright and other Mets alumni. Team employees Jon Baron and Vito Calise, who also host the Future of Flushing podcast, will be the pod's regular emcees.

But before that routine begins, the podcast will kick off Saturday with Cohen sharing his thoughts on -- among other topics -- Alonso.

"It's nice to see the commitment that he has to engage the fans, which as we know, not every ownership in any sport necessarily embraces," Rose said. "Since Day 1, he's been proactive about staying connected. That's a big thing for fans. They're going to be upset about certain stuff and disagree with certain things, but at the end of the day, they know that they're hearing from the very top. And that's something that Steve is adamant about doing and projecting."