Not so quietly: Pete Alonso open’s up on Mets released terrified statement”, SAD NEWS

Pete Alonso, the Amazins’ rookie first baseman with a league-leading 45 homers and a grin to match, has filled Flushing with joy in an otherwise so-so season. Are his good cheer and big bat strong enough to give the Mets a new mojo?

This story appears in the Sept. 23, 2019, issue of Sports Illustrated.For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine and get up to 94% off the cover price.

Pete Alonso has lived in the city only since April, but he’s already driving like a New Yorker. He easily merges his Lexus SUV into traffic on the FDR Drive and navigates the narrow lanes. He swings calmly off the RFK Bridge onto the Grand Central Parkway. When a teenager threatens to dart in front of the car near Citi Field, Alonso shakes his head and laughs. “Don’t do it, man! Don’t do it!” (The kid does not.) Alonso is 24. He seems older as he asks three preteen autograph hounds why they’re not in school, but younger as he begins enumerating the things he likes about his life in 2019.

He likes that he has driven this route to Citi Field so many times that he knows the way without GPS. He likes that in a few days he will climb onto a team plane bound for yet another major league city. He liked hauling boxes into the Upper East Side one-bedroom he shares with his fiancée, Haley Walsh, because it meant he was home. He likes pitching changes, because he can practice taking a secondary lead off first base (which still amuses his teammates). He likes social media, unlike most in the public eye, because of all the encouragement he gets. He cannot immediately think of a curse he can’t turn into a blessing.

Occasionally this drives his teammates crazy. Alonso related a scene from an August game against the Indians during which the Mets endured two rain delays. The first, at two hours and 28 minutes, clocked in at a minute shorter than that afternoon’s Cubs-Giants tilt. The second began at a quarter to midnight. As his teammates sat at their lockers, calculating the hours of lost sleep, Alonso delivered a call to arms. “First and third, bottom of the eighth!” he roared. “We’re going to step on their neck when that tarp comes off at 3 a.m.!” (As it turned out, the game was called, with the Mets ahead 2-0, at 12:23.)

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