Give Pete Alonso the “C”

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Pete Alonso, in his short time with the New York Mets, has blazed his own trail. This trail has included him beating out Dom Smith for the first base job and proceeding to become friends with him, battling beat writers online in defense of his teammate Jeff McNeil, capturing the Mets single season home run record in his first season with the team, winning the Home Run Derby, and most recently, outfitting his entire team with cleats commemorating the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The best part about the cleat outfitting? Alonso did not ask the permission of the MLB to wear these cleats, he simply did it on his own. Alonso knew that the MLB has a strict policy when it comes to uniforms, and they had already denied his request to wear the hats of the FDNY and NYPD. Being the leader that he is, Alonso went out of his way to not only defy the MLB, but also to unite his team for a good cause. Earlier in the season, I wrote about how the Mets should offer team-friendly contract extensions to the likes of Alonso and McNeil, which is something I still stand by. However, along with his extension, Alonso should also receive the “C” on his jersey as captain of the team.

It is a move that that would not face much opposition. The only one upset about it would be Chris Paddack. Looking at what Alonso has done this season, both on and off the field, is nothing short of spectacular. There are of course the home runs that Alonso has mesmerized fans with this season. His MLB-leading 47 home runs have been the one consistent thing this season that has brought Mets fans to Citi Field this season. After all, it has been one of the weirdest Mets seasons ever, with them faltering in and out of playoff contention. Alonso has been holding himself accountable all season, and has been the one Met that could be responsible for driving ticket sales.

When he called for fans to show up to an important homestand, they showed up in droves. The way that fans have rallied around Alonso and the team has not only served to make Washington Nationals players envious, but also to bring an excitement to Citi Field that hasn’t been seen since Yoenis Cespedes went on his 2015 tear.

More importantly, Alonso has been a leader on the team. On a squad that is so rich in pitching talent, Alonso has figured out a way to be the man reporters turn to after games. His presence is such like a veteran’s, that the conversation of Rookie of the Year for Alonso is already far gone. He has had it in the bag since the middle of the summer, anyway. In a captain, you look for a player that has his head on his shoulders, and eyes on the lookout for his teammates. In recent times, there has not been a Met more supportive on the field of his teammates than Alonso. It is not uncommon to see Alonso approach a teammate after they commit an error or have a bad inning on the mound to offer encouragement. Alonso understands what it means to be a New Yorker, and a fantastic teammate. He is young, but has already become the face of this team. Alonso is ready to be the captain of the Mets.

8 comments for “Give Pete Alonso the “C”

  1. September 14, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Not sure I’m ready to hand him the C just yet, but he’s on the short list. Love the younger core group of Pete, Conforto, McNeil, Nimmo and Davis. But to me, the C belongs to one player on that squad – also happens to be my favorite – deGrom. Dude was a marginal shortstop in college who turned into an elite pitcher by mixing guile with stuff at an older age.

    • TexasGusCC
      September 14, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Mike, I agree with you in thinking, but I don’t know that you give a “C” to a player that plays once every five days. Also, I’ve never heard of a pitcher Captain. Being Captain is a distinction that is practically given by the players.

      When Wright became Captain, he was the first since Hernandez. Both those guys were the ones players went to for advice and help, and they were the welcoming committee to new players. Alonso isn’t there quite yet, but does have the intangibles that are laid out in Dalton’s article.

      • John Fox
        September 14, 2019 at 9:46 am

        Actually Gus, the Mets have had a captain who was a pitcher, John Franco was back in the early part of the century.

  2. Chris F
    September 14, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I dont think “C” means anything. Its clear who Alonso is. Baseball teams dont have captains. While everything we see daily about Alonso says he’s a gamer, I just dont see any need to do this yet. Wright became captain after nearly a decade of being a Met. Seven season for Jeter. Is there somehow a level of urgency here that escapes me?

  3. Peter Hyatt
    September 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Too young. It could harm him.

    Reel him in a bit.

    Show him the highlight film of Mets moving into first place 50 years ago. See muted celebration. They had much more to prove first.

    Then show him videos of players choreographing their dance celebrations for reaching .500 mediocrity.

    Let him grow up without even more pressure.

    He’s a rookie. He’s fun, exuberant and, as Keith says, “plays on his toes” with excitement.

    We need a solid veteran leader who keeps his head and knows how to keep a clubhouse to wear the C, though it’s not as important in baseball as hockey.

    The comparisons to Wright & Jeter are sober. This is New York.

    Give Alonso time to mature.

    • Mike W
      September 14, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Love Pete, but it is too early. Would out pressure on him if he hits a sophomore slump.

  4. Bugsy
    September 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Could anybody tell me how to access “protected” areas here?
    I don’t see a place to sign up.

    • September 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      I will send you the password to the gmail addy you used to comment.

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