On March 12th, 2020, a thing happened that no one anticipated or had seen in our lifetimes. The major league baseball season was delayed for something that had nothing to do with the game itself. COVID-19, the strain of Coronavirus that is currently causing innumerable changes to the United States, took down, from the outside, a game that even World War II couldn’t fully stop.
On that day, a 25 year old first baseman from the New York Mets took to twitter and released a heartfelt statement to a country that is currently reeling from this pandemic. Pete Alonso’s words, for a moment, helped us feel that there was a little bit of hope in a country that feels like it’s reeling by the hour and was the continuation of the developing star that not only set records with his play last season, but also proved to be a confident, mature leader for team that has needed one for so long. David Wright had qualities like that as well, but his injury plagued final years with the team put a limit on how far that leadership could take him. In Alonso, the Mets have someone that the organization can build a team around from both a talent and a cultural standpoint.
But his statement and his presence over the last year just further highlights the divide this country is currently in and why the cancellation of sports and the continued spread of COVID-19 is such a scary thing for the future of the United States. It’s frightening that the country is so divided that a poll last night showed that Democrats feel that COVID-19 is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with and Republicans feel like it’s not that big of a deal. It’s borderline madness that a 25 year old baseball player can make people feel better while a 73 year old man who should be the guiding light in this crisis can’t and spends more time tweeting about the Swine Flu and how great the Olympic stadium is in Japan than easing the fears in the hearts of the American people that he is responsible for. How is that not only are tests not available, but the means to evaluate them not adequate? How can there be no consistent message or plan as to how to manage the situation, from both a medical and economic standpoint? How can it be that whole cities and areas of the country are shut down, that arenas are closed, that sports and concerts and innumerable other things that are bastion of the middle class and small business owners are cancelled and there is no plan how to remedy that?
It’s thrilling that the Mets have a young man like Alonso who can give hope to a fanbase that has been so bereft of hope, but it’s also a shame that we have to find hope in a 25 year old baseball player when our own government can’t and only provides us all with confusion and disarray when the concept is broached to them.
Everyone, please stay safe. Stay healthy and make sure your loved ones are as well. Don’t be afraid of the doctor and don’t buy into both the lunacy of those who are hoarding toilet paper and those who believe this is a liberal hoax. It is not a made up and is also not the end of the world.
This is an historical moment and at such times, the true character of those who lead us becomes clear. The Houston Astros had such a moment and have shown their character in their responses to the cheating scandal. In the confused and maddening response the federal government has shown to this crisis it’s become clear that if the country was run by more people with the moral character of Pete Alonso, this would be over sooner than it might be with the way things are now. This country is strong as our it’s people and we will not only endure, but we will make it through this and bounce back as we always do. It’s just a symptom of the failure of leadership that bloggers and baseball players and TV pundits have to get that message out instead of the people that we all rely on to keep us safe and make sure things like this don’t knock the United States and the rest of the world to its knees.
Finally, in the words of Alonso as he ended his statement, “we are all strong; every one of us. It is our duty to protect people who are at high risk. As much as we hate it not having sports, it’s our dty to protect others. Lastly, LGFM.”
Well said Alonso. We all hear you.