NEW YORK — Food first baseman Pete Alonso said on Wednesday he disagreed with the MLB crackdown on pitching-friendly foreign substances, and that the biggest problem the sport faces is the league based handling of baseballs. of the free agent class – a theory he presented as a “fact”.
“The biggest concern is that MLB is manipulating baseball year after year based on free agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their officiating,” Alonso said on a video conference with reporters.
When asked in a follow-up question if the idea of MLB handling baseballs based on free agent class is something players “talk about and believe in,” Alonso replied, “Oh no, that’s a fact. “
He continued, “In 2019 there was a huge class of free agent throwers and then it’s in quotes ‘juice balls’, and then 2020 has been a weird year with the COVID season. But now that we’re back in the game in a regular season with a ton of shortstops or positional players who are going to get paid a lot of money like high caliber players – I mean, yeah, that’s not a coincidence. It’s definitely something they’re doing. “
Free agency 2021-22 is highlighted by shortstops Trevor’s story, Corey seager, Javier Baez and Carlos correa. MLB set a league-wide home race record in 2019, just two years after the previous record was broken. League pitchers have speculated that the baseballs are in the hitters’ favor.
Alonso’s theory, which he presented as fact despite the lack of concrete evidence, highlights growing mistrust between the players and the league ahead of the current collective agreement expiring in December.
Alonso also said he doesn’t think MLB is doing the right thing by cracking down on pitchers using sticky stuff on the mound.
“For me, whether they use pine tar, rosin, sunscreen or bullfrog or whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it because for me I’m going in the box and I see guys throwing harder every day, ”Alonso said. . “And I don’t want 99 mph slipping out of someone’s hand because they don’t have enough sensitivity for it.”
The recent incident featuring the Mets outfielder Pillar Kevin getting hit in the face by a pitch was a priority for Alonso.
“We’ve all seen what happened to Kevin Pillar,” Alonso said. “And that’s scary. We’re lucky he only had a broken nose. It could be a lot worse depending on where he hits the guy.”
Alonso said that when hitting, he uses his batting gloves, a grip, and pine tar to grab the baseball bat.
“Maybe if the league didn’t change the baseballs,” Alonso said, “guys wouldn’t have to use that much sticky stuff.”