BALTIMORE – Pete Alonso to opposing pitchers: Keep doing whatever you’re doing with these foreign substances.
The Mets first baseman defended the pitchers on Wednesday – who have recently come under scrutiny for applying substances to the balloon, potentially increasing their advantage against the batter. Instead, Alonso turned his venom to MLB for changing baseball this season.
“Since the start of the game the pitchers have been consuming substances,” Alonso said before the Mets faced the Orioles at Camden Yards. “There’s a bag of rosin behind the mound to help the guys dry their hands and grab. For me, whether they’re using pine tar, rosin, Bullfrog, or sunscreen and rosin or whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it.
“I go to the club everyday and see guys throwing harder and harder every day and I don’t want 99 [mph] slipping out of someone’s hands because he didn’t have enough sensitivity for it.
Alonso tore MLB apart for changing the ball this season, with the idea of slowing down the offensive explosion of recent seasons. Alonso said it was a move calculated to match the superstar class of positional players who will be entering the free agent market this offseason. It’s a shortstop class on its own that includes players like Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Carlos Correa. Another All-Star was pulled from the market in March, when Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10-year contract extension with the Mets worth $ 341 million.
“I think the biggest concern is that Major League Baseball is handling baseball year after year, depending on the free agency class, or the guys being in an advanced part of their officiating,” Alonso said. “So I think that’s the big problem, the ball is different every year. In other sports the ball is the same like basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, the ball is the same.
“I think that’s the real problem with changing the baseballs, and maybe if the league didn’t change the baseball pitchers wouldn’t need to use that much sticky stuff, because to guys who line up the ball and throw it every day and for every year for it to change, it’s not fair to the people who use it every day and throw it.
Alonso cited Kevin Pillar’s beaning last month – the Mets outfielder was hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball from Atlanta’s Jacob Webb and suffered a broken nose – as an example of why it would be prudent for the MLB to care less about foreign substances.
“Once we get into those warmer months guys start to sweat and if they lose a quick arm side we’ve all seen what happened to Kevin Pillar,” Alonso said. “And it’s scary and we’re lucky he only had a broken nose and it could be a lot worse depending on where he hits a guy.” I mean, a 100mph fastball, even if you’re wearing a scary helmet.
“I would rather the guys had as much stick as possible and focused on throwing the ball into the box, rather than taking it away from them.”