John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Live from first base, it's Pete Alonso.
And won't this be entertaining. On a day when ESPN mic'd up Mets' players for its telecast of the Cardinals-Mets game, Alonso announced that he has agreed to let MLB Network put a microphone at first base at Citi Field to capture some of his conversations with opponents.
"I'm for it,'' he said. "I'm open to trying different things to try and grow the game. I want to try and be a positive ambassador for the game."
Alonso, in his inimitable way, proceeded to relay a few of his favorite conversations he's had with other players, starting with Freddie Freeman and their shared love of wine.
As Alonso told the story, Freeman reached first base and Alonso asked him if he'd enjoyed the Braves' night off in Manhattan the previous evening:
"I said, 'Hey Freddie, how was your off-day?'
He said, 'Great, had a lovely bottle of wine last night - Screaming Eagle.'
"It's a very expensive bottle of wine. I asked him about it and he said, 'You'll know when you get your big contract or sign an extension.' He said, 'It's really good by the way.'
From there, upon being asked, Alonso made his own recommendation to the media about a bottle of wine in the $20-30 range.
"In that range, I highly recommend Mollydooker," he said. "An Australian cab."
He then proceeded to explain the details of what makes it so good, seemingly enjoying the moment as much as he would explaining the details of a game-winning home run.
So if you were wondering whether success would change Alonso, after endearing himself to Mets' fans in part because of his authenticity last year, the answer is mostly assuredly not.
Alonso also delighted in related a brief conversation with Anthony Rendon last year.
"It was the first series in Washington last year, and I was having a really good series," he recalled. "Rendon got on base and he was like, 'Dude, you've gotta ask Mick (Callaway) if the phone in the dugout is ringing because I think the moon league is calling.'
"I just laughed and he said 'Just keep it up, there's nowhere higher to go from here. I hope you do well but just not against us.' He's a cool guy."
Some of the entertainment value in these stories is the way Alonso was telling them, of course, and that's why the idea of hearing his conversations at first base should be fun for fans. The Mets say nothing is definite yet but that MLB is going to explore the idea, starting with games here in Florida.
It's all part of MLB's attempt to add some personality to baseball, an idea that played well on Wednesday, especially when Dom Smith, Jeff McNeil, and J.D. Davis were mic'd up and conversing while on the field, making for some humorous needling among them.
Alonso too was heard from at other times, and while he said he wouldn't be for doing that type of thing during regular season games, he likes the idea of a microphone at first base adding some interest for fans.
"There are multiple ways to grow the game and the flavor of each personality out there. It think it's really important."