Mets’ Pete Alonso destroys MLB over substance scandal

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BALTIMORE — Pete Alonso to opposing pitchers: Keep on doing what you do with those foreign substances.

The Mets first baseman on Wednesday defended pitchers — who have come under recent scrutiny for applying substances to the ball, potentially increasing their advantage against the batter. Alonso instead turned his venom toward MLB for altering the baseball this season.

“Since the start of the game, pitchers have been using substances,” Alonso said before the Mets faced the Orioles at Camden Yards. “There is a rosin bag behind the mound to help guys dry their hands and grip. To me whether they are 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 in the box every single day and I see guys throwing harder and harder every day and I don’t want 99 [mph] slipping out of somebody’s hand because they didn’t have enough feel for it.”

Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso

Alonso ripped MLB for changing the ball this season, with the idea of curtailing the offensive explosion of recent seasons. Alonso said it was a calculated move to correspond with the superstar class of position players that will hit the free-agent market this offseason. It’s a shortstop class alone that includes players such as Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Carlos Correa. Another All-Star was removed 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 Major League Baseball manipulates the baseball year-in and year-out, depending on free-agency class, or guys being in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said. “So I do think that’s the big issue, the ball being different every single year. In other sports the ball is the same, like basketball, football, tennis, golf, the ball is the same.

“I think that is the real issue with the changing of the baseballs, and maybe if the league didn’t change the baseballs pitchers wouldn’t need to use as much sticky stuff, because for guys who field the ball and throw the ball every day and for every single year for it to change, it’s not fair to the people who are using it every single day and throwing 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 sustained a broken nose — as an example of why it would be prudent for MLB to worry less about foreign substances.

Kevin Pillar
Kevin Pillar took a ball to the face earlier this season.
AP, Mets/Zoom

“Once we get into these hotter months, guys start to sweat and if they happen to lose a fastball arm side, we all saw what happened to Kevin Pillar,” Alonso said. “And that is scary and we’re lucky he only had a broken nose and it could be a lot worse depending on where it hits a guy. I mean, a 100-mph fastball, even though you are wearing a helmet that is scary.

“I would rather have guys have as much stick as possible and focus on throwing the ball in the box, as opposed to taking it away from them.”

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