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Mets slugger and 2019 NL Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso had a swing at some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby ahead of spring training beginning this week, taking his cuts via email.
Q: What are your thoughts on your new owner Steve Cohen saying he would be disappointed if the Mets didn’t win a World Series in 3-5 years? Why is it realistic?
A: I love it. There’s no point in playing the game unless you are trying to win. So excited to play for an owner that’s all-in on winning.
Q: What excites you most about your new attack plan for the season?
A: I can’t wait. I’m feeling dangerous. This is the best I’ve felt physically and mentally in my career. I’m ready to make history and ready to drive in 130 steaks.
Q: Where do you plan on making the biggest improvement?
A: Mastering the strike zone and winning a Gold Glove.
Q: Were there times last season when you put too much pressure on yourself? Why won’t you this season?
A: I wouldn’t call it pressure. The uncertainty got to me mentally. Last season, I failed more than any time in my career, and that simply won’t happen again because of my preparation and will to succeed.
Q: What are your thoughts on the lineup?
A: I think we’re going to score a ton of runs. Our offensive talent is through the roof.
Q: What do you like best or what excites you the most about the 2021 Mets?
A: We’re talented, we have a good mix of guys with varying experiences. I’m excited ’cause we have a great group of guys, will play a full season again and getting fans back in the stands. Also excited to rebound from 2020 and show resiliency. … We’re going to be able to win in so many different ways. Phenomenal pitching with depth. We have the pieces, we just have to go out and do it.
Q: If Noah Syndergaard comes back healthy, where would you rank the Mets’ rotation?
A: Noah will come back healthy, and it’s at least a top-three now, but will be the best in baseball with Noah back.
Q: What traits, tangible and intangible, make Jacob deGrom great?
A: He’s obviously extremely talented, but the way he approaches the game is with poise and never shows weakness. He is always in attack mode and never shows any sign of faltering. Always locked in. He not only wants to beat you, but wants to knock you down and step on your throat.
Q: What have you observed about Marcus Stroman’s mentality, and why is it fun watching him?
A: Love Stro’s outlook, not only professionally, but also personally. He has such a unique perspective on things. We’re good friends, and I appreciate all he puts into his craft, and the message he sends is awesome. How he goes about his business is remarkable.
Q: The first time you saw Francisco Lindor play, what do you remember?
A: He’s just electric. It’s the consistency of what he does that makes him so special.
Q: What would you tell Mets fans about your new catcher, James McCann, and what he adds to the team?
A: He’s a worker. Will be a hell of a guy to manage our pitching staff. A guy in the trenches you really want to go to battle with.
Q: Has Edwin Diaz turned the corner?
A: Absolutely. He got back to great form last year and will continue that into this year. He’ll get some big outs for us this year.
Q: Why is Dominic Smith so beloved in the clubhouse?
A: He’s just a great guy and always has a great attitude. He treats everyone well, and there’s never a moment he’s not smiling or in a good mood.
Q: When was the last time you saw Brandon Nimmo in a bad mood?
A: I don’t think that’s ever happened since I’ve known him.
Q: What impressed you most about David Peterson?
A: His poise throughout a tumultuous season was incredible. How he performed during a challenging season gained all my respect. Can’t wait to see him blossom and become a superstar.
Q: What was your reaction when you learned Robby Cano would be suspended for performance-enhancing drugs for the 2021 season?
A: I appreciate everything Robby has done for me. He’s taught me how to be a pro and how to handle success. Such a great mentor to me, and I look to him for advice. His experiences have given him a ton of knowledge. I’m disheartened by the news but have admiration and respect for him because of what he’s done for me.
Q: What are your thoughts on new pitcher Carlos Carrasco?
A: Never faced him, but know he has a hell of a résumé. Great guy to have on a pitching staff. Provides experience and will be awesome for us.
Q: What is your experience batting against Trevor May?
A: Maybe faced him in 2019 and think he got me out. Would have been an interleague game.
Q: Who are the players you’re most looking forward to chatting with on first base?
A: Don’t know. Good question ’cause I love talking to anyone willing to have a good conversation. I’m open to chatting with everyone.
Q: How would you describe Luis Rojas’ managerial style?
A: He’s very much a players’ manager. He’s awesome communicating with us and always has our back. Having him as my manager since Double-A back in 2017, I’ve developed a great relationship with him.
Q: What was your reaction to the Steven Matz trade?
A: I really admire Steven ’cause he was so great in the clubhouse. As tough as it was to lose him, he’ll have tremendous success in Toronto. For his career, he’s in a good spot and wish him nothing but the best. I know he will flourish over there.
Q: Thoughts on the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl?
A: I’m hyped. I’m proud for my hometown. It’s just amazing that the Super Bowl was won by the home team for the first time. That’s history. There’s nobody better to do the nearly impossible than Tom Brady. Everyone is just overjoyed he picked Tampa to play for, and people now are even more proud to be from Tampa and anyone who has ties here.
Q: Thoughts on Brady, and have you met him?
A: I would like to meet him. He’s about as clutch as anyone can get in the sports realm. Would be great to have dinner with him and pick his brain on his mentality, outlook and how he prepares.
Q: How neat would it be if Pete Alonso could play at a high level until he’s 43?
A: Sign me up. That’s the goal. I love the game of baseball and pour everything I have into it. If I have the opportunity to play until 43, there’s more to it than luck, you really have to earn it.
Q: What was it like meeting Mike Tyson? Did he give you any advice about slugging?
A: He didn’t, but we talked for a little bit. He was awesome and had a great conversation. I remember watching him as a kid.
Q: Why has your Homers For Heroes Foundation been so meaningful and important to you?
A: Haley [Walsh, fiancée] and I are extremely blessed with the opportunity given to us so far and just want to give back to the community and help people in a difficult time like this one and be entrenched in the community and help people that need it and inspire others to be heroes in their own way.
Q: What is your message to the healthcare workers and first responders still fighting the pandemic?
A: You guys are awesome, and when this is over, please take a vacation. This is what makes our Homers for Heroes so meaningful. We want to continue to show why you are great, and highlight incredible stories to inspire others.
Q: What were the most emotionally challenging parts of last season involving COVID-19?
A: Just the unknown. For me it was tough. Even though we were following protocols, you didn’t know if you’d be playing on a given day due to a positive test or if you’d get shutdown.
Q: How do you feel about being one of if not the face of the franchise?
A: It’s a blessing, and I’m just so happy to represent such an incredible organization. I’m just going to continue to perform and continue to be a good person off the field. Want to continue to make this organization and the fan base proud.
Q: Why do you think New York has embraced you the way it has?
A: I feel like I tell it how it is and feel like I have a blue-collar mentality. New York is truly a blue-collar city. You have to have great work ethic to make it in New York, in any borough. I play with grit and moxie and feel like I have the right personality. I’m accountable, and at the end of the day I want to win, and everyone in New York loves a winner and wants to win.
Q: What is it about New York that made you embrace it the way you have?
A: The people, the culture and the energy the city brings. No place like it and New York feels like home.
Q: Who is the team to beat in the NL East?
A: All of them.
Q: Tell me about your World Series championship dream. What do you imagine the city will look like and be like if the Mets win it all?
A: I hope it’s bedlam. Everyone should go absolutely bonkers. I don’t care what borough you are from, all five boroughs would have one big block party.
Q: How serious of a contender for the World Series are the Mets?
A: I think we can win it, but only one way to find out. Play the season. We can’t think about being champs on Opening Day. We just have to focus on winning every day and focus on the now and we’ll find ourselves playing in October and fans waving playoff towels.
Q: Your message to Mets fans?
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