Pete Alonso: For Pete’s sake, retire Donnie Stevenson at the HR Derby
By Tim Boyle
Pete Alonso will compete in the 2021 Home Run Derby and defend his victory from 2019. The New York Mets first baseman might not have the same power this season as he did as a rookie in 2019, but I do think it’s fair that he gets to defend his title. If professional wrestling allows it, so should Major League Baseball.
Aside from a victory, which is a nice condiment on what we’re really hoping to see this year from the Mets, there is one other thing I want to take away from this year’s Home Run Derby.
On Monday night in Colorado, I want it to be the last time we hear, see, or speak of Donnie Stevenson.
The Donnie Stevenson angle was a fun gag for Pete Alonso but it’s entirely too stale now
Can you believe it’s mid-July and we’re still talking about Donnie Stevenson? He was a whole hitting coach in the past.
For any non-Mets fans who may have landed here because they are trying to figure out what the heck is going on with Pete Alonso and this muscular/bearded man he will not shut up about, here’s the abridged story:
Back in the early part of the season, the Mets offense was struggling. They still are, but that’s not important. Following a victory, players began to drop the name “Donnie Stevenson” as the reason for why their approach at the plate had changed. A clear gag from the start, it was a fun little way for the team to unite in their struggles.
However, the fun cost hitting coach Chili Davis his job and the offense never really turned things around for good. Stevenson has remained a topic of discussion all year with Alonso as the driving force. He sells merchandise featuring this fictional character and has even hired an actor to play him.
At the Home Run Derby in Colorado, it’s time for this cheesiness to end.
I miss the old Pete Alonso
The 2019 version of the Polar Bear was fantastic. His play on the field was MVP-caliber and his leadership was unmatched. He handled everything so well in 2019 that you would have never guessed this was a rookie. What he did on 9/11 to pay tribute to everyone affected by the tragic events was a kind heartfelt gesture.
This new version of Pete Alonso is actually what I would expect from a rookie. He’s a little too attention-seeking. It’s not as much about the team as much as it is about him. I understand he does a lot of charity and hopes he continues to. It’s these t-shirts with the middle finger and videos of him with a fake coach that are a little too much.
Alonso proclaimed earlier this year that he would remove himself from social media. As a guy who grew up with the internet and social media, he couldn’t help himself. While he does stay off it more than many others, Alonso couldn’t make it through the whole season. There are marketing opportunities out there and his camp seems to believe the Donnie Stevenson stuff is sellable.
The Home Run Derby will not be the end of the Donnie Stevenson saga which pains my inner Phil Mushnick. The problem with Alonso may be a lack of original ideas. He talks about the black jerseys like it actually matters in people’s lives when truly it’s an offseason debate only worthy of the time before or after free agency.
Alonso wants to be in touch with fans and I appreciate it. He can be entertaining, he does bring a lot to the Mets, and I don’t want him to quit.
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But for the love of beating a dead horse, win the dang Home Run Derby and then leave Donnie Stevenson somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.