Pete Alonso Wins Senior Second Home Run Derby


Pete Alonso was created for the Home Run Derby – his strength, his aura, his spirit. If it goes on like this, Alonso could be the new Bobby Bonilla: he’ll receive a check for $1 million every July.

The Mets’ irrepressible first goalkeeper, Alonso, reiterated as the Home Run Derby champion at Coors Field on Monday to win the $1 million prize. It also won in Cleveland in 2019 before the pandemic canceled last year’s event.

Alonso was not named to the 2021 National League All-Star team, but he had no doubt that Tuesday night’s game would dominate the bottom card.

“I’m a power-hitter and I think I’m the best power-hitter on the planet,” he said. “It’s really a dream come true for me to put this on and put on a really fun show for the fans because when I was younger my parents let me stay up before bedtime to watch it.”

Back then, the Home Run Derby had no cash prizes. This incentive started in 2019, and with each victory, Alonso nearly doubled his salary in one night of epic breakthrough. In baseball’s pay structure that relies heavily on tenure, Alonso made a minimum of $555,000 as a rookie in 2019, and his salary is now just $676,775.

Two years ago, he did 30 home runs in the break on his way to 53, rookie record. Alonso currently has 17 points and is in fifth place in the Derby. He said his Mets teammates saw it as disrespect and asked if it made him angry.

“I say, ‘No, I’ll win anyway, it doesn’t matter,'” Alonso said. “This is such a fun time for me, just positive thoughts, fun thoughts. I put myself in a really good position.”

Alonso wanted New York music to play as he hit, so he nodded and wobbled to Nas, Mobb Deep, and Notorious BIG.

He set a record 35 home runs in the first round, and even as he beat his rival, Kansas City’s Salvador Perez 28, Alonso said he never worried.

“No,” he said. “As soon as I saw 35 there, I said, ‘This is untouchable.’”

It was. Alonso then passed Juan Soto from Washington and then Trey Mancini of Baltimore for the victory.

“It made it look really easy,” Mancini said. “He didn’t seem very tired.”

Alonso said her strategy is to stay energized, drink plenty of fluids, and stay tense and relaxed with the help of a massager. He also had an extraordinarily accurate pitcher: Mets bench coach Dave Jauss.

“I don’t hit hard,” Jauss said with a smile. “But I can close my eyes and hit a spot.”

Jauss, 64, said he once played a 100-hit game — for both teams — during his short stay at Amherst College in Massachusetts. (“We started with 1-2 points,” he said, “that helped.”) As coach of the Boston Red Sox when they hosted the 1999 All-Star Game, Jauss spent hours training the league’s best sluggers. Nomar Garciaparra, Juan Gonzalez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ivan Rodriguez.

His arm never hurts, he said, and his point is still true.

“It was putting it in the right bread basket, the honey hole, the sweetest spot of my swing,” Alonso said. “That’s what we’ve been working on in practice. He’s my daily blood pressure shooter and it’s really special to be able to get to the top like this, not just for me but for him as well.”

Alonso smashed a total of 74 homers and beat Mancini’s 22nd final lap with 31 seconds to go. Griffey and Yoenis joined Cespedes as the only consecutive winners and could clearly challenge Griffey’s record of three overall titles.

But for now, Alonso has not made any commitments for future derbies. With his legacy at the event secure and the Mets taking first place in the NL East, Alonso’s focus has already shifted to another goal.

“As he said, the next time we celebrate with him, we’ll be on the field in late October or early November,” Jauss said. “This is what he wants.”


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