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Alfonso cites fictional coach, unhappy with Mets change

NEW YORK (AP) – Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor learned from phone messages that the New York Mets had fired, hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant Tom Slater, which left players unhappy.

New York announced late Monday night, two days after Alonso publicly mentioned the cheerful assistance of a new batting instructor – someone who is fictional.

“I found out on Twitter while I was eating my postgame meal,” Alonso said, explaining he then talked to acting general manager Zack Scott and gave Davis and Slater hugs. “And then I cried at my locker a little bit.” The slugging first baseman referred to the departed as “Uncle Chili and Uncle Slate; I mean, they’re like family to us.”

“It caught us all off guard,” Alonso said. “It’s confusing for me, and listen; I respect everybody who made that decision. But to me, it just doesn’t make sense right now.” “But I know that the guys coming up, guys coming in, have great minds; they’re great people. And I know that people in charge in the office know that they want to win; everybody wants to win. But I guess from a results standpoint; the results have been there for 2, 2 1/2 years. So to me, it still doesn’t make sense,” he said. Team president Sandy Alderson hired Scott after new owner Steven Cohen bought the Mets last fall. Manager Luis Rojas said the coaching changes were an “organization decision … that’s the best way I can share it right now.”

fictional coach

He said he was not concerned a manager change could be coming.

season, were announced after a 6-5 loss at St. Louis.

“It broke my heart. I was sad,” Lindor said. “It hurt me a little bit.”

After Saturday night’s 5-4 win at Philadelphia, Alonso made a curious reference to the contributions of a new coach. While the Mets began Tuesday ranked ninth among the 30 teams with a .240 batting average, they are last in runs with 76 and home runs with 18. Their .209 batting average with runners in scoring position is 29th, and they are dead last with a .143 average with two outs and runners in scoring position.

“We just made a nice new hire, Donnie,” Alonso said. “He’s a nice — he’s a great hitting/slash approach coach. Donnie’s been great at helping the team. I think Luis forget to mention Donnie. Donnie helped us today, too.” Asked to explain further, Alonso said: “He’s a new hire. He’s our like mental-slash-approach coach. I feel like we had a really cool collective-like team approach today, and Donnie certainly helped us out.”

Pushed for Donnie’s name, Alonso said: “I got to ask that, I got to ask Chili — oh, Stevenson, I think that’s it.”

Following Alonso to the interview chair, Michael Conforto smiled when asked.

“Donnie’s a new guy. He made an appearance today at our hitter’s meeting. He’s all about the approach,” Conforto said. “He’s a hitting approach guy. He’s a guy that gets the boys fired up and ready to go.”

After Sunday night’s 8-7 victory, Alonso brought the mystery man again.

“He had some guys in the cage, and we were just focusing on ripping heaters,” Alonso said. “And that’s what we did today. We were focused on ripping the fastball around the yard, and ripping the heater today was the main focus. We put a lot of runs on the board, and we were locked in. He had some perfect words of advice and, yeah, I mean, it’s awesome.”

Asked Tuesday whether his references to a different hitting coach didn’t help Davis’ situation, Alonso replied: “I’m not going to talk about that.”

Scott also refused to address the mysterious coach, Mr. Stevenson.

“You’d have to ask the players about Donnie,” he said Monday night.

Davis didn’t blame Alonso’s and Conforto’s comments for his departure.

“The players were having fun, and I know they didn’t mean any harm,” Davis said in the New York Post. “It was a fun time for them, but it probably didn’t help. People were trying to loosen up, which worked that night. They went out and put some runs on the board. I am all for them enjoying the game.”

Mets staff held a meeting with players on Tuesday that didn’t appear to change perceptions.

“It’s an explanation that still doesn’t make sense to me right now,” Alonso said.

Lindor, a four-time All-Star, began Tuesday with a .163 average, 151st among 155 qualified batters. He learned the firings from a text while walking to the team bus.

“Maybe if I would have been hitting a little bit more, maybe he had a job. I don’t know,” Lindor said.

Alonso said teams should not overly rely on analytics, calling himself an “old-school type player.”

“As times keep going on, the game stays the same. The game has been the same since the Civil War,” he said. “When it’s the game time when it’s my turn to hit in the box, it’s not Luis; it’s not Chili, it’s not the analytic department that’s in the box hitting. It’s Pete Alonso. It’s me. And that’s the same thing with all those guys in the clubhouse.”

“You got 13 hitters and all those guys, as soon as they step in the box, you might as well take the computer and break the screen because any time you think about all those numbers in the computer, if you’re in there in that box and thinking, oh, it’s a 2-0 count, he’s 45% changeup, he’s 30% fastball, and it’s a certain percent slider, you’re out, you’re a walking out, you’re an out in a helmet,” he said.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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