Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is entering his contract season.

Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is entering his contract season. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Before the start of what might be his last season with the Mets — at the very least, his last season before free agency — Pete Alonso sat down with Newsday in mid-March and talked about his situation. From new Mets goings-on to a trip to New York City and fostering a dog, these are the highlights.

Newsday: Carlos Mendoza is your fifth manager in six seasons. Do you have a process for getting to know a new manager?

Pete Alonso: "Honestly, just communication and just talking baseball and going through the day-to-day. That’s pretty much it."

ND: What do you think of Mendoza so far?

PA: "I think it’s been great. He’s set expectations for everyone very well. I also got a chance to get to know him in Tampa a little bit. He came to one of my workouts and we talked for a while, so it was good stuff."

ND: What does it say about him that he met up with you and other players in the offseason?

PA: "It just shows his level of dedication to the team. I know he met with a ton of different guys over the course of the offseason. It shows his dedication to his players and his team."

ND: This will be your first Opening Day at Citi Field with fans. You guys opened at home in 2020, but there were no fans in the stands. When you imagine that moment, that day, what do you see?

PA: "2020 doesn’t count. I know we’ve been there for opening week, so I kind of know what to expect, but it’s a special moment because this is my sixth year here and I just really want to take it all in. This is my first time really, truly experiencing it, Opening Day with fans in the stands. The stadium is going to be packed. I’m just really excited. I’m really, really excited."

ND: Along the lines of experiencing things, it looked like you spent some quality time in New York City during the offseason. What did you do? What spurred that trip?

PA: "Every offseason, we [Alonso and his wife, Haley] spend a ton of time in New York, just because we want to do some of the things that we normally can’t do during the season.

"One of the coolest things — other than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — was The Met. That’s one thing I hadn’t done before. Going to see the [view] at the top of One Vanderbilt was really cool. I know the Empire State Building is obviously great; I’ve done that in the past. But One Vanderbilt is a really unique perspective as well. It’s just really, really special. Oh, and I love going to Rangers games. Rangers games are awesome.

"And just doing all the touristy things like eating inside Grand Central Station, walking around, being a tourist in my own city. It’s really fun from time to time."

ND: What are you most looking forward to this season?

PA: "I’m really stoked for London. Obviously competing and getting the season started, but London, that’s going to be such a blast. I’ve never been to London, never been to the UK before, so I’m really excited."

ND: Will you guys get any downtime to see the sights?

PA: "We’ll carve out some time."

ND: This year, you’re donating $1,000 for each of your home runs to animal rescue organizations. You’ve pursued a lot of different charitable endeavors in recent years. Why animals this season?

PA: "We have huge love for animals. We just want to do our part. We actually fostered a dog this offseason. We understand how difficult it can be with transportation, spaying and neutering, providing food, medication, housing — not just all the monetary things, but the time and love that you have to put in. Opening up your heart and home can be very difficult. But honestly, it was such a rewarding experience.

"Lucy was her name. She was a black lab. She was supposed to get put down on Christmas and we were just like, we can’t let that happen. We wanted to do something good. We didn’t really know what we were getting into, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to make it happen. We adopted her out [to a new owner] and it’s just a tremendous experience. We want to be able to share that experience with other people and hopefully give other animals a chance."

ND: What is your biggest off-field hobby?

PA: "I really love to fish. That’s definitely it. I grew up doing it. Growing up in Tampa, Florida, always having water access. It’s just something I always loved doing. Dad, Grandpa, friends — whoever was willing to throw in a line with me."


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