PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Pete Alonso might need a new title: first baseman/marketer.
Perhaps the biggest proponent of bringing back the Mets’ black jerseys, he made his pitch again Friday when the topic came up during his first video news conference of spring training.
Alonso doesn’t want only the players to wear them. He wants fans to wear them, too. He calls it "Friday Night Blackouts."
"We gotta make it a thing," he said. "It’d be so intimidating: a sea of black shirts out there in the outfield, with music banging out of the speakers, lights going. It would bring a lot of swagger and a lot of moxie. Oh, man. I just have this vision."
For Alonso and most of his teammates, the black jerseys are a piece of their childhood. The 2000 team that played in the World Series, for example, or the 2006 squad that came within a win of doing so — those players wore black jerseys.
Alonso rattled off names of some of the black jersey wearers from yesteryear (in this order): Al Leiter, John Franco, Mike Piazza, David Wright, Jose Reyes.
"You had so many of those great Mets that wore those black jerseys, and I feel like that’s so iconic," he said. "Bring that swagger back."
Alonso isn’t the only one who feels this way.
"I’m on board," Michael Conforto said this week. "We’ll see if they pop up."
Carrasco comes to camp
Righthander Carlos Carrasco was in camp for the first time. He missed the first week-plus for what manager Luis Rojas said was a non-injury-related reason.
The Mets are still missing two players: infielders Brandon Drury and Wilfredo Tovar. Rojas expects them to be present this weekend.
Visit from the (other) boss
Alex Cohen, wife of Steve Cohen and a minority owner of the Mets, watched the team’s workout and stopped to chat with several players: Alonso, Jacob deGrom and James McCann. Between rounds of batting practice, Francisco Lindor ran over to hug and say hello.
She was wearing a Mets shirt, but instead of the team name written across the logo, it said "Jefa" — the feminine version of the Spanish word for "boss."
The visit was part of the rebrand announcement of the organization’s charity, which Alex Cohen runs. It’s called the Amazin’ Mets Foundation now; it used to be the Mets Foundation.
Dellin Betances said his fastball was in the low 90s during his live batting practice session, several miles per hour faster than it was at this point last year. "Very encouraging," manager Luis Rojas said . . . Jeff McNeil worked out at third base. He has spent most of his time at second . . . During early infield practice, Lindor paused a drill to explain to J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme how to get the ball to first base quicker. Infield coaches Gary DiSarcina and Tim Teufel looked on as Professor Lindor ran the class for a few minutes.
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