Pete Alonso would love to defend his Home Run Derby title in the City of Angels in a couple of weeks. However, the “Polar Bear’s” decision to defend his title appears to depend on whether he is named a starter in MLB’s All-Star Game.
Last week, the league announced that the Mets first baseman was named one of two finalists for the National League’s starting first baseman spot with Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt. Fans have the opportunity vote which player becomes a starter. Alonso didn’t hesitate to take matters into his own hands, asking Mets fans to vote for him to be a starter in the mid-summer exhibition.
“Well, this is it: If you guys go out and vote and get me as a starter, I will do the Derby,” Alonso said, per WFAN’s Carton & Roberts show. “If you guys could go to MLB.com and vote The Polar Bear, I’d represent the best city in the world out in L.A. … New York is such a great city and I just want to be the best representation out there.”
Alonso is no stranger to the Home Run Derby, having won the event in back-to-back years in ’19 at Progressive Field in Cleveland and ’21 at Coors Field in Denver. In last year’s event, Alonso hit the second most single-derby home runs (74), only behind Blue Jay’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s mark of 91 in ’19. He also sits atop the list for the most all-time home runs in the derby with 131 in his two appearances.
Currently, Alonso has posted a .276 batting average, 22 home runs and 69 RBIs. While Alonso hopes to defend his title, that decision is now left in the hands of Mets fans.
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