Pete Alonso is on the way to becoming your new favorite regular talk-show host.
The All-Star first baseman is teaming up with Major League Baseball to give fans the opportunity to get to know him through MLB’s YouTube channel _ where episodes featuring Alonso being mic’d up during Mets games will be available for public viewing.
Alonso (University of Florida) will be mic’d up starting Opening Day on Friday against the Braves. The episodes should be available early in the 60-game season.
This is different than just being mic’d up here and there. What Alonso has in store includes regularly appearing in an actual series of episodes. If all goes to plan, the first baseman will be mic’d up during Mets games with a focus on his conversations with other MLB superstars and teammates. He hopes other players will also be mic’d up.
“I’ll have my own YouTube channel and MLB is going to help produce this and provide the content,” Alonso told the Daily News. “There will be more of an interactive and inside look into the games from what actually goes on. I’m really excited for it.
“I think having a heightened fan experience _ especially without fans being in the stands _ that’d be really cool and hopefully impacts a lot of fans and brings some new fans in the game because I feel like any chance we have to grow the game of baseball, I feel like it’s a good thing.”
He took the first step toward the league’s next frontier over the weekend. The audio won’t air live, but will be curated from multiple games for each episode. The mic will be turned off when he’s in the dugout and will mainly be used when he’s defending at first base. It may also be used during his at-bats.
Alonso was mic’d up when the Mets hosted the Yankees at Citi Field on Saturday. It was part of a trial run to make sure Alonso felt comfortable wearing the mic as he took at-bats and played first base. MLB provided the gear and used a new mic with wireless technology. Alonso said Saturday’s experience was better than last year’s All-Star week, when he wore a clunky mic that made it hard for him to move freely on the field. The new mic is hidden underneath his jersey and Alonso barely noticed it was there.
“The mic this year is way more comfortable how it fits in the jersey,” he said. “I’m really happy how they kind of worked that in and made some adjustments.”
MLB’s never-ending quest to expand the sport’s entertainment value pairs well with Alonso’s chatty personality. The first baseman is the perfect fit for the type of reality show content that young baseball fans in particular would enjoy watching. Alonso attracted viewers when he was mic’d up during the 2019 Home Run Derby and ESPN’s All-Access initiative in spring training this year.
Alonso aspires to be a positive ambassador for the sport. He views this mic’d up YouTube series as a way to grow the game and attract younger audiences. Alonso wants MLB to catch up to other professional sports leagues.
“I know other sports are being very, very forward-thinking in being mic’d up and having that inside look or having that inside scoop _ whether it be on the sidelines, on the field or on the court,” Alonso said. “It can be really cool if we can be a part of that _ the new wave of fan interaction. We saw other sports doing it. They’ve figured out an effective way to make it comfortable for players to wear mics.”
Back in March, Alonso revealed hilarious details about his conversations with opposing players. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant asked Alonso what bat he’s using and if the first baseman wouldn’t mind sending him the same bat, because it was clearly getting positive results at the plate. In another instance, he had a long conversation with Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman _ all while playing first base _ about their mutual passion for wine.
“He’s a big wino,” Alonso said of Freeman. “And I love wine too. We had an off-day before and I asked, ‘How was your off day?’ and he said, ‘Great, we had a lovely bottle of wine.’ He said he had Screaming Eagle and I was like, ‘What is that?’ He said, ‘You’ll know when you sign your big contract or your big extension.’ I think it’s a very expensive bottle of wine.”
These are just some of the type of conversations the always-entertaining Alonso would feature in his new YouTube channel. He continues to hope the new mic’d-up segments will give fans a closer feel to the game as he undertakes an ambitious opportunity that seems essential now more than ever, with fans having to watch the shortened season from home.
“I feel like this year we’ve taken some pretty big steps forward to improve us players being mic’d when we play,” Alonso said. “Hopefully we can keep pushing this thing forward and providing more content and reach more people and reach more fans.”
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