When Mets fans hear “The Fonz,” Arthur Fonzarelli is not the first man that comes to mind.
In fact, Edgardo Alfonzo was one of the most consistent players that’s put on the Mets’ uniform. He was a contact hitter who played solid defense, whether it was at second base or third base. In his eight-year tenure with the Mets, Alfonzo hit at a .292 clip with a .367 on base percentage.
He was also valuable, and while he never won the Most Valuable Player award, he received eight first place votes on three separate occasions (1997, 1999 and 200). He was one of the main reasons why the Mets made it all the way to the World Series in 2000, as he hit .324 with 25 homers and 94 RBI on the season. He also amassed 40 doubles and had a ridiculous .425 on base percentage that year.
On Friday, Alfonzo took some time to speak with Mets’ bloggers, including the Stache’s own Matthew Falkenbury, about the current state of the Mets and his experiences with the team.
On Johan Santana’s No-Hitter
The no-hitter was great. I don’t remember us even getting close to having a no-hitter. What Johan did was something else. It’s great for the Mets organization.
On how the Mets have over performed and exceeded expectations from critics
People are surprised with the Mets, and they’ve been through that before in 2000. It’s very similar. A lot of people didn’t think we’d get that far, and then we made the World Series. Hopefully, the pitching staff holds up, because, I’ll tell you what. The Mets are going to surprise a lot of people.
On being a part of the World Series in 2000
That was my first one, and I am always going to remember it. It was great, but I think we could’ve won a little more, but stuff happened. But being in that position was great.
On what the Mets are going through in terms of having people juggle positions
For me it wasn’t that hard. During batting practice, I’d take ground balls at every position. You don’t know when you might to move in an emergency. My natural position was shortstop, and that was a position I had never played in the big leagues at that point.
On the Mets not living up to expectations in 2002 after the acquisitions of Roberto Alomar and Mo Vaughn
When you look at the lineup back in those days, you say wow. They could’ve gone a little further.
On playing for Bobby Valentine
I really enjoyed playing for Bobby. I talked to many players, and they say, when you play against Bobby, you want to kill him. I told the guys that you have to play for Bobby and understand him. This is a guy who brought a lot to the Mets organization back in those days. If you play hard for him, there’s not going to be any problems.
On the level of emotions after the Mets eventually made the playoffs in 1999
- Leiter threw a tremendous game [against the Reds], and after that, we were in the playoffs. Then we went to Arizona, and that was a great feeling. It’s too bad we didn’t do the whole thing. That was my first experience in a playoff game, and I think I really enjoyed it.
What did you think of Edgardo Alfonzo’s time with the Mets? Tell us in the comments.