Friday night, in St. Louis, New York Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso made a mistake that angered the home team St. Louis Cardinals and their fans, as discussed in this video:
The announcers were probably right in assuming that Alonso made an honest mistake – human error.
There’s habit and muscle memory involved. Now, normally a player throws the ball into the crowd to be a souvenier but only when it’s the third out of the inning.
This was a hit — and, again, the first hit of Wynn’s career.
Stadium security was able to negotiate the ball’s return from the woman in the stands who caught the ball. They probably offered a trade of a signed ball and other memorabilia.
Alonso did the right thing by apologizing.
He explained how this happened:
“Alonso said he got lost in the heat of the moment after trying to make a play, after which the umpires wanted to switch the ball out. That’s when he tossed the ball into the stands, which he said he always does in these scenarios…”
He can’t be expected to know every time a player is getting their first big league hit. Arguably, the Cardinals made a mistake by not getting Alonso’s attention. Or maybe they tried.
Alonso might be overadjusting a bit, as people tend to do after a mistake:
… but added “I’ll never throw the ball in the stands again. I’m just going to roll every ball to the dugout when they’re going to switch it out.”
That’s certainly erring on the side of caution.
Alonso, unfortunately, beat himself up a bit, which happens — but it’s not helpful.
“I know it sounds stupid but it’s just a bad brain fart,” Alonso said after the Mets’ 7-1 win. “Throwing the ball in the stands, that robs him of a really special moment. I feel really bad thinking back on my first hit and just getting the ball thrown back to the dugout … I feel awful. I feel like a piece of crap.”
The situation was fixable — and it was fixed. I hope Alonso doesn’t feel bad about it too long.
Winn realized it was a mistake and accepted the apology:
“A complete accident. I thought it was quite funny, especially after we got the ball back, I thought it was a little bit more funny,” Winn said.
According to this article, Alonso furthered his apology by sending Winn a signed bat and a bottle of Don Julio 1942 tequila.