Step aside, Donnie Stevenson. The Home Run Horse may have you beat.
With the stuffed pony in the Mets’ dugout, Pete Alonso homered twice, a far better performance compared to when Stevenson, the fictional hitting coach, came to Citi Field recently.
“The Home Run Horse is finally here in the second half,” Alonso joked after his two home runs helped the Mets blank the Blue Jays, 3-0, at Citi Field on Friday night.
Alonso said the idea for the horse, which was wearing a hat and Mets warm-up jacket over its torso, came from current hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum. It was in the dugout for the first time on Friday.
Early in the year, after the Mets broke out of a slump, players began to casually refer to a new hitting approach coach named “Donnie Stevenson.” Initially, it was reported to be Alonso dressing up as the fictional character to loosen up his teammates. Players then began to wear “Donnie Stevenson” T-shirts that show a man with bulging muscles wearing a headband and sunglasses. More recently, the character, believed to be played by actor Brett Azar, showed up at a few Mets games and Alonso posed for photos with him. But since the last game before the All-Star break, Stevenson has gone into hiding. The Home Run Horse may have taken his place.
“The horse was in the dugout and I hit two homers,” Alonso said, when asked if it was good luck. “We’ll see, but I think it’s working so far.”
After Alonso’s second homer, a majestic 450-foot shot to the second deck in left-center field in the eighth inning, he carried the horse through the dugout while galloping up and down as he was congratulated by teammates. He then put it down and petted its mane a few times.
“I don’t know who came up with that. I freaked out one time when I looked at the end of the dugout in the middle of the game. I was completely unaware that was happening,” manager Luis Rojas said. “But these guys have fun. They do different things. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I kind of was when I saw it.”
For now, the Mets are calling it the Home Run Horse. But Alonso is open to some creative alternatives.
“Fans, do you thing,” he said. “Let’s hear some suggestions.”
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]