Mar 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) takes the field against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Mets’ first weekend of the season wasn’t filled with enough drama, you can always leave it up to New York sports radio to add more.

Despite expectations of a youthful, energetic team, the Mets sleepwalked through a three-game sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers. None of their starters lasted past the fifth inning, and the offense sputtered, scoring just one run in two games. It wasn’t the ideal start for the David Stearns era, riddled with missteps. However, Pete Alonso’s performance was a bright spot.

Despite entering Sunday’s finale against the Brewers with a respectable 2-for-7 line, including a home run and RBI — the latter in a valiant late-inning rally that fell short in a 7-6 loss — Alonso found solace elsewhere. Later that night, Alonso was spotted at UBS Arena, home of the Islanders, enjoying a Zach Bryan concert. He even took the stage alongside the country singer, belting the lyrics to Bryan’s hit song, “Revival.”

With contract negotiations looming and a desire to stay in New York, Pete Alonso’s post-game concert attendance could be viewed as a way to unwind after a tough opening series loss. However, some fans and analysts questioned the timing, suggesting that even seemingly innocuous off-field activities can draw scrutiny for a prominent player early in the season.

Despite his outing not affecting his on-field performance — he even went 2-for-4 on Sunday — Alonso’s decision drew criticism from former NFL quarterback and current WFAN radio host Boomer Esiason on Monday. Esiason didn’t hold back, criticizing Alonso’s outing as a bad look for the Mets’ first baseman, especially given the team’s sluggish start to the long season.

Seriously.

“There was Shoeless Joe, and now there’s Clueless Pete,” Esiason said. “Clueless Pete decides to go to a concert at UBS Arena, which he has every right to do…but if you want to talk about someone who doesn’t understand the big picture and what’s going on around here…you gotta understand, you had all offseason to go to parties and screw around and go to concerts and do whatever you want, and nobody would say two bits about it. But when you go on stage at a concert after you lost your first two games and have a game at 1:40 the next day, that’s a bad look, and you’re gonna get roasted for it.

“I’m sorry, that’s just not parcel to a winning athlete with a winning DNA and somebody who wants to lead their team out of the abyss.”

It’s easy to forget that athletes are also people, but you wouldn’t expect a former professional athlete in Esiason to harbor these ill feelings toward the Mets’ first baseman.

Sure, Alonso is a professional athlete in New York City, a media market notorious for its intense scrutiny. But criticizing him for enjoying a concert after a tough loss seems a bit excessive.

Undoubtedly, team success is paramount, and Alonso is integral to the team’s success. However, he’s not the one struggling. Perhaps it’s beneficial for the team’s offensive leader to unwind and not shoulder all the pressure. That approach didn’t work for him in 2023, nor did it work in ’21 either.

Criticism might be warranted if Alonso were struggling, but his key hits and a web gem on Sunday tell a different story. But that didn’t seem to be enough for Esiason, who doubled down on his stance, claiming Alonso’s actions weren’t those of a winning athlete with winning DNA and someone who wants to lead their team out of the abyss.

Perhaps the next time Alonso has something fun planned, he should run it by the WFAN host first.

[Audacy]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.