"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



Before it slips my mind, I just wanted to take a moment to note how much I’ll miss watching Edgardo Alfonzo play every day for the Mets. Like Bernie Williams across town, Alfonzo has been the quintessential quiet professional (minus the flakiness), on the field and in the clubhouse. While I was busy wringing my hands over the Yankees losing secondary players like Mike Stanton and Ramiro Mendoza, Mets fans had to come to grips with losing a considerably more valuable player in Alfonzo. (Have the Mets had a better clutch hitter since Mex Hernandez?) While the press in New York has taken the Mets to task for letting Fonzie slip away, he certainly didn’t help his cause asking for a multi-year deal at around $8-9 million per.

Still, for a team that has experienced as much turnover as the Mets have in recent years, it is a shame to lose Alfonzo, a stable, humble, and reliable presence (who has been with the team since 1995). There is a calm, far-away look in Alfonzo’s eyes which suggests he would have been a perfect fit in one of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. I always thought he should have one of those little cigars tucked in the side of his mouth at all times.

Word is that Oakland’s general manager Billy Beane likes Fonzie plenty. No suprise there. He’s not alone. Fonzie will have to settle for less money if he winds up in Oakland (and I don’t know how realistic that is), but that sure would be an interesting move.

One question: no matter where Fonzie signs, will he still keep his home in Whitestone, Queens?

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver