Alonso cites fictional coach, unhappy with Mets change

Full Screen
1 / 3

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, file photo, New York Mets hitting coach Chili Davis watches from the top of the dugout steps during the fifth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach, Fla. Late Monday, May 3, 2021, the Mets fired Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

NEW YORK – Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor learned from phone messages that the New York Mets had fired hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant Tom Slater, a move that left players unhappy.

New York made the announcement late Monday night, two days after Alonso started to publicly mention the positive assistance of a new batting instructor — someone who, apparently, is fictional.

"I found out on Twitter while I was eating my postgame meal,” Alonso said, explaining he then talked to acting general manager Zack Scott and gave Davis and Slater hugs. “And then I cried at my locker a little bit.”

The slugging first baseman referred to the dismissed coaches as “Uncle Chili and Uncle Slate, I mean, they’re like family to us.”

“It really caught us all off guard,” Alonso said. “It’s confusing for me, and, listen, I respect everybody who made that decision. But to me, it just doesn’t make sense right now."

“But I know that the guys coming up, guys coming in have great minds, they’re great people. And I know that people who were in charge in the office know that they want to win, everybody wants to win. But I guess from a results standpoint, from let’s say 2, 2 1/2 years, the results have been there and so to me it still doesn’t make sense," he said.

Hugh Quattlebaum, the team's minor league director of hitting development, was promoted to big league hitting coach. Kevin Howard, who was director of player development, was appointed the assistant hitting coach.

Scott was hired by team president Sandy Alderson after new owner Steven Cohen bought the Mets last fall.