Pete Alonso hits back at Noah Syndergaard critics after Mets pitcher had Tommy John surgery during coronavirus pandemic

Tribune Content Agency

Is it wrong for professional baseball players to get Tommy John surgery during the coronavirus pandemic? When a Sports Illustrated piece about that exact topic was published Monday, many people weighed the pros and cons of the issue on Twitter. Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso, however, was not entertained that his teammate, pitcher Noah Syndergaard, was included in the discussion.

“Who is to judge someone’s medical needs in order to perform their job,” the 2019 National League Rookie of the Year wrote on Twitter. “Noah’s (Syndergaard) surgery, or any other athlete’s surgery during this time shouldn’t be scrutinized considering it is done by orthopedic surgeons, not those on the frontlines battling this pandemic.

“Medical supplies are high in demand. The issue isn’t Noah needing surgery and getting it,” Alonso continued. “The issue I have is that the tone of this article suggests that players are making the decisions to get surgeries.”

Alonso went on to highlight the risks and aftermath of what players go through after getting such an invasive procedure.

“No athlete wants to go through a serious surgery and grueling recovery process,” Alonso continued. “This surgery is done when it is absolutely necessary for their arm.”

As of Monday, the Center for Disease Control has logged over 140,000 coronavirus cases around the U.S. and its territories. Of that number, the Florida Department of Health reported having 5,704 cases.

Syndergaard is recovering from his surgery, which was done by the team’s medical director, Dr. David Altchek, on March 27 at the Hospital for Special Surgery in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Palm Beach county has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state (441) behind Broward (1,113) and Dade (1,676) counties.

Alonso also voiced frustration for not seeing more medical professionals directly involved with the players’ approved surgeries being included in the SI piece.

“Medical staff and doctors at the hospital deem if the surgery is necessary or not,” Alonso tweeted. “Why weren’t any of the individuals that deemed these surgery necessary involved in the article? In order for a surgery to happen, there are guidelines and approvals that need to be made.”

Syndergaard’s diagnosis and recommendation for surgery given the circumstances of the pandemic, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, defended his decision a few days before in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle — a quote from that interview was included in the SI piece.

“I know that I’m going to get criticized for taking care of these kinds of guys, but it’s essential to their livelihoods,” Dr. ElAttrache told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday. “If you have somebody’s career at stake and they lose two seasons instead of one, I would say that is not a non-essential or unimportant elective procedure.”

Hospitals and doctors around the country, especially in the hardest hit areas like New York, California and Michigan, have complained about shortages on items like n95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, ventilators and any number of supplies needed to combat the ever spreading virus.

Even available hospital beds and an adequate amount of medical personnel is hard to come by in some areas. In New York, temporary hospitals have been set up at the Javits Center, in tents in the middle of Central Park, and in a Navy hospital ship. Retired medical professionals around the country have also been asked to step in and help.


©2020 New York Daily News

Visit New York Daily News at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.