NY Sports Quotebook: Alonso "Geeked Up," Cessa Recovering

Lou DiPietro
July 08, 2020 - 2:27 pm

As with the rest of the world, we in the media are getting used to navigating a world of Zoom calls, text messages and chance encounters as the only ways to cover local sports teams in-depth.

Regardless of how it’s gone about, the business of the business is business, or so an old communications professor of mine at Temple University used to say (shout out to Dr. Myrick) – so with that in mind, here are a handful of popular nuggets gleaned from recent conversations and media sessions around the New York sports horn:

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Right-hander Luis Cessa is one of two Yankees that were confirmed as testing positive for coronavirus, and as such he is not yet in Yankees camp. However, that may soon change, as an asymptomatic Cessa gave ESPN’s Marly Rivera a positive update:

“I feel really good. I'm just here at home, awaiting the negative results of my latest test. It's been a little frustrating not to be out there with my team, so I'm looking forward to rejoining them soon,” Cessa told Rivera.

After a Rookie of the Year campaign in 2019, Pete Alonso was understandably disappointed when the 2020 season was delayed and truncated – but regardless of the circumstances, he is indeed “geeked up” to get back on the field, as he told the media in a Tuesday Zoom call:

“I’m geeked up to play, and ultimately I know that I’m not the only one who feels that way. Yes, all of us are baseball players – that is our job – but before we were baseball players, we were fans of the game of baseball,” Alonso said. “Yes, there are extra steps that we have to take, but this is something that I’m really passionate about.”

And, Alonso is cool with whatever it takes to keep things moving.

“I feel great about the protocols here in New York. I feel like this is a city that’s affected a lot by this whole thing, more than other places. I feel like here – especially at Citi Field – the protocols have been very, very regimented,” he said. “We’re getting tested every other day, we’re getting the test results prompt and quick, and that’s what we need to keep guys healthy and on the field.”

The Brooklyn Nets left NYC for Orlando on Tuesday, and did so without seven members of their roster, after Spencer Dinwiddie and Taurean Prince announced they are coronavirus positive and will sit out the season’s resumption. That leaves a lot of minutes to be had, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who was coming on strong for Brooklyn when the season was halted, is ready to pick up the slack.

“I think we’re going to play super-fast, super-quick. We have a young team with a couple of veterans, and I’m just going to help more in the paint and stay out there with (Jarrett Allen), sometimes have to do the dirty job that they do,” TLC said during a Zoom call. “I love what I’m doing. I love playing here. I love the team and my teammates. I can’t let anybody down. I can’t take that for granted.”

Hockey Hall of Famer and iconic New York Ranger Rod Gilbert has had a tough time adjusting to the strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, telling NHL.com over the holiday weekend that he misses the social aspect of being at Madison Square Garden and being out and about greeting fans and being a helping hand in his community. So how is he remedying that?

"I love to yak and shake hands and hug and tell the fans how much I appreciate them. Not being able to do this is a little depressing, to tell you the truth. I like keeping in touch with fans with phone calls and FaceTime and Zoom calls, but there's nothing like interaction in person,” Gilbert told NHL.com. “But, I'm doing Zoom calls with 15 or 20 Rangers season ticket-holders every week. They get to ask me questions about my career and my most memorable moments with the Rangers. I love to socialize with fans. They're my family, actually."

And, even though we dished on it back in May, we’re going to finish this notebook with further proof that the “Quarantine 15” hasn’t hit the Sabathia household in Alpine, N.J., over the last few months.

Damn, CC, don't call it a comeback! 

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