(not, we should stress, the MVP of the 2011 World Series)
OK, that’s not really how it went down. But upon Ilan Grapel’s release from incarceration in Egypt this week — the Queens native was part of a legal aid group working in that country after President Hosni Mubarak’s downfall — the 27 year-old’s first day of freedom was punctuated with a particularly bad joke. From the NY Post’s Andy Soltis ;
Grapel, expected to fly home to Queens today from Israel, was celebrating his release at a press conference in Tel Aviv, flanked by his mother Irene and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens), when he was pranked.
“There’s so many people to thank,” he said, “and after being cut off for the past five months …”
Ackerman quickly interjected, “We told him the Mets won the World Series.”
Grapel, a sports fan, shot Ackerman a big smile — only to quickly feel the let-down most Mets fans are all too familiar with when he quickly figured out that the team had tanked — again.
When Grapel was arrested in Egypt on dubious spying charges on June 12, the Mets’ won-lost record was 32-33 and the Amazin’s still had dreams of playing in October.
I sincerely doubt Grapel believed Congressman Ackerman for even a moment. However, in Ackerman’s defense, “we told him the Mets re-signed Jose Reyes” would’ve been equally hard to swallow, while “we told him the Mets hired Bob Geren as bench coach” wouddn’t have had quite the same ring to it.