Mike and the Mad Dog
Andrew H. Walker | Getty Images

Mike Francesa’s podcast reunion with Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo was a joy from start to finish. But the rant about the Mets retiring Willie Mays’ number was the undoubted peak.

“Are we kidding with retiring Willie Mays’ number with the Mets? Fifty years later, are we serious?” Francesa said. “Willie Mays hit 14 homers for the Mets and fell down in center field. Are we serious? And 50 years later we learn there was a secret? Give me a break. … Let’s be honest. He didn’t do anything with the Mets.”

Russo chimed in that he agreed, and off they went. Francesa on how the Giants “should retire his uniform from here to Kingdom Come,” but not the Mets. Russo on how Mays hated Yogi Berra. Fourteen home runs in 135 games. The Yankees’ retired numbers caught some shrapnel too. “Reggie Jackson? Give me a break,” Francesa said.

It was amazing. It felt like the good old days. As did Francesa and Russo tweaking Mets owner Steve Cohen.

“I know Cohen has been a good owner,” Russo said. “But Cohen wants to be a fan. He wants to talk about them on the Instagram, and …”


Francesa cuts in: “He wants to be loved, is what he wants to be. He wants to be loved.”

Russo: “Oh, he loves it. You know what he should be? He should be a talk show caller. He would have been great for you and me, ‘Steve in Great Neck,’ let’s go.”

Francesa: “All he wants to do is go on the field and get an ovation. That’s it. He’s going to get plenty of them if he keeps buying players. Keep deGrom here and he’ll get a lot of ovations.”

And then they started abruptly talking about the Jets a few moments later.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JamesKratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.