Did you know that the Mets won the World Series? For a little while, that’s what 27-year-old Ilan Grapel thought.
Grapel, a law student from Queens, New York, was freed Thursday after spending five months in an Egyptian prison. He was accused of spying for Israel in June after attending a demonstration in Cairo during the country’s uprising. The United States helped broker a deal this week to set him free as part of a prisoner swap.
According to the New York Post, Grapel was celebrating his release from isolation with a press conference in Tel Aviv when Rep. Gary Ackerman from New York let everyone in on the joke.
“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.”
You know, because the poor guy didn’t suffer enough.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.