Mike Francesa’s last show after 33 years on WFAN had a fitting theme on Friday evening: the Mets.
For most of his final hour, he spoke in real time about the last two innings of the opener for the team whose games WFAN carried for most of Francesa’s time at the station.
And the focus of his commentary was the man whose ninth-inning meltdown against the Phillies last June – also while Francesa was on the air – inspired one of the most memorable rants of the host’s career.
“He walks him,” Francesa said after reliever Edwin Diaz walked the Braves’ Freddie Freeman with one out in the ninth. “Here we go. Start the merry-go-round.”
This time, Diaz escaped, securing a 1-0 victory to tie a tidy bow around Francesa’s long run at WFAN.
“It’s fun to be out there analyzing a game again, whether it’s the Yankees last night or the Mets right here,” he said during the tense final few outs, referring to the long break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is what it’s about. This is what you love to do.”
Not anymore, at least not on a regular basis. Francesa announced on Thursday that Friday would be his final show, ending what already had been a limited presence since early January.
Having enjoyed an elaborate farewell tour the first time he left, in 2017, Francesa sought to make this exit more low-key.
In the 20 minutes after the Mets game, he took a series of calls – two of them prank ones – including from regular Ira from Staten Island, who said he regretted never getting to talk to Francesa about a Jets Super Bowl.
The last was “Sal in Sayville,” who said he is 43, had been listening to Francesa since he was 14, and was calling from his patrol car on Long Island.
Then Francesa addressed listeners, saying, “The FAN has been my home for 33 years. It will always be my home. It will always be part of my being, and I thank all of you, because it’s about the people. It’s about the audience. Without you listening, without you being there day after day, I would never have had the run that I’ve had, and I’ve had one of the really enduring runs in the history of radio, which I’m very, very proud of.”
Francesa promised listeners they would hear from him again “somewhere, sometime.”
“Be safe and enjoy this year the best you can,” he said. “We’ll see you along the way . . . Until we meet again, be safe. Thank you, bye.”