The latest and most vicious salvo in New York’s sports radio war was fired Wednesday when Michael Kay called Mike Francesa a liar in a nine-minute rant on ESPN Radio and YES Network.
According to Kay, Francesa was discussing his November interview with Alex Rodriguez on WFAN. A caller suggested the infamous in-studio interview, during which A-Rod denied PED use and blasted MLB, was the reason Francesa and YES Network parted ways.
Kay, the play-by-play voice of the Yankees on YES, has since taken over the afternoon simulcast slot from Francesa.
“And Francesa said, ‘That’s not the truth, they wanted a show where they can control the editorial and I wasn’t going to give them that,’” a heated Kay said of his rival.
“I don’t know how to say this without being blunt: Mike’s a liar. No one controls this show, but me and [co-host] Don La Greca. That’s it. We have never, ever been called by anybody at YES and critiqued on what we said and how we said it or the truth of it.”
Kay would later correct himself and say that the only time he heard from YES was after his initial simulcast, which he opened by dumping a bottle of Diet Coke, Francesa’s favorite beverage, in the trash.
Francesa has held his significant radio ratings edge over his foe’s head since Kay moved into the midday slot on ESPN Radio. Kay gave what he considers to be the reasons Francesa and YES did not renew their contract in January of this year.
“To say they wanted editorial control, you’re lying to soften the blow that you got taken off a great network and saying we are a house organ,” Kay said. “You are wrong, I am sorry, you are wrong.
“Two reasons: 1. You ended up earning a lot of money, which you earned, but they were losing a lot of money on the show. 2. It’s obvious the proper decision has been made because our ratings are better than your rating when you were on YES.”
And then Kay attacked Francesa for his viral sleeping moment when he dozed off while talking to WFAN’s Yankees reporter Sweeny Murti.
“And let me give you a No. 3: Maybe they didn’t want to broadcast a show where someone was falling asleep on the air,” Kay said.
“That doesn’t make for great television. So, don’t you dare impugn my integrity and reputation by telling people the only reason we are on the air is because we are told what and what not to say. If you want to say that, I need proof and you can’t give me proof because you are lying. Period. I don’t want to get into a hissing war with you. I get the whole “Numbaaa 1.” I get it. I get it. But the bottom line is, don’t lie about me, don’t lie about this guy [La Greca].”
Francesa’s simulcast landed at Fox Sports 1. He has been in a dispute with the network since its inception about the show constantly being pre-empted for soccer coverage and other live events.
Ironically, Kay started his tirade by saying it was unfair to criticize Francesa for the A-Rod interview. He seemed to change his tune by the end.
“I don’t lay down for somebody in order to get an interview with that person. We got scooped on the Alex Rodriguez interview. You know why Alex went to Mike? Because Mike was supporting Alex the entire way to say MLB was going out of its way to crucify Alex, he ripped the Yankees too about it. That’s why Alex got there. Cause Alex got a nice soft landing,” Kay said.
And then a final blow: “You can take a walk with your attitude, with your bloviating. Keep my name out of your mouth,” Kay said. “I don’t treat you like that. And you shouldn’t treat other people like that. And maybe the way you treat people is another reason why YES decided to kick your butt to the curb. We’ll be back…”
Credit to the NY Post who originally published this article