WFAN's Evan Roberts retires from Saturday show

You’d be hard-pressed to find a professional sports franchise that tortures its fans more than the Mets. The team with the highest payroll in Major League Baseball certainly hasn’t played like it thus far. And the team—and its fans—are desperate for answers to why things have seemingly gone so wrong.

The Met fan is a passionate one. But sometimes passion can be confused with over-the-top fandom that crosses the line. Being a die-hard fan doesn’t give you free rein to say whatever’s on your mind, just like buying a ticket to a sporting event isn’t a free pass to harass professional athletes. Unfortunately, social media has allowed fans to say things to athletes without certain repercussions. And for better or worse, a lot of those fans now have microphones.

Evan Roberts, a noted Mets fan, has been at WFAN since he began at the station as an overnight host in 2004. Like many in the Tri-State area, he is a die-hard Mets fan. And is likely frustrated with the shortcomings of the team.

One of the more frustrating sequences of the season for the New York Mets came just last week. The Mets were swept in a three-game series by the Atlanta Braves, who have had their number since last September and really for the last 30 years. Truist Field is becoming the same house of horrors for a Mets team that Turner Field was for them in the late 1990s and 2000s.

The Mets lost three straight games against Atlanta in which they had at least a three-run lead for the first time in franchise history. 

After dropping the first game in the series, the Mets turned to Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to help stop the bleeding. Instead, both pitchers, who have largely been disappointments for the Mets, allowed a combined 11 runs and coughed up leads given to them by their offense.

Scherzer (38) and Verlander (40) both signed record-breaking contracts with the Mets that are tied for the largest annual average value in the league. While they’ve both shown signs of brilliance, that’s been few and far between and neither has been able to pitch with much consistency. They’ve largely failed to be the aces the Mets thought they were acquiring.

Roberts put it a little bit more bluntly as he dissected what went wrong on his Audacy Original, Rico Brogna podcast. Though, rather, he took some veiled shots at Verlander and Scherzer, referring to each as a “stiff,” before getting a little bit more colorful with his language.

“It was a collective fail by the bullpen and Justin Verlander,” Roberts said regarding the Mets’ 13-10 loss to the Braves in extra innings last Thursday. “The Mets spend $90 million on these two mercenary pieces of crap who’ve done nothing. Max Scherzer’s pretended to do something because his overall numbers are good and he’s had some really good starts. But think about what he did last year…Max Scherzer pitched well, missed a big chunk of time, and then when they needed him the most against the Atlanta Braves and then in the playoffs against the Padres, he wasn’t bad, he was awful.”

In a greater sense, this is a referendum on what sports talk radio has become, but that’s a conversation for another day. As SNY’s Andy Martino points out, what does this say about discourse when you refer to people as “pieces of crap” because they aren’t pitching to what the back of their baseball card says? Newsflash: the entire Mets team, not just Verlander and Scherzer, has largely underperformed.

Martino wasn’t the only person to take issue with Roberts’ pointed comments.

Now, this isn’t the first time that Roberts has drawn the ire of baseball fans, and certainly won’t be the last. Earlier this season, he accused the Tampa Bay Rays of cheating, saying he didn’t need any evidence to back up his claims. Yes, he presented evidence as to why Verlander and Scherzer have underperformed, but that doesn’t give him a hall pass to name-call.

It’s not to say that professional athletes, especially those who are well compensated, are immune to criticism. While that’s far from the case here, there’s a difference between criticizing someone’s performance and calling them a “piece of crap.”


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.