The “announcer jinx” has been a persistent running gag in the world of sports and that won’t likely ever change. Whether it’s “jinxing” a field goal kicker who’s on a streak or “jinxing” a No-Hitter or Perfect Game, in the world of sports broadcasting, you’re only as good as your last prediction. Unfortunately, even as the 2023 MLB season looms, Sal Licata is still feeling the heat. The WFAN and SNY personality is best remembered last season for making an extremely bold claim about the New York Mets at a very early point in the season.
On May 31, 2022, Licata appeared on SNY’s Baseball Night in New York to proclaim that the National League East race was over and that New York would win the division.
"THE NL EAST IS OVER" – @sal_licata on Baseball Night in New York pic.twitter.com/caPEQM4w6w
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 31, 2022
At the time, the Mets were 34-17. They held a 10.5-game edge over the then 23-27 Atlanta Braves.
If you’re an MLB fan, you know where this is going. The Braves ultimately edged the Mets at the end of the season and won the NL East. Though they finished with identical records, Atlanta had the advantage. That sent the Mets to the Wild Card round, which they ultimately lost to the San Diego Padres.
Since then, Licata has felt the heat. The tweet was often quote-tweeted and jumped on any time the Mets slipped and the Braves pushed (it currently has 3,067 quote tweets). And Licata also feels the heat off of Twitter also.
During a radio show appearance on WFAN, one Mets fan accused Licata of being the reason the team collapsed. The New York sports voice was not having any of it.
.@sal_licata is STILL being blamed for the demise of the 2022 Mets ? pic.twitter.com/Qkiz0L1d0G
— WFAN Sports Radio (@WFAN660) March 3, 2023
“Ross, are you that stupid?” Licata asked the caller, who challenged him by saying he was “proclaiming the Mets were going to win the NL East.” Licata then continued to go off.
“Yeah, and what did you think? They lost because of something I said? YOU THINK THEY LOST BECAUSE OF SOMETHING I SAID? YOU THINK THEY LOST BECAUSE OF SOMETHING I SAID?”
The caller said the personality gave the team the “kiss of death.” Licata repeatedly called the caller an idiot and told him to get lost, before he was eventually taken off the phone. He also said he would talk to himself for several hours and that he’d quit in response to the conversation.
“I don’t care who you are. If you think that any words that I said caused the Mets to lose the division, you’re an absolute idiot. I’ll tell it to your face,” Licata threatened.
Oftentimes, it’s interesting to see how sports prognosticators respond to missed predictions. And then, when fans may cross a line, these are the results.