A 27 year-old New York man, who was released yesterday from an Egyptian prison after being locked up and isolated for five months on dubious charges, was greeted by his mother and the false news that the New York Mets had won the 2011 World Series.
Queens native Ilan Grapel was flanked by his mom and Rep. Gary Ackerman on his first day of freedom since June 12 when he was pranked, according to the New York Post.
Grapel—a huge Mets fan—was locked up when the Mets won-lost record was 32-33 and still had a shot at making the championship series. Alas, Grapel—an experienced Mets fan—figured out right away that the team had flopped once again and he was just being punked.
Mets fans are used to be tortured every year but, come on, this guy just got out of an Egyptian jail. Telling him the bumbling Mets are world champions? Now that's cruel and unusual punishment.
Grapel was expected to fly home to Queens today from Israel—where he celebrated his release at a press conference with his mom and Ackerman. He thanked everyone who helped free him.
"There's so many people to thank," he said. "And after being cut off for the past five months..."
Ackerman interrupted, "We told him the Mets won the World Series."
Grapel just smiled when he was told about every Mets fan's fantasy, but realized his favorite team was out of the running long ago—again.
Ackerman, a Mets fan himself, helped the U.S. broker the deal that swapped 25 imprisoned Egyptians for Grapel.
Grapel, a law student, is scheduled to fly home today after a hero's welcome in Israel.
Maybe the Mets will let Grapel throw out a first pitch one day.