Craig Carton played the “what did I do?” card and delivered a warning in the process.

This week, the WFAN afternoon drive co-host and former FAN talent John Jastremski have had a chippy back-and-forth. It began when Carton said Jastremski “shunned” his broadcasting advice and took potshots at his former colleague’s career. Jastremski fired back, saying he takes advice from people with better stature than a “crook” like Carton. Carton, claiming to hear about the specifics for the first time, wondered what he did wrong and said that he likes Jastremski before making a veiled threat.

Speaking on “Carton & Roberts” on Friday, Carton said that he had an “open door” to help Jastremski when the latter was getting started in his career.

“What did I say, when I was relaying a story about trying to be a nice guy and a good co-worker and helping a young career blossom, when I went from telling that story, to all of a sudden, I guess [I’m seeing on Twitter], he’s calling me all these derogatory terms and telling me to eff off. Just walk me through it if I want to engage in this silly battle,” Carton said.

Carton was informed he’d joked that Jastremski — who left WFAN last year to host a New York centric podcast for Bill Simmons’ network at the Spotify-owned Ringer — was out of the business and working at McDonalds. Carton also intimated that Jastremski’s role on SNY — which airs a simulcast of “Carton & Roberts — was low-paid and not a special platform.

Craig Carton responded to John Jastremski's comments and made a veiled threat.
Craig Carton responded to John Jastremski’s comments and made a veiled threat.

“Oh so I took a veiled little shot at him going to a podcast?” Carton asked, playing innocent. “So that’s the level of thin-skinned we all are now and insecure? … He attacked me and told me to eff off, and called me a crook, because I tried to help his career out? I thought from a career standpoint, being on WFAN was better than being on any podcast. That’s what we’re talking about? And I’m the bad guy?”

Carton also issued what amounted to a warning to Jastremski not to escalate.

“I like JJ,” he said, according to Awful Announcing. “But if you want to have a war, you’re picking the wrong guy.”

Carton invited Jastremski to come on the show and hash it out, but Jastremski was on vaction.

John Jastremski called Craig Carton a 'crook' after the WFAN host took shots at his career.
John Jastremski called Craig Carton a ‘crook’ after the WFAN host took shots at his career.
Instagram / John Jastremski

This all began when Carton took a shot at Jastremski’s relevance in the proverbial conversation, joking that he didn’t think Jastremski was still in the business anymore. Carton, who said sardonically that leaving WFAN “wasn’t the smartest career move,” joked that Jastremski was managing a McDonalds and was unimpressed with the SNY role: “You see lots of people on SNY, they pay like $30 a shift. Not a joke, $30 a shift.”

Carton said he advised Jastremski to say “NFL” instead of “National Football League” because “No one talks like that. [It’s] nails on a chalkboard.”

On his “New York, New York” podcast, Jastremski fired back at Carton.

“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s?” Jastremski asked. “Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.

“As for career advice? Guess what?” he asked. “I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f–king hike. How about that.”

Carton served over a year in prison after he was convicted of fraud. Carton and two other investors had solicited investment in a plan to get tickets through industry connections and scalp them. Instead, Carton spent the money in part to cover gambling debts.

After an initial see-saw battle against “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York, WFAN’s “Carton & Roberts” has solidified the top spot in sports in afternoon drive in New York.


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Tyler Cowan