Rob Dibble was fired as the Nationals’ television analyst following comments he made about Stephen Strasburg, but before that he’d more than earned the firing with various other “controversial” statements and, most importantly, awful announcing.
Included among Dibble’s many faults as an announcer was that he referred to “we” and “us” while openly cheering for the Nationals. It’s one thing to be a homer, as many local announcers are, but it’s another thing to be a grunting cheerleader who doesn’t even pretend to have any sort of objectivity.
All of which is why Nationals fans should be pleased to hear how much different the team’s new television announcer, F.P. Santangelo, plans to be in the broadcast booth. Here’s his response when Kristen Hudak of MASNSports.com asked “when is it OK to use ‘us’ or ‘we’ while broadcasting?”:
It’s never appropriate. I’m not wearing a uniform, so it’s not we. It’s absolutely against everything I’ve been taught as a broadcaster to ever say “we” because I’m sitting up here with makeup on and a coat and a tie. So it’s the Nationals and it will always be the Nationals on every broadcast I do. I was taught by some of the best announcers in baseball–Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming, the broadcast crew for the Giants. One of the first things I learned was that you say “we” when you’re wearing a uniform. I’m not wearing a uniform anymore so it will never be “we.”
Santangelo discussed a whole bunch of other stuff in his lengthy interview with Hudak. I haven’t heard him call a game yet, but I already like him more than Dibble.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.