Thankfully for Nationals fans, F.P. Santangelo isn’t Rob Dibble

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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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.