Love or hate him, FP Santangelo has become an intricate part of the Nationals for the past decade. Signed to take over as the team’s TV color analyst in 2011, Santangelo quickly formed strong chemistry with coworker Bob Carpenter. The two saw the rise and fall of the Nationals in the NL East, calling games during all five of the Nats respective playoff runs. Most notably, Santangelo is known for saying there goes the no-hitter whenever the Nats get their first hit of the game.
Earlier today, it was announced that Santangelo wouldn’t be returning to the team next year. Some assumed it was due to the allegations that he faced earlier in the year, that led to him missing time away from the team.
While Santangelo won’t be returning, it was reported that Carpenter will be back for the next two years.
With a void in the booth, who should MASN and the Nats target to fill the open spot?
The new replacement should be a player that has ties to the franchise and will be able to connect to the fanbase. FP did a solid job of going over the little things and his replacement needs to be able to follow suit. For a team that needs to boost its tv ratings, now is a chance to sign a young
Daniel Murphy: While he was in D.C. for two and a half years, he instantly made his presence felt. Murphy posted the best year of his career in Washington, mainly because he was able to master hitting. His tips and thoughts on players at the plate would be interesting to learn about.
Chad Cordero: Cordero, also known as “the Chief” set the franchise record for saves in a season with 47 in 2005. Adding a player from the Nationals inaugural season allows the team to go back to its roots.
Gio González: Gio Gonzalez was a crucial part of the National’s run of dominance in the 2010s and a major part of the team’s rotation. Gonzalez set the franchise record for wins in a season (21) and his infectious attitude helped change the locker room.
Justin Maxwell: When Santangelo was under investigation, Maxwell was his temporary replacement. After struggling through the first week, Maxwell started to find himself and was even flourishing at the role. Due to already having chemistry with Carpenter, he can slide right in.
This will be the most popular option, but will only work if the long-time face of the franchise finally decides to hang up his cleats. If he does decide to retire, moving into the TV booth is a logical follow-up destination for the 16-year veteran.
The team’s first-ever draft pick, Ryan Zimmerman has been there for everything, from the dark ages to the team’s playoff runs and World Series championship. He is the franchise record holder in games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, total bases, doubles, homers, and RBIs. Someone of his pedigree would help raise the team’s tv ratings.
Signing a player who recently played is the way to go, as it allows for a different type of insight into what goes on in the clubhouse and in the minds of coaching decisions. With Washington in the middle of a rebuild, Zimmerman can offer a unique perspective that others can’t. For instance, what it’s like for a top prospect to make his way up the system and how to adapt to the pros.
After all, Zimmerman was drafted number four overall back in 2005 and arrived in D.C. with immense expectations. He can help allow the fanbase to fully understand what is going through the minds of players such as Keibet Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Carter Kieboom, and Victor Robles.
The biggest wildcard on this list, you simply don’t know what is about to come out of Jayson Werth’s mouth, but that is part of the appeal. During his time with the Nationals, Werth had a tendency of pushing the envelope during post-game interviews, which would always get the crowd pumped with excitement.
Across 15 MLB seasons, Werth is known for his time with the Phillies and Nationals. Werth was a part of the Phillies 2008 World Series team and he later signed a seven-year deal worth $126 million to join the Nationals.
Most notably during his time with the Nats, Werth was the mentor to superstar Bryce Harper. He showed him the ropes and taught him how to be a ballplayer on and off the field. This type of insight would be perfect for tv broadcasts.
Werth was a fan favorite during his time in D.C. and having just recently retired, can relate more to the team and what is going on.