I get the distinct feeling that if F.P. Santangelo had his way, opening day for the 2011 baseball season would begin tomorrow.
The Washington Nationals' new color analyst and I spoke by phone Saturday. Since 2004, Santangelo has spent most of his time covering the San Francisco Giants -- doing a variety of shows on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as hosting a talk show from 7 to 10 weeknights on KNBR. He built up a strong resume that impressed the Washington brass enough to name him the Nationals' fifth color analyst. Santangelo will join play-by-play man Bob Carpenter in the MASN broadcast booth this season.
We talked about his choice to leave his job covering the World Series champion Giants and join the Nationals.
Santangelo on becoming a full-time color analyst » Not long after joining CSN Bay Area I was able to do fill-in color analyst work on the Giants and the A's games, and I knew that was what I really wanted to do. But when you have talented broadcasters like Jon Miller, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow and Dave Flemming, that is a lineup that is very tough to crack. But the wonderful thing for me is that each one of those guys has taken time to work with me and make a better broadcaster.
Santangelo on his decision to try for the Nationals job » At the end of the season, at the encouragement of Kuiper, Krukow and Miller, I called my agent and told him we should send Washington a tape. Then in December I was contacted by the Nationals and told that I was one of three finalists and that they were flying me in for a face-to-face interview. I was impressed with their commitment to doing everything first-class just like the Giants. Then about 10 days ago I got the call that I was the Nats' choice, and man, I was really happy all the hard work paid off and I was headed to Washington.
Santangelo on the reaction back in San Francisco » Well, everyone with the Giants were happy for me and wished me well. I made the announcement on my KNBR show, and I got lots of really nice calls and over 3,000 tweets asking me to stay and others wishing me well. I was really was touched by the way everyone wanted me to do well. Last year covering the Giants' run to a world championship was the best year of my professional career. Now I can't wait to get to Washington where I promise fans that I want to be in D.C. for a long time and broadcast a number of World Series games with the Nationals.
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!