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Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 03/11/2011

F.P. Santangelo won't refer to the Nats as "we"

By Dan Steinberg

Before Rob Dibble entered his MASN death spiral -- marked by his amazement at women watching a ball game and his advice for Stephen Strasburg to "suck it up" -- the biggest controversy surrounding his Nats tenure involved cheering in the press box.

Specifically, while many viewers were used to a somewhat calm and objective broadcasting style, Dibble was fond of cheering and shouting and using "We" and "Us" to refer to the Nats. There were actually many, many defenders of his style, but there were certainly detractors as well.

I asked him about this decision fairly early on in his tenure.

"What am I supposed to say, 'Those guys on the field?' " Dibble countered. "It's not really a conscious thought, whether or not I say 'we.' I think everyone that's in this stadium is a We, is a part of this whole thing."

Well, with F.P. Santangelo's hiring as Dibble's replacement, the We Are All We Era has officially ended. Nats blogger Kristen Hudak asked Santangelo when it would be appropriate to refer to the Nats as 'We,' and he left no doubt.

"It's never appropriate," he said. "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.' "


By Dan Steinberg  | March 11, 2011; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Media, Nats  
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Ray Knight says "we" every bit as much as Dibble did. Why have you never picked on him for that?

Posted by: FeelWood | March 11, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I miss Dibble already in the booth.

Posted by: pilotf105 | March 11, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong in my mind about National's commentators referring to the team as "We". Truth is that this city was denied a team for 34 years and the fellows broadcasting the games need to be seen as loyal to the team. That doesn't preclude them from being objective. Santangelo has it all wrong. I don't wear the team's uniform either but I DO refer to the Nats as we. In my mind he's off to a shaky start. I say bring back Dibble!!!

Posted by: bpetros | March 11, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Remember Werner Wolf from back in the Washington Senators days? I want my commentator to not only say "we" but be "we". Dibble might have made a mistake with his Strasburg comment, but he had spirit and I enjoyed him. This "politically correct" form of broadcasting stinks. Santangelo, you have it wrong.

Posted by: wvpastorphil | March 11, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Everything is wrong with the commentators saying "we".

Nationals are only selling $350 seats to opening day on their website. Dan, it's time to head to the stadium on opening day and try to buy regular tickets. I bet they have a lot of "visiting team returns" available for sale.

Posted by: GeorgeTowner2 | March 11, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Tell me Steinberg,in your Postie world view are Sonny and Sam allowed to say "we" because they played for the Redskins?

Posted by: poguesmahone | March 11, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

OUR commentators should use WE. They are part of the team, just like the fans. For those folks that cannot be at the game, their comments are so important. You want them to be HAPPY with you when WE are winning and say things to make you feel better when WE are losing. If they were on a sports show where it may be important to be objective, that's another thing. But NATS commentators should be WE and US, NATS FANS!

Posted by: sundance6 | March 11, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

i'm all for broadcasters having their principles.

but, i've never been bothered by a broadcaster who says "we".

nobody actually thinks they are on the team.

Posted by: CF11555 | March 11, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Aren't the broadcasters paid by the team? Or if MASN pays them aren't they approved (i.e. hired) by the team? Seems to me, not saying we is puffing themselves up as if they're real journalists. A journalist would've been allowed to say whatever Dibs said and not be fired.
More worrisome is the spectacle of N.Morgan's play in CF tonight - bad angles / poor reads / not major league level play. Hard to get a read on pitchers' effectiveness when all this is going on behind them.

Posted by: artguydtd | March 11, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

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