Midway through the Nats’ loss to the Cardinals on Monday night, F.P. Santangelo started talking media. This was something his predecessor was fond of doing, but Santangelo has mostly steered clear of media criticism during his time in the MASN booth.
And in truth, this was just a mild diversion on Monday night, but still. It happened during the top of the fifth, during a discussion of top prospect Anthony Rendon, who had recently recorded his first big-league hit.
“There’s some people around town — that may or may not be in our business — that think that Ryan Zimmerman was put on the disabled list because of his throwing, and that [couldn’t be] further from the truth,” Santangelo said. “If you watch any Nationals games, you know that Ryan Zimmerman had a tough time in Miami getting around the bases. He had a tough time even on his home run trot with that hamstring. It was a cramp that kind of went into something a little more serious, and Davey Johnson didn’t want to take any chances on him pulling that thing and missing [time]. So if you’ve watched ANY games this year, you know that Ryan Zimmerman hurt his hamstring. And it’s another opportunity for somebody else, and that somebody else just came up big with his first big-league knock.”
“Well, anybody who knows Ryan Zimmerman would never dream up something like that,” Bob Carpenter chimed in.
“Well, anybody who’s watched a game wouldn’t, either,” Santangelo said.
What in the name of Dibble was going on here? Who was this unnamed person who may or may not be in the media? How had Santangelo heard of this rogue Zimmerman theory? And what exactly had Zimmerman been accused of?
The answers may have come a few hours earlier, when Santangelo was a guest on ESPN 980’s Inside the Locker Room.
“Zimmerman, 15-day DL, what would be your advice for him throughout this period?” Doc Walker asked the MASN analyst.
“To get better,” Santangelo said. “I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure that one out.”
“Well no, he said he’s not hurt, and yet he had a hamstring,” Walker said. “He said the arm’s okay, but yet he’s throwing the ball all over the place. So obviously it is something more psychological than physical. That’s why I asked you the question: As a former pro, what would be your advice on the 15-day DL for a guy who’s obviously lying to himself?”
“Well, unless you guys have heard something different or are making stuff up, it’s physical,” Santangelo said. “He pulled his hamstring, or strained it enough where he can’t play. So there’s nothing more to it than that.”
“Well, he said it wasn’t the hamstring,” Walker insisted. “This is Zimmerman saying that it was not the hamstring.”
“It is the hamstring,” Santangelo insisted right back.
“Ok, so you say it is, he says it isn’t,” Walker said.
“He’s on the 15-day DL with a hamstring that he strained two games before the road trip,” Santangelo said. “He hurt it worse in Miami going from first to third on an Ian Desmond double. And it’s something that he can’t baby along, that he feels like if it rips all the way he’s gonna miss a month, a month and a half or so, where he can’t do the things he’s doing.”
“Gotcha,” Walker said.
Then Brian Mitchell asked a question about Anthony Rendon. And Santangelo corrected his pronunciation of “Rendon.”
None of this was heated or anything. But for the record, I’m always in favor of more veiled shots at the media during game broadcasts. Especially against me. Helps the Q Score.