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01/06/11 10:10 PM EST

Santangelo set to join Nats' TV team

WASHINGTON -- Former Major Leaguer F.P. Santangelo said Thursday night that he will become a TV analyst for Nationals games on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

Santangelo is considered an excellent radio personality on KNBR in San Francisco and has done fill-in work during Giants games. Santangelo credits Giants announcers Duane Kuiper, Jon Miller, Mike Krukow and Dave Fleming for his success in the booth.

Santangelo said he wanted to become a broadcaster long before he became a baseball player. He was a communications major while attending the University of Miami and Sacramento City College. He said he grew up idolizing Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

Santangelo was also a popular figure in a baseball uniform. The former outfielder/infielder played seven years in the big leagues and is best known for his years with the Expos. Santangelo was considered the Willie Harris of his time in the late 1990s. Santangelo could play every position except first base, pitcher and catcher.

"It has been quite a day," Santangelo said after learning about his new job. "I'm very humbled. It's the pinnacle of what I wanted to do -- even before my baseball career. It quite an honor to be doing it with an organization that I once played for. I'm happy how it has come full circle. It was the happiest time of my playing career."

Santangelo will become the fifth TV partner for Bob Carpenter, the play-by-play voice for the Nationals. Carpenter has worked with Tom Paciorek, Don Sutton, Rob Dibble and Ray Knight, who took his name out of consideration during the Christmas holiday. According to one source, Knight didn't want to deal with the hectic travel schedule.

"It's an honor to be working next to a guy like Bob Carpenter," Santangelo said. "When I think about that, I'm really excited."

Santangelo said he has already done his homework on the Nationals and believes they are headed in the right direction.

"I think they are an up-and-coming group," Santangelo said. "They have a lot of potential. It reminds me of when I was in Montreal, where you build from within. You get a couple of free agents and you are going to be good for a long time. I'm excited about this team being very good for a long time."

MASN and the Nationals have been looking for a permanent analyst since Sept. 1, when Dibble was relieved of his duties for making critical remarks about right-hander Stephen Strasburg. On his XM Radio show, Dibble criticized Strasburg -- who underwent Tommy John surgery -- for not playing through injuries. According to a baseball source, the team was upset by the comments.

In late August, it was announced that Dibble was scheduled to take time off and return a few days later, but he never returned.

Knight replaced Dibble on an interim basis. There is a strong possibility that Knight could go back to doing the pregame and postgame shows on MASN with Johnny Holliday.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.