F.P. Santangelo set to return to MASN broadcast after months-long absence


Nationals fans should expect to be greeted by a familiar face as Washington returns from the All-Star Break Friday night.

According to Britt Ghiroli, TV color commentator F.P. Santangelo will be on the call as the Nationals host the Padres, his first appearance on MASN since May, when he was sidelined as MASN, then Major League Baseball began an investigation into a sexual misconduct allegation.

Per Ghiroli, MASN could not be reached for comment on Santangelo's return, though she notes both MASN and the Nationals would have to approve such a decision.

For more than two months, MASN has had to make due without Santangelo, 53, who's held his current broadcasting role with the regional sports network since 2011. Both MASN and the Nationals remained mostly mum on the topic as they awaited the results of MLB's investigation.

As fans sat in limbo, MASN leaned heavily on former Nationals outfielder Justin Maxwell to fill the void. Maxwell served as the primary relief man for the past few months, calling games alongside longtime play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter. On days Carpenter was out, too, MASN studio analyst Dan Kolko would pitch in.

With public details already sparse, complicating matters — as The Washington Post detailed in June — was the fact that Santangelo's accuser, while Santangelo denied the allegation, had remained anonymous. Making matters trickier, the initial allegation first surfaced on a since deleted Instagram account.

At one point in this saga, Santangelo was reinstated and returned to the broadcast booth for a May 4 series opener against the Braves.

But his return was awkwardly cut short only days later when, according to The Post, "another Instagram account, similar in nature to the earlier two, posted an allegation that was similar to the first."

"The similarities suggested it could be the same accuser and allegation," The Post described, "but the posts were not identical enough for the Nationals to feel certain."

The Nationals then revoked their approval of Santangelo to call their games, the second such instance of them doing so, but, according to The Post, "MASN ignored the organization's request and allowed Santangelo to broadcast that night's game."

Tonight marks Santangelo's first broadcast since that night. First pitch between the Nats and Padres is slated for 7:05 p.m., which you can also listen to on 106.7 The Fan (FM) or stream online here.