According to my old, addled brain, there have been five color guys in the history of the Nats: Ron Darling, Tom Paciorek, Don Sutton, Rob Dibble, and FP Santangelo (Ray Knight has filled in, of course, as well, but I'm not including him since he's never been more than an interim guy or an emergency fill-in). Now that FP has had some time to settle in to the job, I'm wondering where people generally see him in the (admittedly SSS) historical rankings. At the risk of stirring up the opinions of some pretty opinionated people (not that there's anything wrong with that!), I offer my own list of preferences in the color guys, from best to least-best:
1. Don Sutton
2. FP Santangelo
3. Tom Paciorek
4. Rob Dibble
5. Ron Darling
I am SURE that not a soul out there would agree with me on this list, but for what it's worth, here are my reasons...
Don Sutton - Knew more than any of the others. I would have said "by far" before this year, but FP has me thinking Sutton's getting some competition there. I always learned something listening to Sutton, damn near every game. Can't say that about many broadcasters, so he gets my props for that. Now, Sutton has some big downsides: biggest is that he seemed to know that he knew stuff - he tended towards sounding a bit full of himself. Also, for me, a child baptized in the Big Red Machine waters, I have spent most of my life hating all Dodgers (past, present, and I daresay future), so this is a tough call to make.
FP - Knows his stuff vey well, as noted above. His personal tie-in to the franchise's history is also nice, and sets him apart from the others, which is especially nice in the year the Nats finally begin to crawl out of the hole of mediocrity they've been in for the past five years. Easygoing voice, too. If he sticks around, I could definitely see him taking over my personal number one spot here.
Paciorek - I don't remember too much about his year here (second year, if I recall correctly?), but the impression he left was that of a normally upbeat, happy guy, and that came across in his broadcasts.
Dibble - Enthusiam for the club and being an ex-Red keep him off of the bottom of my list: this guy knew only one thing, and that was being a relief pitcher. I don't recall him ever really providing good baseball insight on anything that didn't involve the pitching mound, and even there, his approach from a broadcasting perspective very well matched his approach on the mound during his career: rear back and fire it, and don't think too much.
Ron Darling: I've heard several people talk about how this guy is knowledgeable. I don't doubt that. But in 2005, this guy could not spit out a sentence without garbling it. It was too distracting, at least for me. AND he was a Met. Having a Met do a Nats game is as bad as having an Oriole station broadcast a Nats game!
Well, is my list the complete opposite of yours? What say you?