Friday, November 10, 2006

MASN, Nats resume color analyst search

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Nov 10, 2006 5:00 AM (1 hr 41 mins ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 6,178 articles

WASHINGTON - Tom Paciorek, we hardly knew ya.

MASN announced early this week that Paciorek, after one season, won’t be back as color analyst of the Nationals’ broadcast team.

His partner in the booth, play-by-play man Bob Carpenter, will return.

It’s second year in a row MASN has dropped the Nats’ color analyst, as Ron Darling went the way of Paciorek after the inaugural season. But Paciorek’s departure comes as a mild surprise because he and Carpenter worked well together and fans seemed to enjoy their broadcasts.

So where do MASN and the Nats go from here?

There are several candidates that make sense:

» Word out of Chicago and Phoenix has former Chicago Cubs broadcaster and Orioles pitcher Steve Stone as a candidate. Stone confirmed he has been in contact with the Nats and he “really wants the job.”

Stone worked at ESPN last season but is eyeing a return to covering one team. Stone’s wife is from the Washington area so he has jumped at the opportunity.

» Buck Martinez is a MASN employee currently doing O’s telecasts. He worked with Carpenter before at ESPN and I am sure MASN could find a suitable former Oriole player (possibly Stone) to take Martinez’s spot on O’s games when Jim Palmer is not on the Baltimore telecasts.

» Former major league pitcher and Braves broadcaster Don Sutton got caught up in a numbers game in at Atlanta and is available. Like Stone, he has shown interest in the Nats’ opening. He certainly knows team president Stan Kasten well from their days in Atlanta and one would think he’ll be given strong consideration.

The Nats’ popular radio team of Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler will return, which is good news. They did a great job last season when most of the games could not be seen on TV.

We still don’t know if the team will be back on WTWP AM-1500 and FM-107.7 or not. The Nats provided WTWP with some of its best ratings and are a hot radio property. Other stations in town — WTEM, Triple X ESPN Radio and WJFK-FM — are still in the hunt for the rights.

Stay tuned.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer

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