Washington Nationals announcer F.P. Santangelo suggested during Tuesday night's loss to the Chicago White Sox that "global warming" is contributing to the historic pace of home runs so far this season.
"I think the bats, plus the balls, plus launch angles, plus pitchers throwing hard, plus global warming is why there's so many home runs," Santangelo said in the fifth inning, just after White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez hit a monster home run to centerfield.
Santangelo's puzzling remark came in response to a comment from play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter, who said Major League Baseball was "giving fans what they want," likely a reference to the wide-held belief that baseballs are "juiced" this season. The record for most home runs ever in a single month was crushed in May, and players are currently on pace to shatter the record for most home runs in a season.
Reached for comment, Santangelo said he has a "sarcastic sense of humor" and was joking.
"Anyone that knows me knows my sarcastic sense of humor," Santangelo said. "And that’s exactly what that was."
"You must not have been listening or don’t know my humor," he said. "Sorry you misunderstood."
More likely explanations for the spike in home runs include that the ball is indeed juiced or that players have changed their approach and now swing for the fences constantly. Santangelo also believes bat makers have now "mastered" the craft and are making a stronger bat.
Santangelo, a former major leaguer with a total of 21 home runs in his seven-year career, makes it his mission to avoid criticizing the Nationals or the league during broadcasts, earning him criticism from area sports commentators. He is consistently ranked one of the worst announcers in sports by Awful Announcing, which takes issue with his endless effort to brand home runs as "taters."
Editor's Note: The author of this piece is a native New Yorker and a fan of the New York Mets.