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Nationals hire Rick Ankiel as “life skills coordinator”

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: Rick Ankiel #24 of the Washington Nationals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on April 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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Rick Ankiel’s weird career has taken another interesting turn, as the retired pitcher-turned-outfielder has been hired by the Nationals as a “life skills coordinator” as part of their minor-league coaching staff.

According to the team’s press release the 35-year-old Ankiel “will draw on his vast experience as a player to help mentor Nationals farmhands.”

Few players showed as much promise as Ankiel back when he was a young starting pitcher, few players went through a darker period than when he ceased being able to throw the ball over the plate, and few players totally changed the direction of their career like when he became a major league outfielder.

So who knows exactly what the job of a “life skills coordinator” entails, but if nothing else Ankiel is a very interesting pick for the gig.

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