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Things we hope 'Life Skills Coordinator' Rick Ankiel will teach Bryce Harper and the Nationals

Ankiel is Nats 'life skills' coach, which is a thing

Rick Ankiel is a man of many skills. He can hit, he can field and he can pitch. But it's an entirely different set of abilities that he'll bequeath unto youngsters in the Nationals' farm system now that he's signed on to be the team's "life skills coordinator."

Seriously, that's his job title.

According to's Bill Ladson, the Nats believe that Ankiel's unique experience in professional baseball makes him an ideal candidate for guiding their prospects through the trials and tribulations of Minor League life:

"Rick is going to be a confidant to our players," assistant general manager Doug Harris said. "With Rick's background, he has dealt with a lot in his personal life. He had a very unique experience in his professional life. He has the ability to help our kids during difficult times based on his experience and background. It's something we wanted to dabble into.

While Ankiel might serve the Nats admirably, helping their players come of age, we're actually hoping he's going to expand their horizons by teaching them specific life skills that they might otherwise have overlooked while trying to make it in the bigs.

For instance:

When filming with your mobile device, hold it horizontally


It's 2015: we've got the self-tying shoes from Back to the Future II, Miami has a baseball team and the Cubs are considered legitimate contenders for the postseason (thanks, Grays Sports Almanac). It's about time everyone learned to turn their phones 90 degrees when shooting video. That's lesson numero uno.

Finding your seat in a stadium should not be difficult


The sections are in numerical order. The seats are in numerical order. If your tickets are for high-numbered seats, enter between section you're in and the next highest section. The inverse is also true. And when you're leaving your seats for concessions/swag, exit from which you came. There WILL be a test at the end of the semester.

Elevator etiquette


If people are standing around waiting for an elevator and the button is already illuminated, DO NOT push your way to the front and mash the button as though everyone there has never encountered an elevator before and couldn't figure it out. The button is pushed, the elevator's coming. Chill out.

Tip your bartenders


Seriously. Tip them. Like, a lot. Like, more than you think. Tip more if you're irritating (you are) or if you're not ordering food. You know how to tip and they know that you know how to tip. It's time to start acting like you know that they know that you know how to tip.

Pick up on social cues


If I introduce you to my girlfriend and tell you her name, but don't tell her yours, it's because I forgot your name and now it's on you to say it out loud so that we don't all melt into an awkward abyss. This is Human Decency 101.

Subway etiquette


Put your bag on the floor. Do not eat. Do not drink. Do not speak out of turn. Do not make prolonged eye contact with strangers. Also, no manspacing.

Use. Your. Turn. Signals.


It's not difficult and they're there for a reason. This is a particular concern if you're turning left, but you already knew that, you monsters.

Be careful with that umbrella/deadly weapon


Using an umbrella to keep yourself dry is an absolutely reasonable proposition. Poking every passerby in the eye because you're not aware of your surroundings is not.



Don't. Just don't.

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