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Dusty Baker explains call with Joe Gibbs, Zimmerman reacts

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Dusty Baker explains call with Joe Gibbs, Zimmerman reacts

VIERA, FL. — When it comes to endearing yourself to a new fanbase, Dusty Baker knows what he's doing. 

The 66-year-old skipper revealed early this spring training he gave Redskins' legendary coach Joe Gibbs a call ahead of the 2016 season. He reached out to him for advice and by revealing that exchange likely won a lot of Washingtonians over.

When it comes to popular D.C. sports figures, it's essentially Joe Gibbs and then everyone else. No one has quite the approval rating around town like Gibbs. Everyone loves Joe.

Baker explained the conversation he had with Gibbs and how it came about to CSN this week.

"I had heard that he's a heck of a man. I put in a call to him, to his racing team because I had been out a couple years. I was out of baseball and now back in baseball. I asked him how I maintain my business interests and still not cheat the job where I am. He gave me some sound advice that you gotta delegate authority and turn it over to somebody that you trust because this is where your main focus has to be. I didn't know him and I didn't know he had been out of football for like 11 years when he came back. That was pretty awesome. We had a great conversation. And then at the end of the conversation, he goes 'let me pray for you and with you.' For a man that I had never met before to pray with you and for you, that meant a lot to me."

Ryan Zimmerman grew up in Virginia and has been known to root for the Redskins. He even got in on the 'You Like That' craze with a video that surfaced on the internet in December.

He appreciates Baker's creativity in reaching out to a coaching legend from another sport.

"One thing that I've noticed about Dusty - obviously he's kind of seen everything and done everything - but he is not afraid to reach out and ask for advice and ask for help. He seems to be like a sponge. He wants to learn as much as he can. Obviously, as a manager that's a great thing, but I think just as a person. Whenever you're going into something, he's humble enough to use as many resources as possible. He doesn't think he's better than anyone else and he'll take advice from anyone. I like to see that," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman actually attended several Redskins games during the 2015 season. The Nationals first baseman got passes to stand on the sidelines.

"I've been trying to do that for a few years, to actually watch a game down there. I just like to see how other sports do things, to see how they communicate. I watched the offensive line come in and talk to each other about why things went well and why things went bad. Obviously, just to see the speed and the gruesome collisions and everything that is the NFL down on field level was an awesome experience," he said.

[RELATED: Werth fine with Nats chasing OF free agents, hopes for better health]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE