Nationals

Nationals

Through April, the major talking point surrounding the Nationals was the struggling bullpen. As the calendar has shifted to May, fans’ focus has shifted as well, this time onto manager Davey Martinez.

It’s certainly understandable why fans would be frustrated with a second straight disappointing season for the Nats. It's even more frustrating after the same roster found success under Martinez’s predecessor, Dusty Baker.

The players are aware of the conversations cropping up online, and are understanding of the angst surrounding the fanbase.

“It’s not an ideal situation to be in, that’s for sure,” Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman admitted in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny.

“Fans have the right to say whatever they want... they spend their hard-earned money on the team, and when we don’t win, they should be rightfully upset,” Zimmerman continued.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the longest-tenured National is ready to give up on his manager just yet.

“My only question would be what do you want him to do right now?” Zimmerman posed to the fans. “He's in a pretty tough spot right now. I mean, we’ve pretty much used everyone on our 40-man, you can only do so many things. It's always easy to blame the manager, blame the hitting coach, the pitching coach, and sometimes it’s rightfully so.”

“But they’re also the most dispensable and easiest to get rid of,” Zimmerman went on. “I think at the end of the day it comes down to the players playing. They’re supposed to play like they get paid too.”

 

Zimmerman, who was drafted into the organization in 2005, is still clear there’s plenty of blame to go around for the 14-22 start to the Nats’ season.

“You can’t say ‘oh, it’s early.’” said Zimmerman. “I think there’s a legit time right now where everyone needs to look in the mirror, myself included, everyone on the team included, all the way up to the front office and say ‘this is my job and from here on out this is what I need to do.’”

When it comes down to it, Zimmerman knows how easy it is to complain about a slumping team manager, but without specific suggestions on how to improve, there’s no reason to rush to fire anyone.

For all his faults, it’s clear Martinez doesn’t have an ideal roster to work with right now, a sentiment with which Zimmerman wholeheartedly agrees. His message to the fans was straightforward.

“There’s not much Davey can do,” he emphasized. “I mean, you can say whatever you want about last year, but as far as this year I would just want to ask those fans what would you want him to do differently that he hasn’t done with the personnel he’s been given.”

At the end of the day, Zimmerman sums up the current state of affairs in Washington nicely.

“We’re going through kind of a perfect storm right now.”

Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of the storm, all you can do is keep going. That certainly seems to be Zimmerman’s stance for the time being.

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