Ryan Zimmerman explains Nationals' 'S.O.B' shirts


During warmups and batting practice in the weekend series against the Orioles, a few players on the Nationals displayed some t-shirts with the bolded letters "S.O.B" across the chest.

Right below it, in a smaller font is the phrase "Studs Off The Bench," just so no one gets the wrong idea.

The shirts belong to the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Andrew Stevenson, Jordy Mercer, Yadiel Hernandez and Alex Avila. Those five are the main bench players in Washington, typically tasked with the duties of pinch hitting at a moment's notice.

It's no easy task, and as the five have spent time together preparing for when their name is called in a potentially big moment, they decided it was time to commemorate their roles on the team.

“There’s a group of four or five guys, it’s hard to come off the bench in the big league. It’s hard to pinch hit, it’s hard to be productive," Zimmerman said. "We’ve kind of taken it as a challenge and we’re gonna go at it together as a group.”

“You spend a lot of time down in the cage area, from basically the second-third inning on because you never know when it’s going to be your turn," Zimmerman said. "So we hang out a bunch down there, we talk every day and we figured it’d be fun to make a shirt with some of our sayings and some of our things to kind of stick together.”


Though the group may not be in the lineup at the start of each game, their duties off the bench are crucial, Even if it is just one at-bat a game, it could end up being the biggest at-bat of the game. It's something Zimmerman is adjusting to after being an everyday for a majority of his career, but even those who are used to the bench role know how challenging it is.

Therefore, the group wanted the shirts to embody what they are all about.

The top isn't mutually exclusive to just those five players. Josh Harrison picked up a big pinch hit knock the other day, which earned him a shirt. However, they aren't just being handed out to the whole clubhouse.

“You gotta earn it, we don’t just give these shirts away," Zimmerman said.

Not only is it a fun fashion statement for some players on the Nationals, but it acts as a positive sign of how players are embracing their roles with the team. Even if they aren't always in the lineup, the "S.O.B" group is ready to do whatever it takes to win.

And if anyone is keeping count, the Nationals have found success since the shirts were unveiled.

‘We’re 2-0 since we got the shirts, so I’m sure it’s all the shirt’s fault," Zimmerman said.