Click "play" in the embedded podcast to listen to The Racing Presidents' interview with Ryan Zimmerman and click here to subscribe to the podcast.
Ryan Zimmerman and spring training. Hmm. Kind of an off combination these days.
Remember the uproar last season when Zimmerman was not out on the main fields? A slow start followed. His limited public work became a thing -- unnecessarily -- but a thing nonetheless. So much so Zimmerman remained surprised by it when he sat down to join The Racing Presidents podcast this spring.
“I’ve talked more about that I think than anything in my career for some reason,” Zimmerman said with a smile. “Shows how exciting I am that I have nothing else to talk about besides the one controversial thing I’ve ever done.”
It’s an interesting time for Zimmerman. He’s entering the final assured year of his contract. The team holds an $18 million option for his services in 2020. If he plays the 125-135 games manager Davey Martinez hopes he will, there is a slim chance the option is picked up. Most likely, the option is declined, the sides renegotiate and Zimmerman returns at a much lower cost.
“You never rule anything out,” Zimmerman said. “In professional sports, anything can happen. … Just need to play well. It’s simple. If I play well, then, of course, they’ll be willing to have me back -- who knows if it is going to be at that number or something else or one year or two years or something like that. We obviously haven’t even talked. Our relationship throughout this process has always been positive and I don’t see that changing at all.”
Much more with Zimmerman on the podcast, which was recorded early in spring training before Bryce Harper signed. Topics include the reality of baseball travel when you have two young daughters in the house, the slowness of free agency and the division.
That’s not all. It’s prediction time in this episode. The voices of The Racing Presidents podcast outline who will be taking personal accolades in each league, plus who they expect to push through in the playoffs. The group is in agreement on one topic: They expect Washington to win in the challenging National League East. They are not in agreement on what comes next, though one member expects the Nationals to go to a new level.
Last, a few thoughts on the graceful exit of one of baseball’s all-time graceful players, Ichiro.
Listen, subscribe, rate, and stay tuned for big things happening as Opening Day approaches.
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