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Ryan Zimmerman is back & he’s going to play a big role for 2021 Washington Nationals…

Back in early October 2019, earlier than Ryan Zimmerman helped Washington’s Nationals win the primary World Series by a D.C.-based group since 1924, and earlier than he opted out of taking part in within the 2020 COVID marketing campaign out of issues for his household’s well being, Max Scherzer (fairly politely, really) scolded reporters who stored on urgent Zim about the truth that every time the Nats confronted elimination that fall, it might need been the 2005 1st Spherical choose’s closing sport.

Zimmerman was not then, (and since he’s back in West Palm Seaside, FL making ready for his sixteenth big league marketing campaign and 2021’s deliberate full season), is not now wherever shut to being prepared to retire.

TRANSCRIPT – OCTOBER 7, 2019:

REPORTER: Zim, your contract’s expiring, and this may very well be your final sport earlier than a dwelling crowd. Did you have got any additional oomph at your at-bats, particularly with the house run and a single proper afterwards?

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RYAN ZIMMERMAN: There’s been a lot of people who suppose these are my final video games —

MAX SCHERZER: I actually don’t suppose these are his final video games. All of you suppose it’s his final video games.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: The final dwelling sport they tried to give me like a standing ovation, I imply, I really feel good. I believe that we bought lots to go…

Sitting out of 2020’s 60-game COVID marketing campaign, Zimmerman advised reporters this week, in his first Zoom name of Spring Coaching, reminded him of why he cherished baseball, and two years on from that October presser, the now-36-year-old slugger nonetheless doesn’t see himself hanging up the cleats any time quickly.

Now that he’s back with the boys in West Palm Seaside, Zimmerman is in his ingredient, and as he prepares for his sixteenth main league season, he’s been reminded how a lot he loves all the good issues that associate with his chosen profession.

“I believe simply being round, and that’s one of many issues I missed most final yr,” Zimmerman defined, “and once I speak to the blokes who retire or lastly get away from the sport, I believe the most important factor they miss is the clubhouse and type of that camaraderie and take it out on the sector too. The competitors is enjoyable.

“That’s what drives us, and I believe I missed that a lot at dwelling final yr. It’s type of what we’d like to survive I assume.

“I assume taking that season off final yr additionally made me understand I’m actually nowhere shut to being prepared to not play anymore.

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“I missed the sport a lot. I missed what it takes to put together each day. I believe as you become old there’s increasingly that you’ve got to do to prepare to play, however I missed all that as nicely.

“So simply completely happy to be back, completely happy to be across the guys, and joke round and snort, and also you miss that.”

Zimmerman signed a 1-year/$1M for 2021, [ed. note “Zim’s take on the deal – “I have tons of leverage when I negotiate now, so they had to compete against five or six other teams, and we finally got them up to one [year] for $1M. So it was lengthy. Simply kidding.”], and his supervisor is excited to have the primary baseman back backing Josh Bell up at first because the membership tries to get to the postseason once more after 2020’s disappointing follow-up to 2019’s World Sequence win.

“He’s a man when we’ve got to have these conversations,” Martinez mentioned this week when requested about Zimmerman’s role with the membership, “… that I’ve to have powerful conversations throughout the clubhouse, he’s one of many guys I actually lean [on].

“I speak to him and we speak fairly a bit. He’s a veteran man, he’s been on this sport a very long time.

“He’s been in Washington a very long time. I all the time sit down and I all the time choose his mind, however he’s, like I mentioned, he’s an unbelievable, not simply a participant, however a individual. I really like our conversations that we’ve got each day.

“I by no means thought final yr was going to be his final yr. I felt like he opted out due to a lot of uncertainties. This yr he feels a little extra relaxed with all the pieces going on.

“Realizing extra in regards to the virus and making an attempt to handle his household. However he got here into Spring Coaching and he appears to be like nice and he’s shifting round rather well.

“We would like to maintain him wholesome and maintain him on the sector, as a result of he’s going to play a big role this yr for us.”

As for what, if any, plan the membership has for Zimmerman when it comes to taking part in time and his role in 2021? Martinez is simply centered on the right here and now and getting the veteran prepared to play.

“We’ve simply bought to get him prepared. All of it is determined by how he leaves camp, if he’s wholesome what we’re going to do with him,” Martinez defined.

“I advised him that he’s going to get a chance to do various things, whether or not it’s to play protection, to pinch hit, to begin a sport in opposition to a lefty, and even give Josh Bell a time without work. For me it’s a good downside to have when you have got two guys like that that share a place.

“So we’ll make the most of them each.”

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