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Reader Q&A with Zimmerman

Mar 30, 2010, 12:00 AM EDT

As part of my fundraising campaign to cover spring training, I offered readers who contributed at least $60 the opportunity to submit a question to a member of the Nationals. Manager Jim Riggleman and four players (Ryan Zimmerman, Nyjer Morgan, John Lannan and Drew Storen) were gracious enough to participate. Readers were randomly paired up with one of those five gentlemen, and I conducted the interviews over the last few days.

Here is the first installment of the Reader Q&A, featuring third baseman Ryan Zimmerman…

Brian Oliver (Alexandria, Va.): You spent only a few months in the minor leagues, and it appears Stephen Strasburg will do the same. What sort of things did you learn at Savannah and Harrisburg [in 2005] that helped you in the majors?
Ryan Zimmerman: Well, you learn how to adapt to playing every single day. You come from college and you play four or five games a week at the most. And you come here and you're playing a game every single day. So you've got to kind of get a routine down, know what you need to do every day to get ready to play a game and what you need to do to keep your body in the best shape and stay healthy. I think you go down, learn your routine and get that going, and that helps you a lot when you get up here.

Katie Edwards, age 11 (Herndon, Va.): Can you explain the differences in the structure of spring training under Jim Riggleman vs. Manny Acta?
Ryan Zimmerman: A lot of is actually the same, I think. I guess maybe a little bit more attention to detail and the little things. Riggs is really big on that. But other than that, spring training is probably pretty much the same for everyone. You do the little things and allRead more »

  1. Doc - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    The guy's a pro, both as a baseball player and as a human being. As for playing SS, Barry Larkin as much as said that Zim has more range than most short-stops in MLB. I'd pay admission to a Nats game just to see him field his position. Great article Grantland, I mean MarkMeister.

  2. Nervous Nats Fan - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    If he's even remotely telling the truth about Dukes in the clubhouse, then the decision to cut him without a good backup plan makes me even angrier. Hopefully, my anger will all go away when the RF platoon has an awesome year.

  3. Nervous Nats Fan - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    PS. Thanks for the Q & A! What a great idea.

  4. Wily Mo Peterson - Mar 30, 2010 at 2:46 AM

    Mark, question for you, do you believe independent bloggers raising funds from their audience to give their audience closer, more intimate, less edited coverage is the future of journalism? I hope so.

  5. LoveDaNats - Mar 30, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    Ryan Zimmerman is a class act and one of my favorite Nats.

  6. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 30, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    Wily Mo: I appreciate your sentiment and I suppose part of me wants to say yes. But to be honest, I hope traditional journalism doesn't die out with newspapers. I believe it's always going to be important to have established, well-respected news organizations. And editors are crucial to the process, both in suggesting story ideas and in the actual copy editing of those stories. I've made a number of minor mistakes in articles this spring, mistakes that might well have been caught by an editor. If you knew some of my gaffes that would have made it into print at the Times if not for the astute eyes of an editor … let's just say they saved my behind countless times over nine years.

  7. Brian Benson - Mar 30, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    Great as always Mark…B

  8. Jeff Wang - Mar 30, 2010 at 4:50 AM

    And a further question for you Mark. Sure we donated, but is this really a living for you?

  9. K.D. - Mar 30, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Mr. Z, While I still like the feeling of holding a newspaper in my hands after a long day at work (with my requisite glass of red wine), the immediate gratification of internet access can't be beat. That issue especially comes into play when you live in Michigan and are following a Washington Nationals team. Definitely better one copy editor finding mistakes than 1,000 bloggers.

  10. natsfan1a - Mar 30, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Like Mark, I hope that journalism doesn't die out with newspapers. Rather, I hope that there continues to be an appreciation (and appetite) among the reading public for quality journalistic writing. IMO, this independent blog is unique because it's written by a journalist, and we benefit not only from the relationships he's built with the team over the years, but also from his application of journalistic principles and ethics. I prefer that my news source gets the story straight rather than being the first to file an incomplete or erroneous report. (Twitter? Feh. Maybe you can shoehorn who, what, when, where, why, and how into 140 characters, but how about a little context? But I digress. ;-))As one who works in the editorial field, I also appreciate Zuckerman's appreciation for editors. It's always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes look over one's work before publishing, though Mark's copy is quite clean from what I've seen here.(And I still like my newspaper with my morning coffee, K.D.)

  11. Bote Man - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    At least Zuckerman doesn't have every third word missing from his articles. That's a plus right there.

  12. natsfan1a - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Meant to say "thanks" for the interview as well.

  13. Tony D - Mar 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Mark – I love this format! I've been following your blog for all season, keep up the great work!

  14. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    To Jeff Wang (who asked if this can really be a living for me): Stay tuned for some news on that front in a couple of days.

  15. Mrs. Zuckerman - Mar 30, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    The REAL answer to the question of whether or not this can really be a living for Mark: that all depends on you, dear readers ;-)

  16. natsfan1a - Mar 30, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    …hmmm…Verry interresting. :-)Will look forward to hearing more.

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