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Still the Face of the Franchise

Jul 7, 2010, 3:58 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Ryan Zimmerman is mobbed at the plate following his game-winning homer.

Ryan Zimmerman cringes every time the label is attached to his name. "Face of the Franchise." He's been tagged with that title practically from the moment he was drafted way back in 2005, and he's always been reluctant to play along with it.

And when Stephen Strasburg arrived on the scene with a flourish last month and suddenly became the most-recognizable face on the Nationals' roster, Zimmerman perhaps thought his reign was over and the wealth could finally be spread among other worthy candidates inside the Washington clubhouse.

Don't fool yourself. Ryan Zimmerman still is — and will remain — the Face of the Franchise. If you needed to be reminded of that, just consider the events of the last 72 hours.

It began Sunday afternoon when, with his team down eight runs, Zimmerman ignited a near-comeback. He crushed a three-run homer, added an RBI single and another base hit over the final four innings. And it continued tonight, when he reached base four times, homered in the fourth, doubled in the sixth and then sealed a 6-5 victory with aRead more »

  1. Andrew - Jul 7, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    Love the photo! Now lets all vote a few hundred times to make Zim an All Star as he has shown again that he is indeed an All Star!

  2. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 4:37 AM

    Mark, fantastic work. That gave me goosebumps. Exhibit A of why I love baseball. Kudos.

  3. Cwj - Jul 7, 2010 at 4:56 AM

    Good stuff Mark. Zimmerman's OPS is now .916Not bad at all :)

  4. N. Cognito - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    Only Bud Selig could have a popularity contest help determine who gets home field advanage in the World Series.

  5. Will - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    "That right there solidified his stature as the best all-around third baseman in the NL, probably the second-best in baseball to Alex Rodriguez."I'd take Longoria over A-Rod right now. I think he and Zim are clearly at the top of their respective leagues when it comes to overall ability.

  6. Doc - Jul 7, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Zim passed A-Rod last year–without steroids. The contest is between him and Longoria.

  7. A DC Wonk - Jul 7, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Holy Moley!! Apparently, *three* write-in candidates hit walk-off home runs last night!!Not only Zim, but Detroit's Johnny Damon and Colorado's Seth Smith.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Is Zim a leader? Zim is not a leader, he has formed a clique with Dunn and Willingham, outsiders not welcome.Is Zim generous!? Sure he uses his name to do charity work but at the same time he charges money for autographs and will not sign any items unless he is getting paid even for little kids!!! that is a great example Mr. Face of the Franchise!!! Heck, even Derek Jeter will sign and not get paid of for it!!!My question is why does he have a dog named Miley and why when he makes millions of dollars does he live in a condo with a male roommate?? Can't he afford a dog sitter??

  9. Doc - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Even though people are making money off his autographs, charging little kids for his signature sounds out of line.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    I don't know what hate fountain Anonymous @ 10:44am is sipping from (way to bravely own your words, anonymous internet jerk). I've seen no indication of a "clique" – just look at Livan stepping up after last night's game for RZ, and RZ providing support to Desmond. Who am I going to believe, Anonymous Internet Jerk or my eyes? I'm going with my eyes on this one.I don't give a hoot in a handbag what RZ's domestic arrangements are as long as he isn't hurting anyone. Maybe the roommate is there to BE the dogsitter, genius, or maybe a thousand other possibilities. Or maybe you've got your facts all wrong. The one thing I do know is, it's none of my business – or yours. Stick to baseball, AIJ.John C.

  11. Les in NC - Jul 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    I know its off topic, but I can't help but dislike reading how one Anonymous poster dislikes how another Anonymous poster is trolling and not owning up to it by being Anonymous….Oh wait, one did "sign" the tangent they went off on…. *rolls eyes*

  12. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Zim need a dogsitter to live with him full-time!? Things that make you go hmmm….

  13. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    I guess Zim's dogsitter has to deal with the Feces of the Franchise, eh?

  14. U-Hoo - Jul 7, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    U.Va. is proud of Zimm! As for Wright and Rolen having a better first half, shouldn't all-star consideration extend to to the second half of last season? If it's an annual game, it should be based on a year's worth of stats. That's the only thing that's right about the Pro Bowl; they honor the best of the SEASON, not just the guys who were hot in the first half of the season.

  15. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Why does he live in a condo? Would you feel better if he lived in a mansion with servants and groundskeepers?Sheesh!

  16. 320R2S15 - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Well..I noticed something last night, Zimm set up closer to the plate. What a concept.

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Thanks for this piece, Mark. (And no doubt AIJ's comments are as good as his or her name. Oh, wait…)

  18. Anonymous - Jul 7, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    A. We're lucky to have Zimm here. 1st ballot HOF I betcha. Does big things at BIG times. Seems like one of the nicest people in sports.B. This promotion: VOTE THE THIRD BASE TICKET — VOTE RYAN AND MICHAEL! Is the absolute dumbest thing I have ever seen in my life. Wow is this ever a stupid idea.

  19. Steve M. - Jul 7, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    Anon @10:44. You tell bold faced lies and obviously you are a hater.Zim dates women which really shouldn't matter. He signs autographs for kids at the ballpark and all the time in Spring Training for adults and kids.By the way, how do you know his living arrangements? STALKERGET A LIFE and maybe Mark should block your IP address.

  20. Samantha - Jul 7, 2010 at 7:40 PM

    To the fool who's questioning why Zimm wants/needs a roomie and petsitter: if you're away all the time, like players and coaches, and you have an znimal at home, you need someone there to look after your pooch or cat, etc. A walker coming in 1-3/day won't cut it, especially for a dog.

  21. Hondo69 - Jul 7, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Mark, great post! However, Gold Glove Awards are voted on by the managers and coaches of the league in which the player's team is in, not from any player vote. Judging from some of the players' selections for the All-Star Game, we can all be thankful for that! BTW, Charlie Manuel made a couple of head-scratching choices as well.

  22. Andrew - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:14 PM

    I think Heath Bell got added to the All Star team as a replacement player so he now is out of the extra man vote.

  23. randomdude2228 - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    But wait, I thought Wil Nieves and Miguel Batista were our faces of the franchise? At least, that's what Stan Kasten says.





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