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Teammates thrilled for Zimmerman

Feb 26, 2012, 10:46 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — Ryan Zimmerman holds a special place in the hearts of every member of the Nationals roster, which probably explains why more than a dozen of them jammed their way into the tiny interview room at Space Coast Stadium today for the star third baseman's news conference.

Here's just a sampling of what some of Zimmerman's teammates had to say about his long-term contract extension and what he means to the organization…

STEPHEN STRASBURG
"It's huge. And you know what? He's a great player, but he's an even better person. He's very deserving of it. You don't really see that too much. Obviously my college coach, he was a Padre his whole life. It's really great to see another guy who's going to be with one team his whole career."

BRYCE HARPER
"It's very nice to see guys be locked up for five years or six years that are very, very good. We have a great organization of guys. We've gotRead more ยป

  1. joemktg - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    We're often cynical of professional players, regardless of the sport, and rightly so. On the other hand, this outpouring of support (verbal as well as attendance at the presser) tells me there's a real team forming among these pros. 2012 is looking like a fun year to watch this team.

  2. Gonat - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Now lock up that Morse guy. I hear he only has 2 years on his contract.

  3. natsfan1a - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Thanks for the video, Mark. Atta way, Zimm and negotiators. :-)

  4. Anonymous - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Thanks for the video link Mark … got it off of twitter first but its great to see it here. Maybe its a good idea to look at the players who aren't signed to long-term contracts? That list might be interesting in terms of trades to say the least.Morse is only signed through 2013 making him a potential July 31st trade chip? Not saying it could happen but … and anyone else with a 1 year contract …

  5. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Awesome.You know what? There may be a new (yet old) trend of players staying where they are happy.Congrats Zimm!

  6. NatsLady - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Just reading MLB news– two pitchers out already with injuries during batting practice. I'm liking Davey's approach, crank it up slowly. Guys who are "competing" for spots gotta remember you automatically lose the competition if you get injured. I don't think there is an issue on this team of not playing hard, not with playoffs in view.

  7. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    NatsLady- Didn't read that, no Nats players hopefully???

  8. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Is there any word that strikes more fear into a fan than the word: "injury"?I really wish real Baseball was like a video game so we had the option of turning Injuries from on to off for the upcoming season.

  9. baseballswami - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    I was noticing the headline up in the corner about the national reporter slamming the deal, yadda, yadda, yadda – I think even worse than nats players being completely unknown is the absolute mis-information I have heard in the last week. IT said if Zim didn't sign by ST he would test free agency, someone else said he had an abdominal strain, someone else a sports hernia. They know just enough to be dangerous, but none of them actually has the correct information all the way. Not one of them has had it right that he had surgery and was playing in total pain as well as retraining himself to throw differently. He has been so low- key that they just don't know our Zim. They can just stick it as far as I am concerned. The Nats fans and the team know what's up. I think this team is a great group of guys. Hoping for good health to back up that work ethic. Happy to watch Mr. Clutch for a long time!

  10. natsfan1a - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Can't recall who was injured but not a Nat in either case.

  11. natsfan1a - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    swami, I saw that, too. The writer in question was Heyman, if memory serves, and I don't care what he says, either. So there! :-)

  12. NatsLady - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    No Nats injured. Perez, Indians closer (6-8 weeks) and Zumaya (Twins, out for the season).

  13. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    BaseballSwami- Very good points and yep, the good fans here, including Mark Z of course, are much more knowledgeable about "OUR" Team than anyone else.Just a fact.What's cool though is that, on MLB network at least, the Nats have gained so much respect as to be considered a playoff contender. Or at least a Team to be respected (ie, a winning team).Go Nats!

  14. MicheleS - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    Academy Awards? or just rewatch Stramas??? Choices.. Or just scroll through all the RZ hightlights on MLB?

  15. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    NatsLady- Thanks. Wow, the Twins seem almost cursed with injuries the past year+.

  16. MicheleS - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Ohh.. and I will be toasting RZ tonight with a nice Shiraz…

  17. Cwj - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Good job by Chase Hughes at hinting at some of Heyman's flawed perspective.Interesting that Ryan Zimmerman is still considered top 5-10 3rd basemen by stat-heads.And by myself as well :-)

  18. DCJohn - Feb 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    At last this team has an identity, like the Orioles of the sixties and seventies. At last we have a real team. Wish the Big Donkey and Josh Willingham could have fit in. Would have loved to have Cordero stayed healty enough. Really a diserving guy. There is nothing in sports like a real baseball pennant race. The whole town becomes energerized day-after-day. My biggest thrill as a Nats fan was the last home game of last year. Zim, the first round pick of '05 at third. Morrero, the first round pick of '06 at first. Detwilder the first of -07 on the mound. Stras 09 in the dugout. Drew 09 supplemental coming in to close. Espinosa and Desmond, products of the farm system up the middle. We have a team. We have a very good team. We have a championship team. Let's hope that it is this year.

  19. Cwj - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    You know what would be pretty cool?(assuming no injuries would occur as a result).A fastball velocity contest between Strasburg and Henry Rodriguez.3 pitches each, average the score (velocity). Would have also been cool to have seen pitchers like Walter J., Lefty Grove, Smokey Joe Wood and a couple other old time flamethrowers compete.

  20. Waddu eye no - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    OooooBoyo Boyo Boyo Boyo boy

  21. Anonymous - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I think it's fantastic that the Nationals seem like such a great bunch of guys, with Zimm Exhibit One. It's much nicer to be able to root for a team of high character. It makes a huge difference.

  22. HHover - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Mark ZThanks for all your hard work over a busy 24 hours.A question of clarification–I still don't understand whether the $10M "personal services" is a deferred part of the $100M (meaning he only gets $90M over the six years), or whether it's on top of the $100M–meaning he's really guaranteed $110M by the new contract. Kilgore's report says the former; what you wrote earlier, and Amanda's report too, suggest the latter.

  23. One question - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    Would this feeling today be more or less tangible if Nyjer were still on the team?I think Rizzo knows what he's doing, even when it looks like he isn't. That trade was beneficial for both sides.

  24. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    HHover: I (and every other reporter out there) am still trying to find out the year-by-year breakdown of Zimmerman's new deal. But the way it was explained to me, the $10 million personal services portion will be paid out over five years after Zim retires. It was also explained to me that it was included in part to help defer some of the cost of the total package. So I'm taking that to mean the Nats will only pay Zim $90 million from 2014-19. But I'm not 100 percent sure of that yet.

  25. NatsNuts - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    This was my exact point earlier how time will define how good this deal was."That's another thing that makes you want to work even harder to almost prove it to them that I was worth it and at the end of the deal they want to say, 'Hey, that was worth our money to do that.' I think that's my goal is at the end of this contract to have them say, 'Hey, that was a great deal on our part,' and I'm going to work as hard as I can to make them think that."

  26. Anonymous - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Wow NatsNuts, then there's no reason to ever debate the value of a contract, the balance of a trade, the quality of a draft, the release of a player. We'll just wait until they play out and then let history decide. You're a genius.

  27. Cwj - Feb 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Mark Z- Who has the best fastball on the Team?I never get to see them up close, so was curious about your opinion.

  28. HHover - Feb 27, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Thanks, Mark. I look forward to hearing more details as you get them.

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