The “self-imposed” 10 a.m. deadline for the Washington Nationals to come to terms with All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman on an extension that would keep the franchise face a National for his career came and went Saturday morning, but that is okay because Zimmerman in his team player mercy have allowed talks to continue until the end of the day. Bill Ladson’s bloggy:
“We’ve gone back and we’ve given them one other creative solution to bridge this gap,” Zimmerman said. “Today is the day, Saturday. It’s either going to get done or it’s not going to get done. Both sides are working to try to get over the last … couple of hurdles. We are both trying to be creative. It will be either yes or no, today. We’ll have closure either way.
Well thank god for that. The whole escapade has pretty much jumped the shark.
Zimmerman said he doesn’t want to talk about his contract after Saturday because he doesn’t want to become a distraction to the team.
Oh, please. It is a little too late for that. Many have already forgotten that Saturday is pretty much the first day of Spring Training. Workouts have begun, the grind has begun, for all intensive purposes the 2012 season as begun. The wave of optimism and energy the Nationals rode into Viera has been riptided and sucked out back to sea by this whole affair.
Anytime some ballplayer pulls this stunt it is annoying, I don’t care if its Zimmerman or Ty Clemente Ruth Jr. When a player thumps their chest, makes a demand and then cops out by saying he wants it done before the season starts so it “doesn’t become a distraction” it is bullsh*t. It immediately becomes a distraction and it becomes a further distraction if the player doesn’t get what he wants.
Don’t get me wrong: Zimmerman deserves an extension and yes, he more than likely deserves the no-trade clause that is holding this deal up. But to play the victim through the media? Totally un-Zimmermanish in my opinion. The guy is smarter than that. He knows the deal, he knows how baseball as a business works.
This whole issue of course is magnified by the media who has suddenly turned this into a massive drama that just isn’t there. Zimmerman doesn’t become a free agent until the end of 2013. The Nats have a whole season to make sure Zimmerman is of health and a whole other off season to get a deal done. There has been nothing to suggest the Nats and Zimmerman are just suddenly going to close camp and not work with each other on getting this done. It just might not happen Saturday.
I’m confident a deal will eventually get done before the 2013 season. It might happen Saturday afternoon, it might happen during the zero hour before the 2013 campaign, but it will get done. Too many variables and too much rides on it for the Nats to just suddenly blow it. The organization might not be the quickest to act nor the most efficient, but it certainly isn’t that dumb.
Or at least we hope not.
We’ll keep our eye on this story and report more when something actually happens.