By Josh Flagner
Bits and Pieces is your weekly More Than a Fan source for all the interesting stories out of the National League East. Whether you want pictures, videos, or just the half news/half bad jokes column you’ve come to expect from me, this is the place to be.
Leading off today is news that the Washington Nationals have agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract that includes a five-year, $10 million personal services clause. I’m fairly certain that the personal services clause is completely irrelevant for any current baseball conversation, but the clubhouse isn’t going to clean itself during the 2021 season. (Zimmerman’s current contract pays him through 2013 and the six-year extension kicks in after that, so my math isn’t wrong.)(This time.)
Zimmerman’s contract means the Nationals have 11 players with major league contracts through at least 2015. The players locked up include Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg (2016), Gio Gonzalez (2018), Wilson Ramos (2016), and Jason Werth (2017).
I know that Nationals haven’t proven anything on the field yet, but the team looks great on paper. Washington is a healthy season away from being able to legitimately compete with the Philadelphia Phillies in the division. This might not be their year, but considering the contracts that will keep the team’s core together, it may not have to be their year.
Remember last week when I wrote in my NL East Starting Rotation Snapshot that the New York Mets are relying on Johan Santana’s shoulder to be 100%? This video is Santana talking pretty candidly about getting back on track in spring training.
I still hate Mets rotation, but I like Santana a little bit more after hearing him layout some of his thoughts on getting back onto the mound.
The last video for the day is Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen talking to reporters about how he’s handling his first spring training with the Marlins.
Two hours tops? Carlos Zambrano can’t even throw all of the coolers onto the field in two hours.
That two hours was enough time for Ozzie to outline his only rule for the team: to be on the dugout steps for the National Anthem.
“The national anthem is 10 minutes before the game starts,” Guillen said. “We are going to start in 10 minutes and you’re late. Where have you been? That is the only rule I have. And (if) you are not going (to follow) that easy one, we’ve got problems.”
“A lot of people have been killed trying to make this country free for us,” Guillen said. “You should be there for two minutes. If you come from another country, you should be there for an hour before.”
Guillen had this rule in place for all eight seasons in Chicago, and has no plans to abandon it now. That’s some seriously stand-up opinion from a guy that we all poke fun at about his broken English and post-game rants.
Well done, Ozzie. Now, could you please start writing your profanity laced speech about how Carlos Zambrano is a crazy person? We’re all pretty excited to hear that one.
Have MLB Questions or arguments? Do you think the Ryan Zimmerman contract makes the Nationals a long time contender? Email me at JoshFlagner@gmail.com; follow me on Twitter at @RailbirdJ and like More Than a Fan on Facebook.