Nats shortstop Ian Desmond was Ryan Zimmerman's first roommate in pro ball in Savannah, Georgia. He told me Ryan was shy, but when he stepped on the field, his team was blown away by his presence.
Desmond also said even back then in Single-A, Ryan was humble and a great teammate - just like he is now. He described him as reliable and a good guy to have around.
Desmond appreciates what Zimmerman can do on the field as well. He told me he likes to learn from his fellow infielder whenever he can. Offensively Ian has been working on hitting the outside pitch for power. That's something Ryan does well so he asks him a lot of questions about it.
Ryan is always eager to help his fellow teammates and that's why he has grown into a leadership role on the ballclub.
On another note, Cristian Guzman has been one of the Nats most consistent hitters this season. He has adjusted well to his role as a second baseman or shortstop (whichever Jim Riggleman needs him to do). The Nats skipper is impressed by Guzzy's willingness to accept his role and do whatever the team asks. He is a professional and a quiet leader by example. Guzzy's consistency can be attributed to his strong work ethic and open-minded character.
The Nats players often have their kids at the ballpark and Cristian enjoys being able to take his kids on the field, too.
Every Sunday the Nats are teaming up with the USO to bring the children of military men and women to the ballpark. It's a program that team president Stan Kasten helped to create and he hopes it catches on in every ballpark and sports arena in the country. Just to see the smiles on the faces of the youngsters at the games is one of the most rewarding aspects of the program!