Ready for some good one-liners so far from NatsFest?
Jordan Zimmermann on possibly increasing his innings this season: “The way it looks, I’m going to have to throw five innings and the bullpen should be able to handle it.”
Ian Desmond on having some more “daddy strength” after the birth of his second son earlier this offseason: “Yup, double dose this year.”
Bryce Harper, sarcastically, on having all the fans cheering for him here at NatsFest: “Well, Strasburg’s not here, so ...”
Jayson Werth on Danny Espinosa’s super beard: “I think he looks fantastic! I wish more guys would do it.”
Werth on William Howard Taft being the new Racing President: “Whatever.”
It’s been a busy afternoon here at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, with thousands of fans packing the ballrooms, batting cages and question-and-answer sessions and dozens of players swerving in and out of crowds trying to get to various events.
This is the first time many of these players have gotten a chance to see each other this offseason, although a number of Nationals’ weddings have given a handful of guys opportunities to catch up at various points.
The optimism is high all around, from the fans to the owner, to the players themselves.
Werth was asked by one reporter how he felt about what the Braves have done this offseason, specifically the addition of Justin Upton earlier this week.
“I don’t pay attention to a whole lot. I heard the Upton boys are going to be in Atlanta,” Werth said. “But then again, they aren’t going to have Michael Bourn or Martin Prado. Or Chipper.
“I think we’ve got the best team in baseball. If that’s your mindset going in, then no one else matters. You’ve just got to take care of yourself.”
That was a mindset shared by a number of Nationals players this afternoon.
“Obviously, teams are coming after us. They know we’re right on top,” Zimmermann said. “They’re going to play their best ball against us, so we’ve got to be ready every game and not teams lightly and play the best ball we can play. At the end, I don’t see why we can’t make it to the playoffs and have a really good push to the World Series.”