Since he first arrived on the scene in 2005, Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has attracted quite a fiollowing.
"When I pick up the paper in the morning, he's the first name I look for in a box score," said one fan of note.
I spoke with Brooks this week and he admitted that Zim is his current favorite comtemporary player.
"I met Ryan a few years ago," he said, "and I was impressed with him as a very sharp young man. He's become quite a player."
Speaking with #11 in spring training this year, it's apparent that it's a mutual admiration society. "Meeting Brooks was awesome," he said, "and It would be equally awesome if he came to one of our games this year."
Robinson had some health isssues late last year that required surgery, but has rebounded quite well, and was part of the first ball ceremonies at Camden Yards this year. He admits he sees a lot of Nats' baseball on MASN just to watch Zimmerman play third.
"His range has always been remarkable, but earlier he'd sometimes get to a ball and then make a bad throw," he said. "That doesn't happen much anymore, and it's a real sign of maturity."
Scouts have long compared Ryan's defense to Brooks, and it's not at all far-fetched. As someone who's known #5 for well over 30 years, I can assure you his interest in Zim is quite genuine. Those of us who are lucky enough to be his friend know it's just the kind of person Brooks is. We can only hope that. down the road, Ryan's career has a similar ring to it.