Nationals fans continued to celebrate the city’s first baseball world title in 95 years with the premiere of a documentary about the 2019 World Series before a festive crowd Monday night at The Anthem in D.C.
President of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo, Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman took part in the festivities.
“It’s definitely been fun,” Zimmerman said during the red carpet walk-up prior to the screening. “The joy in the city, the people that you talk to, kind of the ride - not only we went on, but I think everyone went on - was a lot of fun for all of us, for the whole city, for the organization. Yeah, it was a heck of a ride man, it was a lot of fun.”
“If one player should be here, it should be Zim,” Rizzo said. “He’s the cornerstone of the franchise. He’s the face of the franchise and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
And for five weeks, Zimmerman has been able to share the memories of the title with his family and friends. Now he was excited to relive the season again through the lens of the 80-minute documentary, just like a baseball fan.
“I honestly haven’t really watched any of it,” Zimmerman said. “The first week (after the World Series) was crazy and then you get back to real life and hang out with your family. So this will really be the first time that I’ve looked back at any of the games and any of the moments. I’m looking forward to it.”
Prior to the screening, Rizzo also said he was excited to go back and watch the MLB Network film, “The 2019 World Series,” and reminisce on all the special moments that built an improbable finale.
“I haven’t watched any of the games in depth yet,” he said. “It’s going to be quite a ride and I anticipate it being very emotional.
“I know all the back stories of what the players went through to get to that stage and to get to Game 7 of the World Series, and the emotional roller coaster that we went on throughout the season. It’s going to be an amazing event to see.”
One big offseason question was the status of Zimmerman, who is now technically a free agent. He joked that this is the first time he has not had a job since he was a freshman in high school.
The veteran infielder has played 15 seasons with the Nats, his only major league team. Zimmerman, 35, felt confident that an agreement would come together, but it has not happened just yet.
“They talked at the GM meetings, I think,” Zimmerman confirmed. “It’s the least of my worries. I talked with Riz when we were out there for GM meetings and there is, obviously, both sides want something to happen. It’s just a matter of getting something done. We will see what happens, but I’m not too worried about it.”
The first baseman said he would end his career with the Nats and not play for another team.
“I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear,” Zimmerman said. “It’s either play some more here or play more golf.”
“I have not. I saw quite enough of them,” Zimmerman teased. “I don’t think many of us have talked. We spent 200-some days together. It was time to not talk for a little while.”
Rizzo declined to comment on negotiations with Rendon and Strasburg and said that Monday night was a time to enjoy the documentary and not talk offseason player acquisitions.
Zimmerman understands it is difficult for things to stay the same each year. It is the nature of big league baseball. The roster is going to change from season to season, especially on a high-profile club that just won the world championship.
“Obviously, we want everyone back,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a business. We’d love to keep everyone. You can’t keep everybody. Obviously, this was a special year and I’d want to do it all again with the same guys but that’s usually not how it works. Whatever happens, happens.
“At the end of the day, I just want the best for them, what makes them and their families the happiest. Unfortunately, that’s how it goes. That being said, no one can take away what we did last year.”
Zimmerman offered one final clue that he would be back with the Nats in 2020 as he left to grab his seat for the documentary.
“It’s December, so we got to get going,” Zimmerman said. “This week I will start working out and doing stuff to get ready. So it’s a quick offseason.”