Zimmerman on Cliff Lee, Gold Glove, Adam Dunn
"You guys don't have to ask fake uniform questions if you don't want to," Ryan Zimmerman said after several minutes answering fake uniform questions, and so then reporters moved on from the new uniforms to the baseball stuff. Since The Post didn't have an actual baseball writer in attendance, let me dutifully pass on his remarks, starting with his thoughts on failing to win a second straight Gold Glove award.
On losing to Scott Rolen: "I'm never surprised about that stuff. You know, it's so hard to win those things, there's so many good players, that you're more surprised, I think, when you do win one. I don't think anyone ever expects to win 'em or takes 'em for granted; at least, I don't. Scott [Rolen's] one of the guys that I looked up to, and he's been a model of consistency. When you think of good defensive third basemen, you think of him, and like I said, he's one guy I looked up to when I was in college and the minor leagues coming up. He's a great role model, a great person to look at if you want to see what a good defensive third basemen looks like."
On the Nats making a play for Cliff Lee: "Obviously we need to get a starting pitcher. Honestly, it'll be very hard to lure a Cliff Lee away from [the big boys], kind of like the Teixeira deal. Obviously it's a big step for [ownership], throwing that kind of money at a player, which shows that we're going in the right direction. At the same time we have some other people that we need to sign I think before you go after him. But if you're asking me if I want Cliff Lee on my team, then yeah, 100 percent. He can take some of my salary if he wants."
On possibly losing Adam Dunn: "I think that's tough. Obviously you guys have asked us that question the whole second half of the season, and for some reason I still think he's very undervalued and under-appreciated in this game. The hardest thing to find in baseball is a consistent player that you know what you're gonna get every year. And for Adam, you know exactly what you're gonna get every year. He's gonna hit 40 home runs, he's gonna drive in close to 100 if not more, he's gonna walk, he's gonna get on base. And for his first year at first base, he took a lot of heat defensively, that he was terrible, and I wouldn't say he's a great first basemen yet, but he's an incredible athlete. And if you give him two, three more years out there, I think his defense is not gonna be [prohibitively bad] compared to what he gives you offensively, and what he does for the team in the clubhouse....
"If you want a middle-of-the-lineup guy that you know is gonna play every single day and you know is gonna be there, you go with Adam. There's really no other first baseman on the market that really compares with him, I don't think. He's a very good player, and if we can't get him back here, it's gonna be a big blow to our team."
As you might expect, Mike Rizzo was also asked about the Dunn prospects.
"That's a question that's asked a lot, will Adam Dunn be in the uniform in 2011," he said. "We're certainly working toward that end. We've got a lot of irons in the fire, though. There's a lot of questions and a lot of decisions to be made before Opening Day next year."
And about Cliff Lee.
"We're still in our infancy there," Rizzo said. "We've got a lot of irons in the fire, we've got a lot of things going on, we're talking to a lot of people, a lot of agents and a lot of players. We have expressed interest in Cliff Lee, yes."
And about whether this franchise needs to prove itself with a big free-agent offer.
"Certainly not," Rizzo said. "We're gonna make prudent baseball decisions. If a big-name free agent is a prudent decision for us, in '11 and long-term, that's what we're gonna do."
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