zimmerman bats

Ryan Zimmerman and Nationals still talking contract extension


Throughout last season there were various reports about Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals having contract extension discussions and Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides are still talking about a long-term deal.

Zimmerman has two years and $26 million remaining on his current five-year, $45 million contract, so there’s no huge rush for the Nationals to get something done, but they just gave Gio Gonzalez a five-year, $42 million extension despite already having him under control through 2015 and Zimmerman has repeatedly said he wants to play his entire career in Washington.

Of course, Zimmerman also missed 61 games last season with an abdominal tear and hit a good but not great .289 with a .798 OPS when healthy enough to play. When healthy Zimmerman is an excellent all-around player and one of the top handful of third basemen in baseball at age 27, so it would presumably take a deal in excess of $100 million to keep him around past 2013. And knowing agents, he’ll probably ask for more than the $126 million Jayson Werth got from the Nationals last winter.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.