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Appreciating Zimmermann’s Nationals career

Nov 30, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

Before he made the All-Star team, threw a no-hitter and signed a free agent contract north of $100 million, Jordan Zimmermann was a well-kept secret for those who watched him take the mound every fifth day for the Washington Nationals. He was the quiet one, content with standing in the shadows of Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, never craving and thus rarely receiving the attention that was well-warranted for a player of his caliber.

For what seemed like a while, Zimmermann was one of the more underrated players in baseball. He took the ball when it was his turn and consistently pitched well. He took pride in that. He was not a well-known name by baseball fans across the country, and he cherished that. Zimmermann just wanted to do his job and very seldom wanted to talk about himself.

Now, after seven years, Zimmermann is moving on. The right-hander signed a five-year deal worth $110 million to join the Detroit Tigers. Instead of pitching alongside Strasburg and Gio, he will now be a rotation-mate of Justin Verlander. Two years ago Max Scherzer was in Detroit and Zimmermann was in Washington. Now, the two have traded places.

The Tigers are getting a pitcher who over the last five seasons has averaged 31 starts and a 3.14 ERA. He’s one of the more reliable starters out there both in terms of results and durability. Since having Tommy John surgery in 2009, Zimmermann hasn’t been on the disabled list and has occasionally pitched through injuries.

After seven years, Zimmermann leaves the Nationals having already provided many indelible memories. Of course, there was his no-hitter on the last day of the 2014 regular season, the first no-no in Nationals history. There was his relief appearance in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS when he hit 97 miles per hour on the radar gun five times while striking out the side.

There was also his brilliant performance in the 2014 NLDS in a game the Nats would end up losing in 18 innings. Zimmermann was one out away from a playoff shutout of the eventual world champions before getting pulled by Matt Williams.

Covering Zimmermann on the Nats beat for the last five seasons was a pleasure. He was soft spoken, but respectful and never hid from the media after his worst outings. It was sometimes his best days on the field that produced his shyest moments off of it.

Moments after walking off the field on Sept. 28, 2014 when he no-hit the Marlins, he saw a Nationals PR official who is also from Wisconsin. Zimmermann’s first question was whether the Packers had won.

In his press conference that evening I asked him about also having two hits for himself on offense, whether it was “just one of those days.” He replied with “obviously” and a wry smile, a rare instance he publicly showed his dry sense of humor.

Media day at the MLB All-Star Game brings out reporters from all walks of life, especially when the event is held in New York City. In 2013, when Zimmermann was reluctantly holding court at Citi Field and letting us know exactly how uncomfortable he was, a guy approached the table from the music TV station ‘FUSE.’ He wanted to know what players listen to before games to pump them up. The conversation went something like this:

FUSE guy: ‘What’s in your headphones before games?”

Zimmermann: ‘I don’t listen to headphones.’

FUSE guy: ‘What do you listen to before games?’

Zimmermann: ‘I don’t know, whatever is on the speakers in the clubhouse.’

FUSE guy: ‘What kind of music do you like?’

Zimmermann: ‘I don’t know, I like country I guess.’

A question or two later and the regulars of the Nats’ beat corps were laughing. That FUSE reporter had picked the wrong guy and we all could have told him that.

Zimmermann may not go down as one of the most outward personalities the Nationals have ever had, but he is certainly one of the best players in team history. He is, most would argue, the best pitcher the team has had in Washington so far.

It was unfortunate the way his final season went with the Nationals not only missing out on the playoffs, but with how his last home start ended. He did not get an opportunity to acknowledge the crowd in a final farewell.

But with the Tigers set to play in D.C. in an interleague series in May, there could very soon be a chance for Nationals fans to say thanks. If he is healthy and his rotation spot lines up, he could return to face his former team in about six months.

One could expect a big applause when his name is called, and perhaps a standing ovation. He will likely take a moment to tip his cap, but then get right down to business as he did so many times in Washington.

  1. jfmii - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    Will miss Znn

  2. kirbs3256 - Nov 30, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    We will miss him every 5 days. Although he is not the personality of Max or Bryce, I will never forget how pumped he was, Game 4 in 2012 after he blew those fastballs by the Giants.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      Cardinals, not Giants, but yeah.

  3. trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    It can be argued that Matt Williams broke Zimmermann with that boneheaded move of yanking him one out short of a complete game shutout in game 2. JZ was never the same pitcher after that. No longer a “bulldog”, no longer able to rise to the occasion. Hopefully the Tigers will give him the fresh start he needs and undo the damage MW has done.

    • Sonny G 10 - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      I agree MW made a bad move, but no way that broke Zimmermann. Jordan’s ego was not that fragile.

      • trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:31 AM

        Then how else do you explain his severe underperformance in 2015? Did the pressure of the walk year get to him as it did with Desmond?

      • therealjohnc - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:02 PM

        Except that it wasn’t really a severe underperformance compared to Zimmermann’s career numbers and peripherals; the true outlier season for JZ wasn’t 2015, it was 2014. In hindsight that may well turn out to Zim’s career year, the same was 2012 almost certainly was for Gio.

      • trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:02 PM

        What you talkin about? 2014 JZ: 199.2 IP, 2.66 ERA, 13 HR, 1.072 WHIP, 6.28 K/BB. 2015 JZ: 201.2 IP, 3.66 ERA, 24 HR, 1.205 WHIP, 4.21 K/BB. 2014 was the BAD year?

      • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:24 PM

        He didn’t say ‘bad’ year, he said outlier. Outliers can be good or bad.

      • trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:36 PM

        By any measure, JZ’s 2015 was by far the worst of his five seasons with 20+ starts.

    • letsallbaseball - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:36 PM

      yeah because being “broken by the manager” is the only possible explanation for a down year?

    • Section 222 - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:45 PM

      Sorry I missed this discussion earlier. MW broke JZnn by pulling him in the 9th in Game 2? And that explains his regression in 2015? Hahahahahaha. That’s just plain ridiculous.

  4. Gnat - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    Sure he has good numbers and he is probably a great guy but he obviously doesn’t care about winning and this contract proves it. The story on him has been that the Nats have tried to get a deal but he wanted to go back to the Midwest. His win loss record isn’t spectacular and when you only get 5 K’s a game there’s a degree of luck with getting pop outs and ground outs. His numbers show consistent but from someone who watches every game, he was a winning pitch maybe 50% of the time. I treasure the good moments and wish him well but this team having a soft rep is a reflection of, in part, his passive demeanor. We need a more competitive personality throughout the 25 man roster and JZimm wasn’t it.

    • veejh - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:49 AM

      “doesn’t care about winning and this contract proves it”. Balderdash. That’s quite the leap.

      • Doc - Nov 30, 2015 at 10:06 AM

        Agreed veejh.

        Caring about winning and signing a big contract are mutually exclusive. JZim was and is a pro.

        When traded to the Red Sox, former Nats’ C Sandy Leon described JZim as being the #1 starter on the staff.

    • npb99 - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:12 AM

      What nonsense.

    • Dave - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:13 AM

      Gnat, are you actually citing his “win”-“loss” record as evidence of his performance?

      How 20th-century of you.

      JZimm was the best pitcher on the Nationals’ staff during the years he was on the team. You can look it up.

      • trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:34 AM

        Actually he wasn’t. Scherzer, Strasburg and even Gio were all better at various times. What JZ had going for him was his consistency. Until he lost that in 2015.

      • Dave - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:46 PM

        I didn’t say “at various times.” I said “during the years he was on the team.” Consistently the best.

        Once again, you can look it up.

      • trfwans - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM

        During the time periods in which Gio, Stras and Scherzer were teammates of JZ, overall all three of them were better statistically than he was. You could look it up.

    • raleighnat - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:50 AM

      What nonsense. And conducting yourself with quiet dignity is a virtue – not a vice as our celebrity culture would have us believe. Zmm was a stud and will be seriously missed.

    • Section 222 - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:47 PM

      The idea that JZnn “obviously doesn’t care about winning” and has a “passive demeanor” is almost as absurd as the idea that MW broke him by pulling him in the 9th inning of Game 2 and that explains his less than stellar numbers in 2015. Ridiculous.

  5. jd - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Jordan Zimmermann was a good National, gave us many memorable moments. I think that JZimm is classic number 2 pitcher and not one to break the bank for. I would sign Stras to an equivalent contract in a heart beat but because his upside is so much higher.

    • veejh - Nov 30, 2015 at 10:04 AM

      JZimms contract was the first $100M+ contract ever handed out to a post TJ pitcher. Maybe this tempers the ceiling of what Stras can expect to get. I remain hopeful a deal can get done.

      • jd - Nov 30, 2015 at 10:15 AM

        I don’t think that TJ surgery is what guided the length and size of the contract rather I think it was in line with what pitchers his age and with his performance levels make.

        I am surprised that he signed so quickly with the Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, Blue Jays, Cubs all in need of top line pitching you’s think he’d hold out for a better deal.

      • veejh - Nov 30, 2015 at 10:19 AM

        On the contrary, maybe he fielded offers from various sources and the deals just weren’t that good because of the fact that he’s a post TJ pitcher.

  6. jfmii - Nov 30, 2015 at 10:32 AM

    Whether caused by earlier TJ surgery, or by age, I do believe he is on a decline that existed in the entire 2015 season. I hope I am wrong. I admire him a lot. Passive demeanor, gnat? Hardly

  7. TimDz - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Being the business of baseball (not to mention that JZ didn’t really want to remain here….he rejected a similar offer a few years ago), this probably makes sense for all involved. Jordan gets a bit closer to home with a team that will be somewhat competitive. The Nats have Joe Ross to slot in Jordan’s place and Giolito will soon be here. I am guessing that this is the last year with SS being a Nat. Getting Bryce to stay here for his entire career should be the goal of the front office….

    • raleighnat - Nov 30, 2015 at 11:53 AM

      Yes. Harper is the one to focus on. Pay him market rate and lock him up while no one else can bid.

      • nats1924 - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:36 PM

        no way harp signs an extension. He will be a free agent and will go to the highest bidder.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:42 PM

        Except, what is “market rate”? Would you consider $500,000,000 for ten years “market rate”? There are very few players comparable (Boras, among others, would say none). And why should he settle for market rate, even if we knew what that was? There’s a good chance somebody will agree to overpay him if he stays healthy, because it might wind up not being an overpay. So I don’t see that as an easy sell at all.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM

        Exactly, Sofa. A couple of years ago, someone posted an analysis here to the effect that the free agent market for star baseball payers was more akin to the art market than anything else. While you can look at comps and talk about some version of a ‘market rate’ the reality is that there’s an owner (or two . . . or three) out there who will overpay to get a Bryce Harper or a Max Scherzer or a Prince Fielder to add to their collection.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 30, 2015 at 3:24 PM

        It’s an interesting academic thought experiment, though. Bryce thinks of his own upside as Mantle/Mays, I think, more or less. (“Willie Mays, more or less”!!)

        What if you had 23-year-old Time Machine Willie Mays, fresh out of the service, right now, and you wanted to keep him for the rest of his career? In 2016 dollars, what would be a legitimately reasonable offer for the next 20 years (he played through his age 42 season, remember). A billion dollars?

  8. langleyclub - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Not sure why the thoughts persist that he didn’t like DC and didn’t want to stay with the Nats. Have never heard anything close to that from Zimmerman.

    From every report that I have seen/heard, going into last season, the Nats never offered Zimmerman as much as he thought he could get on the open market. After the season, the Nats only made a QO to JZ. Had the Nats offered the same deal that the Tigers proposed, my guess is that JZ would have taken it.

    The fact is that Zimmerman will turn 30 next year, and his velocity dropped off in 2015; pitchers don’t usually increase their velocity after 30; it goes the other way. He is durable, but I don’t think that the team wanted to commit to $22 million a year for 5 years for a 30 year-old pitcher with a lot of innings on his arm with Harper and Strasburg coming up for free agency, and with quality starting pitching depth in the organization.

    The Nats know that you can’t keep them all; so, they have chosen to let JZ and Desi walk.

    Definitely loved watching ZImmerman pitch. Completely wrong to suggest that he lacked toughness. Always felt JZ gave his best effort, and he typically put his team in position to win. Wish him well in Detroit, and hope he gets to pitch when the Tigers play the Nats in 2016 (also hope he beats the Mets in 2016)…

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:40 PM

      +1

    • Sonny G 10 - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:47 PM

      +1

    • Section 222 - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:56 PM

      Well put langley. mnmindc makes a good point later in the thread that the “drop in velocity” is awfully small. But even if JZnn lights it up the next three years, the Nats made a very reasonable decision not to pursue him this off season. None of their previous offers would have paid him over $20 million for this age 34 season, 11 years after his TJ surgery. That may have been the been the bridge they didn’t want to cross.

      Overall, he’s been our most consistent pitcher for the last six seasons. There really are no reasonable criticisms of his body of work as a National. We should be so lucky with Ross, Fedde, and even Gioitto. He deserves every penny he’ll make as a Tiger.

  9. nats1924 - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    hi- Its been reported that we DID offer a similar contract to JZim. I wanna say it was 4/100 or something a few years back.

    Based on stats, age & already having TJ – It was wise for the nats to let JZ walk.

  10. whatsanattau - Nov 30, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Living in my own little world, … I really don’t want to have to boo our own player every time he steps on the field, but for the record as it stands now, I will boo Papelbon EVERY time. I won’t boo him while he’s warming up. I want it to be clear that I am booing HIM so I will wait until he steps onto the field. If I were him and I actually cared I would take prompt and demonstrable action to benefit a charity here in DC as an act of contrition. I wouldn’t wait until I know I haven’t been traded. I would pay it forward. He doesn’t just owe Harper and the team an apology, he owes the fan base and the city an apology. So, get out there during this holiday season Mr. Papelbon and convince us that our current perception of you is overly critical. If your lucky, maybe you could get Bryce and Dusty to support the cause too. But it takes personal leadership and commitment. That and a few good outings might be enough to get us to cheer by late May.

    • janebeard - Nov 30, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      I’ll be booing him too. And I will not buy so much as a peanut as long as he plays for us. The Lerners get no more money from me beyond the ST fee, till they do the right thing. For me, there is NOTHING Papelbon can do to earn back my goodwill, as long as he is in our dugout.

      • therealjohnc - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:37 PM

        I have seen expressions of fan outrage over various and sundry previous actions by the Nationals before (letting Adam Dunn walk; trading Michael Morse; Nyjer Morgan and the “Tony Plush” follies; etc). I’ve never seen any indication that there was any practical impact on the team or its bottom line.

  11. unkyd59 - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    Shaking my head at some truly baffling comments…. In the Nats’ shoes, I wouldn’t have done a big extension for him, either… Bit, soft? Unconcerned with winning? The things I read here, sometimes…

    • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 1:33 PM

      +1.

    • jfmii - Nov 30, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      Head-shaking, silly comments for sure.

      He was a bulldog on the mound. He was honest and forthright in a pithy way with the press.

      Going forward, I have my doubts that he will pitch at a high level for more than a year or two if that. And of course I may be wrong by a lot. But I sure loved watching him compete every fifth day for the Nationals.

    • thisizit - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:10 PM

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • Section 222 - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:50 PM

      +1 unky. Bizarre.

  12. paulfortier - Nov 30, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    I love JZ. He is a bulldog, a fighter and he has a very good composure on the mound. Meanwhile, I think his best years are behind him. I say that because one of these days, and it can be very soon, his arm will fall apart and I doubt he’ll be able to have more than two full seasons with the Tigers (without being injured). I hope I am wrong, because, as I said, I love this guy.

  13. janebeard - Nov 30, 2015 at 4:09 PM

    Oh, man do I wish they’d made that deal two years ago. JZ was the best guy on the mound most weeks, no matter what the payroll or SI covers said. Losing him, one of our homegrown guys, is sad on so many levels.

    That said, I will be in the stands if he should pitch to the Nats in May, to give home the well-deserved Standing O he should have had back in September. I hope the Detroit fans and managers treasure him, and don;t undervalue him the way it seems we did.

    THANK YOU JORDAN! I’ll never forget you.

    • virginiascopist - Nov 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM

      Will you be in the stands to cheer JZim in May if Pap is still on the roster?

      • ArVAFan - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:21 PM

        I will. Because I wouldn’t miss a chance to boo Papelbon, with or without JZim on the field. And we sit in the rowdy cheering section right under the press box, so everyone else can hear us, too. Based on what Ian said, the players can hear the chanting from that section. So I assume our esteemed cheerleader will come up with some anti-Papelbon chant if needed. I’m hoping Pap is long gone, and if we do see him, he gets lit up and gets a BS.

      • Candide - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:42 PM

        I’m hoping Pap is long gone, and if we do see him, he gets lit up and gets a BS.

        And Drew or someone gets a vulture win. Don’t care how much of a jerk he is, I don’t want to see the Nats lose. I’m funny that way.

        BTW, on another blog, someone mentioned the (out of left field) possibility of the Nats getting Puig, and suggested it might be good for him to come here because he could use a good choking now and then. 😝

      • ArVAFan - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:45 PM

        Candide: how about instead we trade Pap to whatever team Puig ends up on, and Pap can try to keep him in line there instead of here? That would be entertaining instead of wince-inducing (because you just know they’d fight like the proverbial gingham dog and calico cat “until there was nothing left but scraps)”.

      • virginiascopist - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:52 PM

        Maybe Rizzo can try to market Pap to other teams as an “enforcer” — if you have a player who is slacking off or violating an unwritten rule, sentence him to five minutes alone with Papelbon and your problem will be solved.

      • Candide - Nov 30, 2015 at 6:38 PM

        …how about instead we trade Pap to whatever team Puig ends up on…

        That would work too. Possible candidates:

        1) The Fish, because just when you think a team can’t get more disfunctional;

        2) Back to the Phillies, because that would be poetic justice and their fans deserve everything bad that will ever happen to them through the rest of eternity and then some;

        3) The Barves, because they could replace the Tomahawk Chop (which you have to admit is totes racist and un-PC as all hell) with the Tomahawk Choke.

      • ArVAFan - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:05 PM

        At a post-Thanksgiving get-together, a Philly fan came up to me and thanked us for taking Papelbon. And, no, he didn’t want the guy back. Not even with a Philly cheesesteak sandwich thrown in.

        Candide, I like the Tomahawk Choke. Heck, they could use that even without Pap!

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 1, 2015 at 1:35 AM

        For my part, I’m swearing a vow of silence. I’ll break it if they break camp with the bum still in tow.

      • janebeard - Dec 1, 2015 at 11:54 AM

        TOTALLY cheering JZimm. Just not spending a dime in the stadium while Pap is there.

  14. jd - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:25 PM

    Jordan was a great National and professional both on and off the field. The harsh truth is that his performance last year predicts a high probability of the beginning of a decline stage. The drop in velocity coupled with a larger reliance on off speed pitches with negative results does not offer an optimistic outlook for future years.

    As a Nationals fan I am glad someone else is paying Jordan for his past performance which he is not likely to replicate. I wish him well and hope that I am 100% wrong in my forecast.

  15. water47 - Nov 30, 2015 at 5:54 PM

    I, too, am a Nats fan and wish Jordan nothing but good luck and success. He played hard for us and pushed through a TJ surgery to be a terrific pitcher. Good luck and best wishes.

    • therealjohnc - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:39 PM

      +27

  16. mnmindc - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Chase, thanks for this piece. It was very well done.

    JZ was one of my favorite players and I think the Nats will miss his steady, reliable presence in their rotation more than some think. I do think his down year, like many Nats pitchers, was caused in part by atrocious defense. Every time I see people talk about his uptick in homers, I remember his farewell home game where he allowed a “grand slam” on a misplayed single by Taylor. Counts as a homer in the books and 4 ER. There was also a homer In a Mets game so improbable that Fangraphs wrote an article about it. Still an increase overall though. Also nobody has looked at this closely, but you know who else saw an uptick in homers this year? Scherzer. And Fister. And Roark. Stras didn’t but then he pitched 80-100 innings less than Scherzer and JZ. Gio had a very low home run rate though.

    Finally on the velocity point, I will just say this. Here are the fastball velocities of Scherzer for the past four years: 94.2 in 2012, 93.3 in 2013, 92.8 in 2014, 94.2 in 2015. Here are the velocities for JZ: 93.9 in 2012, 93.9 in 2013, 93.8 in 2014, 93.0 in 2015. I have no idea what JZ will do next year. I do know Scherzer saw a greater drop from 2012-2014 than JZ last year, and it came back up. David Price has shown similar variation. I think it’s a wee bit early to write JZ off. I wish him the best in Detroit!

    • therealjohnc - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:45 PM

      I don’t think that anyone is writing JZ off – virtually everyone I’ve seen on the InterNats wishes him well. The velocity drop and also the lack of effectiveness in his primary pitch (fastball) this season can rather be categorized as a yellow warning light flashing on the dashboard. The concern is legitimate, but few are saying that it is destiny.

      Speaking of Fangraphs articles, there was an interesting article today on JZ’s fastball: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/where-jordan-zimmermann-is-trending-up/. Another concern with JZ is that he’s essentially a two pitch (fastball/slider) pitcher. The lack of a third pitch may make pitching with even a slightly reduced fastball or slider challenging.

      • mnmindc - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:49 PM

        He throws a curveball too. Was a very good pitch for him in 2015 per fangraphs.

        There are an awful lot of comments above saying he’s clearly in decline. He might be. My fastballs velocity comment is just to say we really don’t know.

  17. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    From MLBTR…
    “Zimmermann said at today’s press conference that he was the second or third choice for a number of teams to whom he and agent Mark Pieper of Relativity Sports spoke, but the Tigers had him atop their list and wanted to sign quickly, which appealed to him (via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, on Twitter).”

    • veejh - Nov 30, 2015 at 7:57 PM

      Sounds like he was happy with the deal and signed before it vanished to me.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Nov 30, 2015 at 8:06 PM

        Exactly. Holding out a few more weeks (i.e., until he moved up on someone else’s board after Zach Greinke and David Price sign) might have gotten him an extra year and another several million $s, but — in the long-term — does it really matter whether you bank $110m or $120m or even $130m?

      • veejh - Nov 30, 2015 at 8:20 PM

        Some athletes try to squeeze every penny out of a potential contract. I guess it just isn’t his style. I can see this quick signing as a parallel to his general demeanor. Although, that would be contrary to his holding out on the Nats. Whatever.

    • ArVAFan - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:02 PM

      Sounds reasonable to me: (1) sign where you are the first choice, and (2) sign quickly because you’re never going to spend $110M so why worry about the possible extra $10M, and (3) you know what team’s gear to buy all your friends and family for Christmas. Now back to the ice fishing.

      • mnmindc - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:13 PM

        Hahaha. This cracked me up. It probably was as simple as that. He seemed to approach free agency like he approached each pitch. No drama, get it done, get back to the dugout.

  18. donniebenth - Nov 30, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    Boy, that was jarring seeing him in a Tigers uniform. I knew the day was going to come, but still wasn’t quite prepared for it.

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