Washington Nationals' first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was supposed to be at Nationals Park on Thursday for its opening day. But as the coronavirus pandemic virtually locked down D.C., he was home with his family practicing social distancing.
“It's like I’m retired but I can't leave the house,” he said with a laugh in a recent interview from his home via video call.
The Nats star said he empathized with fans who were sorry to not be skipping work Thursday, out in the sunshine at the game.
“We’re just as bummed as they are,” he said.
Normally at this time of year, Zimmerman and the team would be traveling and playing across the country. Being at home has been an adjustment, he said, joking that it's easier to be in the dugout than it is to handle his two kids.
“We’re all just sort of learning to live with each other more than we normally do,” said Heather Zimmerman, who's pregnant with their third child.
During this extended off season, Zimmerman said the team is doing their best to stay in shape and not worry too much, since the situation is not in their control.
“You can't go anywhere to do baseball stuff, so it's up to us individually to do the best we can to stay in shape,” Zimmerman said.
He said he was looking forward to meeting fans from around the U.S. but that he knows he’ll have to wait, since there are “more important things going on." He said he hopes fans can be patient and stay safe.
“We hope to see them soon but make sure you stay safe and take care of the ones you love," he said. "Baseball will be back soon enough."