Nats star Zimmerman’s AP diary: Reading ‘Chocolate Factory’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Zimmerman is a two-time All-Star infielder who has played 15 years in the majors, all with the Washington Nationals. He holds most of the team’s career hitting records, and his two homers and seven RBIs last postseason helped the Nationals win their first World Series championship. With baseball on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Zimmerman occasionally will offer his thoughts -- as told to AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich -- while waiting for the 2020 season to begin.


Been trying to read some books.

Been trying to not watch as much TV.

And trying to kind of go to sleep at a decent hour. We never get to do that.

In 20-plus years, I haven’t had this time of the year to myself -- and now I’m locked up and I can’t go do anything because of what’s going on with the virus.

Everyone says this is what it’s like when you retire from the game: You have all this time, you have the spring and summer, and you get to do everything. Now I have all the time in the world and can’t do anything. So it’s kind of weird.

Me and my wife were talking about this the other day: People have sort of settled into what we’re calling “The Quarantine Routine.”

The first week, nobody really knew how long it was going to last. It was like, “OK, we can do this. It’s going to be a little while, but we can get through it.” And then, all of a sudden, it was like, “Uh, it’s been two weeks -- and it’s going to be a lot longer.”

Some reality sets in.

Once you get past that, and you realize it’s for the better good for everyone to stay home, you adapt.

We wake up, we have breakfast and then we try and do some sort of school stuff in the morning.

Our girls are 6 and 3. One’s in preschool; one’s in kindergarten. So we’re not doing any heavy lifting, education-wise, over here. We’re trying to stimulate their brains a little bit and keep them away from the iPad or cartoons.

We try to get them outside. We ride bikes a lot near our neighborhood in the D.C. area. Then we come back in, eat some lunch and go from there.

Each day presents new challenges. You can only do so many science experiments and so many kids’ workbooks and things like that.

In a positive way, it’s the most I’ve been able to be around my family in forever -- since I’ve had kids. It’s been cool to be around them and see them on a day-to-day basis, which I usually don’t get to do.

With my oldest daughter, we’ve been reading “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” every night -- whether it’s one chapter or three or four chapters. Just finished it. She would read the first part of the chapter and I would read the second part. Now we’re going to watch the movie together.

And it’s cool to see kids learn to do something and be proud of it and then really go after it. From the time she just started to learn to read, she’s been wanting to read, and so it was so great to see her so excited about finishing what she calls the “first chapter book” she’s ever read. It’s 150 pages or whatever it was.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do that with her if it wasn’t for this.

Obviously we want to be playing baseball, but if we’re going to be in this situation, being able to experience something like that with my kids, that I normally don’t get to do, is pretty special.


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