WASHINGTON -- More than an hour and a half before the premiere of the 2019 World Series documentary, Nationals fans were already lined along the sidewalk of The Anthem theater Monday night in D.C. As the racing presidents danced and welcomed them to the entrance, fans peaked over shoulders and stood on their toes to look through a wall of TV cameras to perhaps catch a glimpse of the red carpet where the World Series trophy was displayed.
“I think it means a lot to the city,” general manager Mike Rizzo said.
That much was apparent once again, when Major League Baseball and the Nationals hosted a packed house to view “The 2019 World Series,” an MLB Network-produced documentary that gave Nats fans a chance to relive Washington’s improbable run to its first championship.
“I was just talking to someone, I honestly haven’t really watched any of it,” first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “The first week was crazy, and then after that you get back to real life and hanging out with your family, so this will really be the first time I look back at any of the games, any of the moments. I’m looking forward to it.”
Fans had a chance to take pictures with the Commissioner’s Trophy before the start of the film, which goes behind the scenes for both Washington and Houston in the Fall Classic. Before the start of the film, fans were treated to a brief onstage discussion between Zimmerman, Rizzo and managing principal owner Mark Lerner, along with Craig Melvin, anchor of NBC’s "TODAY Show" and narrator of the film, and Lindsay Czarniak of Fox Sports.
And then fans got to sit back and relive the World Series a little more than five weeks removed from it, and upon the final out, the theater cheered once again.
“It’s definitely been fun,” Zimmerman said. “I think the joy in the city, the people that you talk too, kind of the ride that not only we went on, but I think everyone went on was a lot of fun for all of us. For the whole city, the organization, it was a heck of a ride, a lot of fun.”
During his media session on the red carpet, Rizzo said he did not want to talk about 2020 and instead keep his focus on celebrating and reliving Washington’s memorable run, but there were a few noteworthy nuggets about this busy offseason ahead in D.C.
• Rizzo met with Zimmerman’s agent during the General Managers Meetings in Arizona last month and Zimmerman, who is a free agent for the first time in his career, continued to express confidence the two sides would get a deal done to continue his career with the only team he’s ever played for.
“It’s the least of my worries,” Zimmerman said. “I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear. It’s either play some more here or play some more golf. So, we’ll be good to go.”
• Rizzo said he had no plans to meet with free agents Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon this offseason personally, but will negotiate bringing back those two star free agents through their agent, Scott Boras.
“We’ve been meeting for about 10 years,” Rizzo said. “There’s no need to have a personal meetings. They know where our heart lies and we know where their heart lies.”