We'll have to, by necessity, join this one in progress, because I looked up from my computer screen just in time to see that the Washington Nationals' Face of the Franchise© Ryan Zimmerman and left-handed starter John Lannan had joined ESPN Baseball Tonight hosts Karl Ravech and Tim Kurkjian for the last five minutes of the show's broadcast tonight from Spring Training in sunny Florida:
Karl Ravech: "We anticipated an early arrival and it wasn't that way, you guys are having these big critical meetings all of a sudden, the Nats are being taken seriously..."
Ryan Zimmerman: "We're a force in the NL East, we have to worry about getting in trouble on Twitter, Facebook and all this stuff, but uh, no, it's a good year for us, I think they did some good stuff in the offseason, it's exciting to have some buzz."
Karl Ravech: "The Nats weren't buzzing the last couple of years, right?"
John Lannan: "Yeah, I mean, we're definitely heading up and up you know, so, I'm looking forward to this season and starting great."
Karl Ravech: "Alright, so Strasburg's in camp and we have video of him, does he do everything differently, like is he like on a level up here, that the rest of us mortals are down here?"
Ryan Zimmerman: "Walks on water, he doesn't shower, never smells..."
John Lannan: "And he appeared one time, just like out of nowhere."
Ryan Zimmerman: "No, he's a great kid, man. He works hard, he's quiet, he's humble, and he's going to be a big part of us kind of turning it around and winning in the future so it's exciting to have him."
Tim Kurkjian: "But his bullpen is unmistakeable though right? When he throws..."
John Lannan: "You can just tell there's a difference. His ball comes out of his hand a little bit cleaner, there's a little more action to it, so it was really exciting to watch him throw. He's a great kid. He goes about his business, and no matter where he starts off, the Nationals have the best interest in hand for him."
Karl Ravech: "Now [Phils' starter Roy] Halladay through some batting practice and nobody swung. Have you faced Strasburg yet in that situation?"
Ryan Zimmerman: "I have not. But I faced other guys today and I didn't swing at all either, so it looks like they were all throwing about 200mph..."
Karl Ravech: [to Zimmerman] "Yeah, you were on with us during this Web Gem show, and I'll be honest, you look tired today, are you alright? Is this a tough Nat day today?"
Ryan Zimmerman: "Me? I'm ready to go...It's the first day of Spring, it was a long day, it's exciting, you know, you get worked up..."
Karl Ravech: [to Lannan] "Is he alright?"
John Lannan: "I think so, I mean, I'm struggling a little bit right now too."
Karl Ravech: "Now seriously, on a serious note, how do you measure the Nats going in, you've been there a couple years, you were kind of jonesing for some defense, you were looking for some credibility, do you think now you have it and how do you kind of judge it month by month in the season?"
Ryan Zimmerman: "You've got to take things slow, you can't worry, you can't panic if you get off to a slow start, but this is the first year where we've had an actual idea of what our team is going into Spring Training, you know we have our set offense, we have our lineup, we have two or three pitchers, there's only a couple spots that people are competing for, before it was, you know, we had John and then it was four, you know if those guy (points to crowd) wanted to come out and throw they could, but this year it's a lot different. Stan [Kasten] and Mike [Rizzo] have done a great job in the offseason getting some free agents and making us better and we're in a tough division, but we think we can compete and that's what we plan on doing."
Tim Kurkjian: "And John, atmosphere, attitude in the room different than last Spring is that fair to say?"
John Lannan: "Yeah, I mean ever since we got Nyjer [Morgan] he definitely added a new element to the clubhouse and Pudge [Rodriguez] has been great and so has Jason, so every addition we've made has definitely made the clubhouse more enjoyable and there's definitely a better feeling in the clubhouse."
Karl Ravech: "Alright boys, we are out of time, we really do appreciate your effort to get up here, and the fact the Strasburg can just appear like that, that's what I learned today..."
John Lannan: "It's amazing, it's like Houdini-like."
ESPN.com seems to be posting clips pretty quickly tonight, I'll post the interview here when they do...