Ryan Zimmerman happy for Braves, glad ‘the right team won’ World Series

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Zim happy for Braves, glad ‘the right team won’ World Series originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Atlanta Braves beat the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday night to clinch the franchise’s first championship since 1995. Despite losing both outfielders Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna by mid-July and never seeing ace Mike Soroka take the mound for a start, the 88-win Braves cruised through the playoffs and earned a place in history.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman watched the Fall Classic from his home in Northern Virginia after Washington collapsed midseason and missed the playoffs for the second-straight year. Even though the Nationals and Braves are NL East rivals — the two teams have combined to win the division nine of the last 10 years — Zimmerman was happy to see Atlanta win it all.

“I’m happy for the Braves, happy for Freddie [Freeman],” Zimmerman said Wednesday morning on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports Junkies. “The Braves have a great organization. They’ve run it the right way for a long time, they’ve had some really good players but I think they were the better team so I think the right team won.”

Zimmerman, who like Freeman waited over a decade to win a championship with the team that drafted him, expressed admiration for his fellow first baseman’s mentality and his journey to the World Series. The Braves endured a four-year playoff drought from 2014-17 with Freeman as their foundational player. With his contract set to expire this offseason, Freeman hit .304 with five home runs and a 1.045 OPS to play a key role in Atlanta’s title run.

“He’s a great guy,” Zimmerman said. “He’s always happy, loves to play the game of baseball. It’s hard to root against a guy who plays the game the right way, plays every day whether he’s healthy or not healthy. He’s the same guy all the time. We don’t have that many like him left in the game…He’s well-respected all around the league. He’s obviously an unbelievable player but I think he’s a good leader for that organization.”

“I’m happy for him. He’s been there for a long time and been through some ups and downs with them as well. I like to see guys like that get rewarded by winning championships, it’s cool for the game.”

As for the Astros, Zimmerman didn’t offer much solace. The team that lost the World Series to Washington on its home field two years ago was once again forced to watch another club celebrate its championship victory at Minute Maid Park. Houston’s sign-stealing scandal may be in the past, but Zimmerman thinks the Astros are still feeling its effects.

“Karma sticks with you, huh?”