Ryan Zimmerman dishes on Nationals eating, drinking habits on the road


It's rare to get the type of insight into the life of a Major League Baseball player that a veteran 17 years in can provide.

In his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies — presented by MainStreet Bank — Ryan Zimmerman dished on some of the finer eating and drinking habits of his teammates, suggesting that when it comes to tipping a few back, the Nationals are in a class of their own.

"I will say one thing," Zimmerman said. "Because we have an older team, the quality of booze on our plane. We don't really drink like crazy, but the types of bourbons or the types of wines, I mean, it's a big boy selection. I'll just say that much. Because we've got some guys that have a bunch of time in and, if we're gonna have a couple drinks, we're gonna do it right. So it's a fun team."

"I wonder if I even know," Eric Bickel said. "What's a great brown liquor that people like?"

"Ask Ryan," John Auville said. "It sounds like he knows."

"You guys know the ones," Zimmerman said. "There's Pappy [Van Winkle]. There's, like you said, over the last five years there's been this bourbon boom. I mean, you're talking guys are paying just crazy amounts for bourbon."

"Just with the guys that we have on the team," he continued. "And so many other teams in the league are young and, I mean, we are definitely not a young team, so we've got guys that have been collecting or have good wine cellars at home and things like that. So everyone kind of brings one or two with them for a road trip, and we kind of sit on the plane and have a couple, and talk baseball or talk whatever. It's actually kind of nice. It doesn't really exist anymore."

"By the way, he dropped Pappy like we would know," John-Paul Flaim noted. "I had to Google it and the first thing I saw was Pappy Van Winkle's, and a bottle is five grand! We're more like a Jack and Coke type of crew."

"There's nothing wrong with that," Zimmerman said. "There's nothing wrong with that, either."

Zimmerman, no stranger to bourbon tasting, celebrated the Nationals' World Series title in 2019 by gifting each of his teammates a bottle from his personal barrel of Woodford Reserve, straight from the distillery in Kentucky.

As for eating habits on the road, Zimmerman says the most likely culprit to overindulge — while ordering for the group, he specified — is someone you'd probably least expect.

"Food's changed so much in the 15 whatever years that I've been playing," Zimmerman said. "At the beginning, people ate whatever. Now, you know, every team has a nutritionist and chef. It's changed so much, taking care of your body and what you eat."

"I mean a lot of the times if we take a flight somewhere, or we have an off-day, or we're gonna go out to a team dinner, or we have some drinks on the plane and we get in and we're gonna hang out at someone's suite or something like that," he continued, "you know always, [Patrick] Corbin always orders... like, he's the guy who gets on Uber Eats or something like that and orders like 15 pizzas. Or like a huge order of like Buffalo Wild Wings.

"He's the guy who, like, he'll just be sitting there and you knock on the door and you're like, 'Who ordered food?' And Pat's like, 'Oh, that was me.'"