Interview: Mark Zuckerman (6-19-18)

Wes McElroy
Tuesday, June 19th
Mark Zuckerman of MASN talks about the Nationals adding to their bullpen, Bryce Harper's struggles at the plate and if he'll be worth $400 million in 2019.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Zuckerman a mess and sports and a long night last night and that's part eat he saw the conclusion of wanna game. Saw a full game and the middle of a full game hatter it story on the nationals picking up children who rarer from the Kansas City Royals. Margaret started there because then that's not waiting around for a trade deadline not even waiting around for July to make a big addition to the bullpen and just how big. I have real pick west's death and and I'll be honest I'd it is working on my radar yet I actually you're like most people. That they would go into July before the start talking those kind that deal. But give him credit that they went and got really one of the best closers in baseball this season kind of guy who's been. Consistently in the league reliever. On a routine that one World Series went to Walters another year. And bolster what party was looking like the strength right out and look they didn't need to close shall do little. As in delete themselves. And both David Martinez and Mike result set but by that clock and change you still there close but now you have career out. To a group set up and the party at Bryant met in Britain and Kinsler. Take some pressure off the other guys allow them to not get under the ground quite as much to that and what a lot lately. To begin the season and the you don't get the result score runs and that's still an issue for them but if that can get late in the season and potentially into October. That's going to be as deep of a bullpen has there is. In based on that we've seen in recent seasons that can be the difference in October when you have the lights so work from your bullpen you get the sixth inning and and you're good and so I think you'd pick up. Yeah I know most people would probably have to go to the closer the team and say what do you think about them getting another closer because they're close or might be offended. I know Sean Doolittle a long time I imagine out of you got chance talked to last night. I imagine his response is probably the more the merrier and probably the first guy to greet a rare in the clubhouse will be Sean Doolittle. Yep we can get talked and he was thrilled. By now it helped that they Brazil when you went up and told immediately separate your store closer. But I think even though that wasn't the case his eyes lit up when he perk who they were getting. You know I think all I think what's interesting uses that park those four guys I mentioned do little Mattson. That's Kinsler number they all have experience and they've all been on winning teams to type and pitched in the playoffs before. And they get that thing at a point in their career word that one do whatever it takes to win a champ pitched and so if that means. A lesser role for me in sharing of various jobs. They're good with pat Ryan Matt was thrilled apart as it takes some of the workload off him. You don't worry keep not pitching the eight and in every time I think doable. Will be fine if he's not the guy pitched the ninth inning every night may be a diplomatic talks. As a result so. No I think they were thrilled but I think it's a really good group that is lacking in ego and that's important. Com when you get to those late innings and bet. You wanna know what your role is. As he said but it's not the end of the world if you're not the guy. You know it's a collective effort right now out of those those guys and it's going to be a fun group to watch the rest of the field. Lacking in go right now lacking in bats mark Zuckerman joining us from mass in sports mass in sports dot com okay it's not just last night against the Yankees this is being gone on the failure to produce runs. And of course it all stars by people looking at Bryce Harper. With another over last night the month of June has been brutal it's not being good in May either. I read three different articles yesterday if people tell me what's wrong with Bryce Harper. Mark I'll defer to you what's the biggest problem right now plaguing it Bryce. I think it's confident and that's an amazing thing to say. About a guy who has been at continent may be any athlete I've ever covered because here's a kid who his entire life. Has been better than anyone that eats steak and eat noted better than anyone state who. And they know better than. Than them. And as saying disorder start the spiral here in the last month it's getting worse and worse and it just seems to me like it's weighing on him and he looks completely locked at the plate right now the only time I've ever seen him struggle even close to this. What when he was over and there's no reason to believe that it's right now there there's been no evidence of that those speculation. He blocked the plate he has. Swing picture battle zone and taking pictures in the zone. I mean it talks that you agency is from shoulder to describe it fly open I covered the outside part played. The way it used to. I'm this is a legitimate. Law now I'd you'd think he can get out of it because he had price harper because he works hard at it because he is so talented. But I really think it's more mental than anything at this point. A somehow just trying to not worry about what the numbers on the score border saint. And realizing you're not gonna get a call back and once we're certainly not at this point. And just go back to being who he is worried maybe a little more about making contact and it in the Paula parked. And it is gonna come back for him but right now it is isn't it bad spot and I've never seen him like this in seven years now on the big. Marquis buster but you're on the beat you're in the clubhouse every day pre imposed you know rice well better than ideal so I'll play the typical talk show host. The contract is out there it's slowed in the number four under he's being asked about it. Meanwhile you've got the future this nineteen year old wants Soto hit moon shots yesterday 444 feet. And people are talking it is priced the type of guy who hears this stuff and if he does is that this is either guy will be working get into his head. The heat it's the obvious conclusion to draw of course and an app did not. As much as he you know from the first expert training came in and said I'm not talking about next year might focus entirely. On this year that of course upon the minds apostles were not to eat. I don't care who you are if you're in that actual action. Whether you're bright harper looking for that kind of contract or go back a few years Ian Desmond we're going to be a free agent he had a bat or you're. You adored Letterman didn't have a great walk here. For anyone who knows they're playing per contract that it's gonna be on your mind and then like you said. Just respect to start to go bad here come the nineteen year old and an important thing that you about being in nineteen year old at the bit to eat and getting off to a hot start. Who come in and they're a cover up the ball and make people say well wait a minute if we don't need to beside. I mean maybe we have the future right here so I think of course at all that all plays in the net it's. Is that the reason for the slump. Or is it vice Versa I don't want to know he entered Tibet but. What he's got to do is. Somehow just put all of that aside. And just spoke something good hitter and trust that everything up and take care itself and even if he struggled to rest here he spoke gonna get a good contract this what are you still can make more money than any of us could ever dream of making. Because it can be 26 with a track record that he has it best they could still be at a time that's rather than behind. So it's certainly an account in the sports psychologist but it BM and look. The contract's gonna happen regard don't worry about that just go out and be yourself. Enjoyed to date that look they keep enjoying himself at all right now. That youthful energetic. Player who can do so much more than just hit. You know make a difference in the field make a difference on the basis relax. And then have all come together and and I think at the end it's and that happened. You know a respectable season and still get paid a lot of money that's where some. It used to sit down with them mark good stub at Darlington and I appreciate it's not a congratulations to mark 20172018. DC sports writer of the year by the national sports media association will be honored this weekend and I look forward to seeing you this weekend buddy. Like what you're thanks mark sees him but as Mort Zuckerman mass in sports joining us.