As soon as I found out that Sean Doolittle, setup man for the Oakland Athletics, was filling in for Buster Olney on his blog, I immediately signed up for an ESPN Insider account.
The Twitter funny man (@whatwouldDoodo) didn’t disappoint.
The hard-throwing left-hander, who converted from first baseman to reliever reveals that his first baseball memories were actually of the club for which he currently plays.
As a kid, Doolittle’s father was stationed at an Air Force base about an hour and a half outside what is now the O.co Coliseum. For three years, the Doolittles had season tickets to watch stars like the “Bash Brothers” and Rickey Henderson. As Doolittle describes, it was “quite the introduction” for him and his younger brother Ryan, both of whom currently pitch in Oakland’s system.
Doolittle, who rocketed from Single-A to the big leagues in less than half a season in 2012, then proceeds to walk through a hilarious, if satirical, day in the life.
The lefty jokes about his 9-year-old taste buds and lunching with fellow reliever Jerry Blevins. He pokes fun at his teammates and their grooming habits, in particular, the amount of time Josh Donaldson spends perfecting his mohawk.
The bearded reliever jabs at bullpen mate Grant Balfour and how the notoriously competitive closer has to win everything—including pregame warmup sprints. Doolittle also provides a look inside the clubhouse, mentioning that he, Jesse Chavez, Dan Otero and John Jaso like to team up on the USA Today crossword puzzle.
Doolittle even kids that it is only the newest CD mix from Coco Crisp that saves the players from having to listen to yet another song from A.J. Griffin on the guitar. As Doolittle notes, however, Crisp isn’t just the team DJ. The veteran center fielder sets the tone as the leadoff man on the field and off the field in the clubhouse as well.
Doolittle also points out that as a reliever, he has a lot of down time. In that down time, he can’t help but notice all those empty seats and the thousands of others that have been tarped off. Still, Doolittle praises the fans who do come out to the “crumbling concrete castle.”
Rather than getting bogged down by the “aging stadium” or “low national profile,” Doolitle writes that the club has “embraced” these challenges.
Curtis Granderson, outfielder for the New York Yankees used to have a blog on ESPN. However, I don’t remember reading anything close to as insightful and entertaining as Doolittle’s guest post. ESPN, MLB, Oakland Athletics, somebody?
It’s time to give Doolittle a platform of his own. In the process, the former University of Virginia standout, who actually writes better than most of the people who do so on a daily basis, could just raise that low national profile.
As Doolittle puts it: “We play hard, with a chip on our shoulder, like we have something to prove, like a little brother playing against his older sibling.”