Then, Junkies co-host Jason Bishop dropped the hammer.
“Next year, if you don’t want to go to Chicago, UMBC has a really nice facility,” Bishop deadpanned. “You can go in there and work out there.”
Doolittle, a University of Virginia product, laughed, and was surprised the needling hadn’t come sooner.
“How did it take this long?” Doolittle said. “I thought maybe people had forgotten.”
Sorry, Sean. No one will ever forget UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which the Retrievers accomplished with a 74-54 rout of Virginia on Friday.
(Nationals Manager Dave Martinez, the Junkies’ previous guest, had told the hosts to ask Doolittle about Virginia’s loss. It’s something of an upset that Martinez didn’t arrange for a pack of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers — UMBC’s mascot — to run around the infield during pitchers’ fielding practice at the Nationals’ spring training facility the following day.)
Doolittle watched the game alone in his Florida apartment.
“In the first half, like 10 minutes into the game, it was like 10-10, and I was like, ‘This is not good,’” Doolittle recalled Tuesday. “I know it’s good that [UMBC’s] not scoring a lot of points, but we’re not scoring any points either, and the longer we let them hang around. … At halftime it was 21-21. My wife, she was traveling, she was visiting family, and she was worried about me. She was texting, like, ‘Are you okay? I just saw the score.’ She was just texting me throughout the second half, like, ‘I’m so sorry. Are you okay?’ I was at home by myself, just pacing around the apartment.”
Doolittle, who played baseball at Virginia from 2005 to 2007, began tweeting about Friday’s game around the same time the Retrievers took an eight-point lead early in the second half. He attempted to cut the pain with jokes.
While Doolittle’s wife may have expressed her sympathies via text message, she also roasted him in hilarious fashion on Twitter.
“Oh come on cheer up it’s not like you graduated from UVA, remember?” Dolan wrote. “Am I helping [?].”
On Tuesday, fellow former U-Va. standout Ryan Zimmerman, who overlapped with Doolittle in Charlottesville for the 2005 season, joked about the abuse he has taken in the days since the Cavaliers’ stunning defeat. Doolittle was prepared for it by Saturday morning.
“I went through like the seven stages of grief in the second half,” Doolittle said. “I’d reached acceptance by the final buzzer, so I was okay by the time I had to come to work the next day.”
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