Back in 2015, Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, then with the Oakland Athletics, shared nine out-of-the-box ideas for modes of transportation for relievers between the bullpen and the mound. This, of course, was before the Arizona Diamondbacks reintroduced the bullpen cart, which Doolittle rode with glee during Washington’s four-game series in Phoenix last month.
Among Doolittle’s suggestions: Katy Perry’s giant lion from the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, a Surrey bike, Marty McFly’s hoverboard and an Atlasphere of “American Gladiators” fame. On Wednesday, Doolittle managed to outdoo himself with a couple of ideas for what a bullpen cart at Nationals Park might look like.
“I think we could have some fun with it in D.C.,” Doolittle told ESPN’s Jon “Boog” Sciambi in an interview that aired during the Nationals’ 5-4 win over the Yankees. “I’m picturing a really, really long, like, Washington Monument cart that’s maybe, like, 60 feet long. Or, maybe, like, a presidential motorcade, and there are several carts, and you don’t know which one the guy is going to pop out of. Tinted windows and everything. Maybe one of the presidential mascots could drive it.”
Yes. Yes yes yes. The Racing President-driven bullpen cart motorcade is something that needs to happen. Yesterday. The Washington Senators had a bullpen car for a time during the 1960s, but a Nationals spokeswoman told me earlier this season that the team had no plans of offering motorized transportation to the mound this year, which is a shame.
“I think there’s, like, a practical thing to it, too,” Doolittle said after using the bullpen cart in Arizona for the first time. “People are, like, making a big deal out of it. I’m like, why would I not conserve my energy before going into a game in the biggest moment?”
Sciambi also asked Doolittle what it would take for him to shave his scraggly beard.
“Some of the guys have been asking me,” Doolittle said. “Brandon Kintzler’s been all over me; he wants me to shave it. I showed him a picture of myself from 2012, and he was like, ‘I get it now.’ I don’t know. A World Series parade? Kind of clean it up, maybe?”
(If Doolittle wants to follow Alex Ovechkin’s lead, he should keep the beard for the championship parade, then shave it and auction off the razors for charity.)
Sciambi concluded his brief interview with Doolittle by asking about the Nationals bullpen’s curious pregame ritual of downing shots of an unidentified (but nonalcoholic, according to ESPN) liquid. Camel milk, perhaps?
“I can’t tell you,” Doolittle said. “It’s a team thing. You have to be in the circle of trust for that, but it’s part of our everyday routine.”
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