So, it’s Opening Day, no one wants to answer questions about Bryce Harper moving on anymore — look at Adam Eaton’s reaction to one of those Harper questions from earlier this week — and everything from Spring Training has been talked about ad nauseam at this point, so we tried to ask a couple Washington Nationals some non-baseball questions to see if we would be able to help fans in the nation’s capital get to know some of the players a little bit better...
The Players (who were the ones who happened to be around in the clubhouse at the time):
• Sean Doolittle, the Nats’ 32-year-old closer who has what’s possibly the most entertaining Twitter account in baseball (@whatwoulddodoo)
• Justin Miller, the 31-year-old reliever who had a sort-of out-of-nowhere campaign in D.C. in 2018 and is back in the Nationals’ bullpen this season.
• Andrew Stevenson, the 24-year-old, 2015 Nats’ 2nd Round pick out of LSU, who debuted in the majors in 2017, played 57 games for the Nationals last season, and made the Opening Day roster out of Spring Training when injuries provided an opportunity.
• Matt Adams (aka Big City), the 30-year-old bench bat and backup first baseman, who was in D.C. for most of the 2018 campaign, was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals (who drafted him in 2009), and returned to the Nationals as a free agent again this winter.
The questions?: 1. Where do you live/spend the offseason? 2. Highlight of your offseason? 3. First thing you did when you get back to D.C. this week? 4. Favorite D.C. tourist attraction? 5. Favorite D.C. spot only locals would know?
FBB: Where do you live/spend the offseason?
Doolittle: “We live in Chicago, in the neighborhood where my wife grew up. So, it’s cool being near family and ... great weather [laughs].”
Miller: “Offseason in Arizona. Peoria, Arizona. I’m originally from California, but my wife, she’s from Arizona so we relocated out there.”
Stevenson: “In Louisiana. I’m from Lafayette, Louisiana.”
Adams: “I make home in St. Louis. I grew up, born and raised in Central PA, right by State College, and then the last three years I’ve stayed in St. Louis, and my fiance and I bought a house this past offseason, so we’re going to make that home for a while.”
FBB: What was the highlight of your offseason?:
Doolittle: “We went and finally did our honeymoon. We went to Paris for two weeks in November, and it was really cool, it was awesome.”
Miller: “Me and the wife we took a cruise to the Caribbean, and then right, I guess, just as I got to Spring Training I found out my wife is pregnant with our second kid.”
[ed. note - “Congrats!”]
Stevenson: “I got married.” Where?: In Lafayette.”
Adams: “Just the work ethic that goes into getting ready for the season. I enjoy getting after it in the gym, getting my body right to come in and prepare for another season. We took a couple trips with the kids and whatnot, that was fun, but I have to say the highlight was getting my mind and my body right, ready for the season.”
FBB: First thing you did when you get back to D.C. this week?
[ed. note - “Considering that the Nationals played two games on Sunday in split squad action in Florida, flew to D.C. for Monday’s exhibition, and had just two days off before yesterday’s opener, we should have anticipated ‘unpacked’ would be the answer most players gave.”]
Doolittle: “The first thing I did? Well, it was unpack, which isn’t really glamorous, but we’re getting the apartment all set up, we have a new apartment, so it was unpack ... maybe take the dogs for a walk.”
Miller: “First thing I did when I got back here is I met with my wife and my kid and my grandparents at our Airbnb [laughs].”
Stevenson: “We got back late. A lot of unpacking, but the next night I went out by the water over here [points to the Anacostia River behind Nationals Park], and kind of went by some of the restaurants and whatnot.”
Adams: “ [Unpacking] is definitely up there, but kind of took — we’re staying right behind the stadium, so we have a cool balcony, so just kind of stepped out on the balcony, kind took in the views of the city and just kind of relaxed a little bit.”
FBB: Favorite D.C. tourist attraction?
Doolittle: “It’s probably the Lincoln Memorial. After my wife and I eloped, we did a bunch of pictures on the National Mall, around the Lincoln Memorial and stuff, so there’s sentimental value for us there too, but the history of everything on the National Mall is really cool.”
Miller: “I’d say like the Smithsonian [museums], all the museums and stuff they’ve got there, I think coming this off day we’re going to check out the zoo, so that will be nice.”
Stevenson: “I like going by all the monuments and things like that and going and checking out the museums.”
Adams: “We love Georgetown, we like going over to Georgetown and just walking around. There’s some cool history over there, but we went to the Newseum last year, that was pretty cool, so I think that would have to be up there on the list.”
FBB: Favorite D.C. spot only locals would know?
Doolittle: “I make the rounds — try to make the rounds to some really good bookstores. Solid State is one of my favorite bookstores, it’s on H Street, the H Street Corridor, it’s got like, there’s a cafe in there too, it’s like a cool spot to maybe spend an off day or post up with a book and just kind of unwind and relax.”
Miller: “Right here, the new Wharf they’ve got. They’ve got some good restaurants down there, some good oysters down there too.”
Stevenson: “Not quite there yet, still sticking with the main stuff for now.”
Adams: “Restaurant-wise, we fell in love with Filomena in Georgetown. My fiancee is Italian so always finding a good Italian spot is key to keeping her happy.”