Sean Doolittle posted a goodbye message on Twitter for Washington Nationals fans and the entire organization he played for over the last three and a half years, after the club posted a real emotional thank you video for the now-former Nats’ reliever (which is included below).
Doolittle, acquired from the Oakland A’s in July of 2017, signed in Cincinnati this week, after three seasons in the nation’s capital, over which he saved 75 games, struck out 163 batters (vs just 33 walks), and helped to bring a World Series championship to D.C. for the first time since 1924.
“We’re so lucky to have spent 4 amazing years in DC,” Doolittle wrote on Twitter last night:
We’re so lucky to have spent 4 amazing years in DC. I’m so grateful for the love & support you showed us - we loved being part of your community. I’m so proud I got to wear the Curly W & be part of the team that brought a WS title to DC. From the bottom of my heart - thank you ♥️ https://t.co/K62ZJqwlVD— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) February 9, 2021
Damn that video got me. 280 characters just aren’t enough to convey how much I loved being a part of your organization and your city. I’m probably making this awkward but I’m bad at goodbyes - baseball is a small world & I can’t wait to see you all at a ballpark again soon!— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) February 9, 2021
“I’m so grateful for the love & support you showed us - we loved being part of your community. I’m so proud I got to wear the Curly W & be part of the team that brought a WS title to DC. From the bottom of my heart - thank you
“Damn that video got me. 280 characters just aren’t enough to convey how much I loved being a part of your organization and your city. I’m probably making this awkward but I’m bad at goodbyes - baseball is a small world & I can’t wait to see you all at a ballpark again soon!”
On the way out, the 34-year-old, nine-year veteran offered his take on the bullpen his now-former club has assembled for the 2021 campaign, adding Sam Clay and Brad Hand to the mix alongside returning arms like Daniel Hudson, Will Harris, Wander Suero, Kyle Finnegan, Ryne Harper, Tanner Rainey, Kyle McGowin, Dakota Bacus, and more.
Here’s what Doolittle told Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty last week (as relayed by the WaPost reporter on Twitter — in saltier language that we’ve cleaned up below):
“I mean look at that bullpen they got now. It looks [expletive deleted] awesome. I mean, they got some [expletive deleted] horses down there, man. Hand is awesome. You give the guys like Will Harris and Huddy a chance at an actual offseason and a real Spring Training, and a ramp-up, they’re going to be back. Tanner Rainey is ready to be an absolute beast. Like, Finney is awesome. Suero, you know, he and Finney are like jackknives, you can put them in anywhere. And then you round out with somebody like Bacus, who came up and showed some really awesome stuff last year. I mean, there’s a number of ways they could round it out, but they got a good group.”
In his introductory Zoom press conference with Reds reporters on Monday, Doolittle talked a bit about some of the friends he made along the way during his time with the Nationals.
“I will always be grateful for the experience and the time that I got to spend in the Nats’ organization,” he said.
“To be able to watch guys like Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg on a daily basis, two of the best pitchers of our generation, to see the way that they go about their business every day, how they prepare, the things that they do behind the scenes to really improve their game, year-in and year-out, but like — and the guys I got to share bullpens with.
“The guys that I came over with in 2017, like [Ryan] Madson and [Brandon] Kintzler, they had huge impacts on my career, and I think that it helped that we were all going through that trade and finding our roles in D.C. together, but then even going into 2019, you had guys in the bullpen like Huddy and those guys that really helped me that were a huge part of what we did as a team. That organization, from the teammates that I had, to the staff, the support staff, the clubhouse staff, and the people that worked in the media relations for the Nats ... I know I can be a little bit of a handful and I can be a little high maintenance, especially when it comes to like media and off the field stuff, but everybody was always — it’s hard to put into words, I’m incredibly grateful for my time there, it was really very special.”