The Nationals are bringing back the bullpen cart and Sean Doolittle couldn't hide his excitement
Nationals closer Sean Doolittle was one of the first voices among MLB players to advocate for the resurrection of the bullpen cart. The D-backs and Tigers have obliged in 2018, and now, Doolittle's own team has joined the party.
The Nationals announced in a press release that a bullpen cart will be available for use at Nationals Park beginning on Friday, when the team returns from its current road trip. This news was a thrill for Doolittle, who arrived at Busch Stadium for the Nationals' game on Thursday wearing a shirt that said "Cart Blanche."
Back in May, Doolittle took the D-backs' bullpen cart for a spin, which helped inspire the Nationals' idea.
"I heard some rumblings like right after that that they were going to look into it, but hadn't heard anything for a long time," he said to MLB.com's Jamal Collier. "I was super excited to find out."
Obviously, Doolittle is on board with the Nationals' bullpen cart, but he's going to try to make sure that his teammates in the bullpen join in on the fun, too. According to Doolittle, they were hesitant -- though he tried to assuage their doubts with his experience.
"They were like, 'I wouldn't, I don't like it,'" he said. "And I'm like, 'Well, have you ever done it? Because I know for a fact there's only like one guy in this room that's done it [Doolittle] and he really liked it.' They were like, 'No, I think it would be weird.' That's not a good enough reason at all."
Doolittle countered the skepticism with a pretty logical argument.
"You have to try it. I think there's a practical application to it, especially in D.C. We're winding down now, but the summer months, it gets so humid. You're coming into a game and the sweat is already dripping off your hat, the air is so thick, you have to, like, move it out of the way to start running in from the bullpen, so it's way easier to do it that way. That way you're not out of breath, you don't feel rushed by the time you get out there, and you can kind of go at your own pace and manage your energy level.
"I understand some guys want to run in and loosen their legs a little bit, but I always felt like my body was where I wanted it to be when I threw my last warm-up pitch in the bullpen, and that's where I wanted to be entering the game."
That's just science. Bullpen carts are here to help!
We can only hope that Doolittle wins over his teammates.