Sean Doolittle: Mariners embrace ‘underdog mentality’ and have defied the odds
The newest addition to the Mariners organization has something that most of the rest of the MLB roster lacks: big-game experience.
That addition is two-time All-Star reliever Sean Doolittle, who the Mariners added to the mix last week by claiming him off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
Doolittle has appeared on five playoff teams and was a key member of the 2019 World Series champions, the Washington Nationals.
Doolittle is a proven veteran who is now on a feisty and young team that’s doing everything it can to stay in the playoff hunt, and he talked about his first impressions of his new team during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Monday.
“It’s cool to kind of be a part of a group that feels like it has something to prove, that feels like maybe they’ve been overlooked,” he said. “You have a little bit of a chip on your shoulder.”
Doolittle spent the first six years of his career regularly playing against the Mariners as a member of the Oakland A’s, and he said the 2021 Mariners remind him of some of those teams he played on early in his career.
“Early in my career in ’12 and ’13, that is what made those teams good is they embraced that role, they embraced that underdog mentality,” he said. “I do feel some similarities there, and I mean that in a good way. That can make for a really fun stretch run when people are counting you out and you’re coming in and you’re kind of sneaking up on people. That’s what I mean when I say I’m really excited to be here for this part of the run.”
Part of why the Mariners find themselves hanging around in the Wild Card conversation is their ability to win close games and games that they seemingly shouldn’t. Doolittle may have just joined the team, but he knows that’s been a key part of this team’s season.
“This team has a knack for finding a way to win games,” he said. “In today’s day and age there is a lot put into analytics and these predictive algorithms that teams use to evaluate stuff. This team has kind of defied a lot of those odds and expectations throughout the season, and one thing you can’t quantify is just the guys on the field having a knack to pull out a win.”
Doolittle also said something has really stood out to him since he joined the Mariners.
“It’s a young group and there’s a lot of guys here that maybe feel like they found a home with this organization,” he said. “… It’s really cool to talk to those guys and to hear about how much they love this organization and how much fun they’ve had being a part of this team.”
Listen to the conversation at this link or in the player below.