The last time the fans in Oakland saw a reliever execute on this level, they were watching a future Hall of Famer. And while it'd be foolish to even mention the name Sean Doolittle in any serious discussion regarding Cooperstown at this early stage of the A's first baseman-turned-closer's career, it's impossible to look at his numbers and not smile while recalling the sense of certainty and security that came as Dennis Eckersley strolled to the mound in the ninth inning for what invariably turned into a quick dissection of an opponent's collective manhood.
Doolittle's backstory alone makes him fascinating. Former big-time college hitter who dabbled in pitching but was drafted for his bat, only to see his body betray his offensive upside and force the switch from dabbling to do-or-die. That he didn't die, metaphorically speaking, and made it to the big leagues as a pretty damn good setup man despite only having one pitch is quite enough to qualify Doolittle for a spot in the Hell of a Story Hall of Fame.
But the story just keeps getting better. And better. And better.
First the promotion to closer. Then the out-of-nowhere contract, which, projected, could very well end up the signature cut on Billy Beane's greatest-hits album. And most recently, the insane scoreless streak, the cartoon strikeouts-to-walks ratio, the almost certain All-Star selection.
What's next? Well, he hasn't hit any homers yet. He hasn't even gotten any knocks. What the hell? Strike while the iron's hot, BoMel, and get the kid some ABs!
And hey, Doolittle: still waiting on that global-warming fix. You're on that, right? No? How 'bout the whole cancer thing? Don't be trying to tell us that's outside your scope, dude. We're on to you now. You can do anything.
But let's start small. How about another pitch? The possibility exists, however remote, that you might someday lose a little life off that hellacious heater. You might start walking a guy every week instead of every three months. It'd be nice to have another arrow in the old quiver, no?
Or not. Hey, do your thing. Whatever you want. What you're doing right now is more than anyone had a right to expect, so what happens from here is gravy. We're good. Thanks for the show.