Nationals closer Sean Doolittle says he won't join team's White House visit

The Washington Nationals will be missing at least one major contributor when visiting the House on Monday.

Closer Sean Doolittle told The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty on Friday that he does not plan to attend the team’s White House visit. Doolittle is the first member of the Nationals to publicly confirm he will not attend the event, currently scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET on Monday.

The White House announced the visit early in the morning on Friday, two days after the Nationals won their first-ever championship in seven games.

While several more Nationals could still opt out of the visit, it comes as little surprise that Doolittle shot down any possibility of willingly standing behind President Donald Trump and taking part in a photo op for the current administration.

Doolittle has been outspoken on social issues

Since well before he joined the Nationals, Doolittle has been one of the most outwardly liberal players in baseball.

The southpaw and his wife, Eireann Dolan, proactively supported Pride Nights and hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for Syrian refugees during his time with the Oakland Athletics, and have also penned an op-ed on veterans’ issuesNot much has changed since Doolittle and Dolan moved to the nation’s capital.

Doolittle hasn’t spoken out much against Trump specifically, but he did offer a direct repudiation of Trump’s “locker room talk” defense when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tapes rocked Trump’s presidential campaign.

A fan favorite, Doolittle was one of only two reliable options in the Nationals bullpen during the postseason, alongside right-hander Daniel Hudson. The 33-year-old struggled with injuries during the regular season on his way to an iffy 4.05 ERA, but he was a force in the postseason with a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings

Nationals fans booed Trump at World Series

Doolittle’s decision figures to be popular with a number of Nationals fans, judging from the Nationals Park crowd’s reaction when Trump was shown on the big screen during Game 5 of the World Series.

Trump was met with vociferous booing and a “Lock him up!” chant in parts of the stadium, with two banners calling for his impeachment popping up at the stadium. A campaign ad for Trump was also loudly booed at the Nationals’ Game 7 watch party.

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Donald Trump at Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park
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Donald Trump at Game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Park
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald J. Trump waves to the crowd during Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Sunday, October 27, 2019. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald J. Trump waves to the crowd during Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on Sunday, October 27, 2019. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump with his wife Melania during a game between the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros in game 5 of the World Series at Nationals Stadium in Washington, on October 27, 2019 . (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd during Game 5 of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, October 27, 2019 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd during Game 5 of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, October 27, 2019 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Melania and Donald Trump attend Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game 5 of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, October 27, 2019 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: Melania and Donald Trump attend Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Geoff Burke - Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 27: President Donald Trump attends Game Five of the 2019 World Series between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (2L) waves as he attends Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on October 27, 2019. (Photo by TASOS KATOPODIS / AFP) (Photo by TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and US First Lady Melania attend Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on October 27, 2019. (Photo by TASOS KATOPODIS / AFP) (Photo by TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Trump has had mixed results with World Series visits

It remains to be seen if any other Nationals decide to join Doolittle in not attending the White House event, and recent history indicates there will be more.

Several Red Sox players on the 2018 team, including Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and David Price skipped the White House visit. Manager Alex Cora also opted against the visit, citing his Puerto Rican heritage and the Trump administration’s handling of Puerto Rico’s recovery after it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Interestingly enough, Nationals manager Dave Martinez is also Puerto Rican.

Multiple key players on the 2017 Houston Astros did not visit Trump either, including Carlos Correa, Carlos Beltran and Ken Giles, though none of them specifically cited Trump as the reason. Several players on the 2016 Chicago Cubs also didn’t make the trip, with one saying he was more interested in going to the “dinosaur museums.”

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