WASHINGTON — Sean Doolittle was just trying to snuff the fires of a Twitter fight between his Oakland Athletics and the band Smash Mouth.
Members of the band from the Bay Area called the A's a joke for trading Coco Crisp in 2016, and a heated argument ensued that the then-Oakland reliever got in the middle of.
"I was trying to calm the situation down by tweeting sentences using titles of their songs," Doolittle said. "It didn't really work. They were at each other's throats."
After tweeting : "Hey hey guys cmon. Why Can't We Be Friends? last year was rough but I'm A Believer," Doolittle figured what's the use in trying. But he picked up support from lead singer Steve Harwell and bass player Paul De Lisle strong enough that Doolittle and his wife developed an online connection with Smash Mouth over the past two years.
"Sean chimed in something positive and supportive," Harwell said.
Yep, what a concept. Since then, Smash Mouth has had a role in Doolittle and wife Eireann Dolan getting engaged, offered to play at their wedding and this month helped celebrate the Washington Nationals closer's second All-Star appearance.
"When this happened, Eireann was like, 'Maybe every major event that happens in our lives, we need to find a way to celebrate it with Smash Mouth,'" Doolittle said.
Smash Mouth's "All-Star" has been a sports anthem since it became a hit in 1999, but not many athletes can say the band has told them, "Hey now you're an All-Star" like Doolittle. Because of a toe injury, Doolittle couldn't get his game on and go play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, but he and his wife can count this as another Smash Mouth milestone in their lives.
The last time came shortly after the couple got engaged in February 2017. Someone from Smash Mouth interjected into a Twitter conversation between Dolan and a friend and told Doolittle don't delay, act now, prodding him about getting a ring and proposing.
Knowing all that glitters is gold, he already had. They were waiting to tell family and friends before announcing it, and suddenly it looked like Smash Mouth was responsible for the engagement.
"That's exactly what happened," Doolittle said. "A few hours later we did tweet out an announcement or something that we had got engaged and a bunch of people caught on and they were like, 'Oh my gosh Smash Mouth finally convinced Sean to propose to Eireann.'"
Part of the band's pitch to Doolittle was an offer to play at the wedding reception. He's still not sure if it was a joke or not, saying, "Maybe we should have taken them up on it."
"We did?" De Lisle said. "Let's just set up in front of the bullpen."
When Doolittle was named to the NL All-Star team, he tweeted at Smash Mouth and, with the help of Dolan, finally got the band to declare , "Hey Now You're An All-Star." When the song plays over the speakers at Doolittle's home park, he won't be the only one singing along, but he and his wife listen knowing Smash Mouth has a special place in their lives.
"It's one of those kind of beautiful things that can only happen on social media," Doolittle said. "I'm glad we got to have some fun with it."
Harwell and De Lisle had some more fun on Twitter asking when Doolittle will be a free agent and said they want him to sign with the San Francisco Giants — and bring Bryce Harper with him.
"Every pitch he throws is like the last out in the World Series," De Lisle said. "I love the way that dude pitches. He's a total rock star."
Doolittle is signed through 2021, so for now, Smash Mouth will have to settle for being fans of him and Dolan in Washington.
"We love them and would do anything for them," Harwell said. "They are some cool people we consider friends."