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Posts by Clayton Hanson
June 25, 2014
For someone who hasn’t been to a Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game before, it’s easy to spot a few players who stand out. There’s Rep. Cedric L. Richmond throwing flames from the pitcher’s mound. The Louisiana Democrat has 21 strikeouts and four earned runs in the past two games. Over that same span, he’s gone 5-for-7 at the plate, with three runs scored and two runs batted in.
On the other side of the aisle/field is Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, whose consistency is rivaled by only the Arizona sun. Over the past five years, he has batted over .300 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. In the field he’s just as good. The last error he made was in 2009, in a game that has had 24 errors since then.
But baseball is a team game. The following five players might not have a lot of flash, but they’re worth paying attention to.
1. Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif.
Sánchez gets hearty cheers and jeers, depending on the side, when she steps up to the batter’s box. While she’s not very tall at 5 feet, 1 inch, she stands high in the batter’s box; during the past four games, she has had two hits in six at-bats, knocking in four runs. If she were on the Republican team, she would lead the team in RBIs. Flake and GOP Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster have two RBIs apiece over the same span.
2. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.
Rooney had a rough three-game stretch from 2009 through 2011, going hitless in six at-bats. The former Syracuse Orange football player turned it around in the past two years going 2-for-3. He got one of only three hits by the Republicans last year.
3. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.
Like the Colorado Rockies’ all-time run leader, Todd Helton, there isn’t a lot of dazzle to Perlmutter’s game, but he gets the job done. In the past three years, the Democrat has scored six runs, including four in 2013. Perlmutter also stole a base in 2013.
4. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
In 2009 and 2010, Donnelly hit a rough patch going a combined 0-for-4. Since then the junior Democratic senator from Indiana has gone 3-for-5 with three runs, a double, and an RBI. He finds a way to get on base other ways too, having been hit by pitches on two separate occasions.
5. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.
Much like the nearby Pittsburgh Pirates, Shuster is consistently inconsistent. Over the past five years, during an odd-numbered year, he has no hits in seven at-bats. In even-numbered years, he’s 3-for-7 with two RBIs. We’re in an even-numbered year, so expect a big game from Shuster.
June 14, 2013
For the third year in a row, the pitching disparity between the Democrats and Republicans was the key to the CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.
The Democrats are in a great position with Louisiana Rep. Cedric L. Richmond burning through the GOP lineup, giving up three hits in a complete game, 22-0, shutout. He’s given up only four runs in three games. And he’s 39 years old and represents a safe district.
On the other side of the field, Republicans are looking to shore up their rotation. Democrats hooked early into Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman, the only GOP pitcher not to give up a run last year, scoring five runs in the first. Stutzman, at 37, is younger than Richmond. But his relievers Thursday evening (Reps. Patrick Meehan and Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania) are both 57, which doesn’t bode well for the future of the team.
Perhaps the Republicans should recruit Roger Clemens, who gave some campaign cash to his friend Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas. Also, Clemens wouldn’t have to worry about those pesky performance-enhancing drug allegations because the Congressional Baseball Game doesn’t test.
Another opportunity could be with Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, who campaigned for former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul. He’s currently the president of the Texas Rangers.
Former President George W. Bush was co-owner of the franchise, and the Rangers started life as the expansion Washington Senators before moving to Arlington, Texas, in 1972, so the bloodlines make the franchise the equivalent of an elected official farm team.