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Democrats Thinking Dynasty After 15-10 Win

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Jubilant Democrats pose with the coveted Roll Call trophy after snapping their eight-game losing streak last week. Click here for more photos.

Unlike the Republican staff, Doyle predicted that his bullpen will only get stronger next year. Although Rep. Joe Baca (Calif.), the Democratic starting pitcher, went the distance Wednesday night, the Democratic manager said Reps. Heath Shuler (N.C.) and John Boccieri (Ohio) were both ready for relief work.

Baca, his team’s most valuable player, threw 119 pitches, striking out five, walking four and notching nine earned runs in the game’s seven innings, according to the game’s official box score.

“We had two pitchers ready to go,” Doyle said. “Shuler was in the bullpen all night staying loose.”

Doyle spoke about Shuler’s obviously disappointing performance at the plate again this year. A former NFL quarterback, Shuler extended his lackluster performance in 2009, failing to get a hit in three at bats. His manager suggested the former Washington Redskin needs to work on his fundamentals before swinging for the fences.

“He’s a great athlete, but he wants to hit the ball out of the ballpark,” Doyle said. “He’s in front of a lot of pitches.”

While Shuler continued to underperform, Doyle said a number of his 24 players who swung the bat in last week’s game showed considerable promise. At the top of his list: freshman Rep. Jared Polis (Colo.).

“When he first came out to play, he didn’t appear to be a baseball player,” Doyle said. “He hit a tremendous shot out to right field.”

Like Doyle, Wamp, too, was bullish about Democrats’ chances in the coming years. He said GOPers needed to play well last week to win, while just a “mediocre” Democratic performance would do.

“The line in Vegas for the first time in 15 years was that they had an advantage,” Wamp said.

Wamp acknowledged this year’s contest likely was his last, ending a 13-game hitting streak that continued on Wednesday. The shortstop is gearing up for the gubernatorial contest in the Volunteer State, where primary voters head to the polls on Aug. 5, 2010.

As a parting shot, he’s encouraging team management to do a better job recruiting GOP lawmakers to play next year.

“There’s some talent that wasn’t out there that Republicans are going to have to call on in order to be competitive,” he said. “We’re going to have to scrape and claw and probably use our personnel a little bit better.”

“The Democrats have a potential of creating the same type of 10-year dynasty we had.”

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