July 26, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Two-Year Losing Streak Irks Daily Caller

Softball Team Seeks Just One Victory

It seems that launching a successful political website is much easier than forming a successful softball team, at least in the ultra-competitive environment of Capitol Hill softball.

Despite the Daily Caller’s modest success as a competitor to top political websites such as the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post, the site’s softball squad is still mired in a two-year losing streak. Since its founding last summer, the site’s Daily Ballers have yet to register even a single victory. So far this season, they are winless in four games.

“If we win a game, that’ll be a big deal for us,” said Alex Pappas, one of the team’s coaches and a reporter for the Daily Caller. “We like to think of ourselves as hard-hitting journalists — but when it comes to softball, we could learn to hit the ball a little bit harder.”

The Ballers first registered to play in the Senate League last year, as the website, founded by conservative pundit and journalist Tucker Carlson, readied for a January 2010 launch. During the team’s first season, the players were entirely interns — not a surprise in an office that hosts more than 50 interns at once.

Even though the site hadn’t yet launched, “There was a full-functioning staff [last summer] that wanted to get out there and get our name out there,” Pappas said.

This season, he said, the team has grown up a bit — a healthy mix of staffers and interns come out to play games on the Mall — including the site’s veteran White House correspondent, Jon Ward, who played one game with the team before deciding to call it quits.

“Ward is our one serious guy,” Pappas said. “He came out to our first game. I don’t know if he was happy with the rest of us. I think we’ve got to rise to his standard.”

“I work a lot. I have a wife and two kids. I went to one game. I decided I should probably spend my time at home,” Ward said.

“If it was a little bit more competitive, it might be something I’d want to miss valuable time with my kids for. But it’s not very competitive.”

But one prominent name missing from the Baller lineup is Carlson, who Pappas describes as “athletic” but more interested in playing squash than Hill softball.

Does the team’s losing streak ever bother Pappas and the other Ballers?

“It’s a good excuse to get out there and enjoy the sun on the Mall,” Pappas said.

“At a certain point, it becomes for the love of the game,” echoes Gregg Re, a Caller staffer and Baller veteran.

Think your team deserves some Roll Call column space? E-mail your softball tips, league gossip and trash talk to byron.tau@gmail.com.

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