Dugout Dish: Trash Talk

The Congressional Baseball Game could be anyone's game

Posted June 20, 2016 at 5:00am
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This year’s Congressional Baseball Game is scheduled for Thursday at Nationals Park. Between now and game time, CQ Roll Call talks to members of Congress about why they play, what they expect this year and some of their favorite stories from games past. —    

Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, first baseman, and Christopher S. Murphy  of Connecticut, catcher, are going for their eighth win in a row .     

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, centerfield, and Rep. Kevin Brady  of Texas, second baseman, are working to break their team’s losing streak.   

With the game on tap, members talked about what to expect.  

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Dugout Dish: Baseball Stories

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Sen. Joe Donnelly

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., catches the throw to first base after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., bunted during the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., catches the throw to first base after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., bunted during the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I really think it’s gonna be a tough, hard fought game.  If you remember the old ‘Rocky’ movies, when he finally won the title, and that’s how we felt because we lost a number of games before we won some.”  

Flake: “Eight.”  

Donnelly: “Eight. [laughter] But when Rocky finally won the title, the next picture you see is of the young guy working nonstop who’s going to be fighting against him, and Rocky in an Italian restaurant eating and drinking wine. I don’t want us to be at the eating and drinking wine stage.”  



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Sen. Jeff Flake

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., fields a ground ball at third base during the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., fields a ground ball at third base during the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I think we’re gonna win. It’s the law of averages. Kevin [Brady] brings his bat, which he does every year. That’s what we need. We have hits. It’s just keeping the error rate down is a little difficult. But we’re gonna do it this year.”

Sen. Christopher S.  Murphy

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., hits during the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., hits during the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Well, the law of averages would certainly hold that Republicans should win but there’s something called [Louisiana Rep. and Democratic pitcher] Cedric Richmond that unfortunately interferes with the law of averages. The game was really competitive last year, and I suspect it will be competitive again. The fact is that if you can field in this game, you can do pretty well. And that tends to be the difference between a blow out and a close game.  

“So, I expect it will be a good game this year. My goal as the catcher is not to embarrass myself. There’s a lot of opportunity for things to go wrong behind the plate, especially when somebody throws a curve ball like Cedric Richmond. So I have some personal goals—to just keep the ball in front of me. But I suspect it will be a pretty good game.”  

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Dugout Dish: Why You Play

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Rep. Kevin Brady

Rep. John Carney is safe at 2nd as Rep. Kevin Brady applies the tag at the 52nd annual Congressional Baseball Game in 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. John Carney is safe at second as Rep. Kevin Brady applies the tag at the 52nd annual Congressional Baseball Game in 2013. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“We’re gonna win this year. Let me just predict that, right now. We’ve been rebuilding, you know. We’ve got a youth movement which means they’re in their 50s in baseball. We got a good young pitcher, [North Carolina Rep.] Mark Walker. We’ve got great infielders and outfielders. People like Jeff Flake who are just steady, good athletes in there. We’ve been embarrassed for too many years. We had a good, competitive game last year. I think this year’s really gonna be competitive.”  

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Dugout Dish: Love for the Game

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