LOS ANGELES/SAN DIEGO -- The ninth
annual BDBL Weekend was held in Los Angeles and San Diego this year,
with a record-low attendance of just six owners (all from the Ozzie
League, of course.) The weekend began with Mike Glander and Jim
Doyle eating breakfast Friday morning at the local Subway. (Jim
had a footlong steak and cheese.) Eventually, the two met up with
the other attending owners: Ed McGowan, John Duel, Jeff Paulson and Greg
The view from
The two "Dodger
fans," Paulson and Doyle.
down on some Chinese food in LA.
With Newgard's flight delayed (a BDBL
Weekend tradition), the five other owners went to lunch in Brentwood.
Then, shortly after Newgard arrived, the entire group headed out to
Dodgers Stadium. Now one of the oldest ballparks in baseball,
Dodger Stadium was filled with more history than fans. The
late-arriving/early-departing Dodgers crowd groaned in unison when
Milwaukee's #3 hitter Gabe Kapler (yes, #3 hitter) homered off of
Villanova franchise pitcher Chad Billingsley in the first inning, giving
the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
LA scored a run in the bottom of the
inning on a base hit by their newest hero, Manny Ramirez, but Milwaukee
regained that run in the second inning on a base hit by Jason Kendall.
The score remained 3-1 until the fourth inning, when LA's Casey Blake
homered off of Brewers starter (and former Cowtipper prospect) Manny
Parra, tying the game at three apiece.
In the fifth, Jeff Kent singled home
Cowtipper Matt Kemp, giving LA the lead. Cleveland Rocks all-star
Russ Martin then led off the eighth with a home run, padding the lead.
And that's how it would end, as Jonathan Broxton sealed the deal in the
After the game, Ed, Greg and Mike spent
the better part of the evening wandering around the Dodgers parking lot
looking for Ed's car, while John Duel took Jeff and Jim on a whirlwind
tour of Hollywood. (Doyle was reportedly very impressed with the
economic growth and development of that area of the city.)
The next morning, the group headed out
to San Diego via the scenic Pacific Coast highway. While sitting
in bumper-to-bumper traffic in between Jim Doyle's stirring renditions
of "Mandy" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," Greg made the fateful decision
to mention Jamba Juice as a possible pit stop. And thus was born
Jim Doyle's lifelong addiction to Jamba Juice. For the remainder
of the weekend, not five minutes passed without Doyle mentioning Jamba
Juice in some way, regardless of the context of the conversation.
carries on the BDBLWE tradition
in Paulson's absence.
The San Diego
crew, from left-right:
McGowan, Duel, Newgard, Doyle & Glander.
After finally arriving in San Diego,
the group shared a few beers at a local tavern. Jeff then took one
for the team by inviting Doyle to attend that night's Padres game with
him, as Jeff wouldn't be able to make the rescheduled Sunday night game
on account of his meeting his girlfriend's parents. (Yes, it's
Free of Doyle for the night, the
remaining members of the league partied heartily in the Gaslamp District
at a place called "Joltin' Joe's." After several hours of playing
pool and ping-pong, drinking lots and lots of beer and hitting on the
20-something waitresses, the group then met up with Jeff after the game
to enjoy a late-night snack at an Irish pub nearby.
After two days of fighting the time
zone difference, Doyle finally succumbed that night, and began a
twelve-hour hibernation on the pull-out cot Glander had generously
provided for him. Eventually, the others joined him. (Not on
the pull-out, but in sleeping.)
On Sunday afternoon, the entire group
went to see Tropic Thunder at a nearby movie theater, and
proclaimed it to be the best movie in years. They then enjoyed
lunch at Rock Bottom before saying good-bye to Jeff for the weekend, and
wishing him luck with his girlfriend's parents. (Yes, it's that
Shortly afterward, the group headed out
to Petco Park to catch that night's game between the hometown Padres and
the Philadelphia Phillies. Making the event even more special was
the fact that recently-traded young superstar ace Cole Hamels was
pitching for the Phillies. As expected, he pitched brilliantly,
allowing only one run through eight innings. (But he still can't
win for the Irish Rebels.)
In a largely uneventful game, the Phils
took a one-run lead in the first inning, and extended that lead to 2-0
in the sixth inning on a solo home run by Pat Burrell (to the delight of
roughly 20,000 Phillies fans in attendance.) The Padres cut the
lead to 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning, but that's as close as
they'd get, as Hamels and closer Brad Lidge were just too tough to
Petco Park itself was a pleasure to see
in person, with it's wide-open expanses, grassy picnic area in right
field, and unique "sandbox" just beyond the right-center field fence (a
feature, no doubt, that Paulson will soon adopt for The Graveyard.)
It's a beautiful park in a beautiful city.
And thus concluded another fun-filled
and relaxing BDBL Weekend. The goal for 2009 is to set a new BDBL
Weekend record for attendance -- but in a positive way. Possible
cities discussed for BDBLWE '09 include DC/Baltimore, Arlington/Houston,
Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Miami and Toronto.