July 30 - August 1, 2010
BDBL Weekend 2010:
The official BDBL
Weekend 2010 lineup.
By Mike Glander
DENVER -- BDBL Weekend, 2010, began
with a few hitches, but ended on a high note thanks to a spectacular
game between the Rockies and Cubs and a whirlwind of trading. The
weekend began with the bad news that Bobby Sylvester would not be able
to make it to Denver due to illness. That bad news was compounded
when my flight on Friday morning was fully-booked, leaving me stranded
in Boston. For the first time in BDBL history, BDBL Weekend would
have to go on without me.
The seven remaining GM's in attendance
(Tony Chamra, Matt Clemm, Jeff Paulson, John Duel, Nic Weiss, Greg
Newgard and Brian Potrafka) enjoyed the day on Friday by sampling some
local cuisine (including elk and bison), hanging out in the local sports
bar and doing a little bowling.
Saturday morning, I had a bit more luck
securing a seat on the evidently wildly-popular Boston-to-Denver trip.
With an extra ticket now available for Saturday night's game, I decided
to take my 14-year-old son Ryan along for the trip. That decision
nearly proved disastrous when the last remaining seats on our flight
were scooped up just minutes before take-off. But luckily, one of
those seats belonged to a pilot, who agreed to ride in the cockpit for
the duration of that four-hour flight. That allowed me and Ryan to
claim the last two seats on the flight.
We arrived in Denver at around noon,
and discovered that the Denver airport is nowhere near the city.
Expecting to see breathtaking views of the Rocky mountains upon arrival,
we instead saw nothing but flat land and the faint outline of some
mountains in the far distance. After a 30-minute cab ride, we
arrived at our hotel and met up with the BDBL crew. We then headed
off for lunch at John Duel's favorite Denver hot spot, the Tilted Kilt.
The 'Kilt is a pretty typical sports bar with pretty typical bar food.
But when the waitresses arrived wearing tiny plaid skirts and white
shirts tied around their waists, it became crystal clear why Duel was so
adamant on eating at this particular venue. (Later, my son called
the Tilted Kilt "the Scottish Hooters.")
With the annual trading deadline
looming at 8:00 Mountain Time, trade talk was almost constant throughout
the day. By the end of the day, nine trades had been made
involving 56 players, including several big names such as Evan Longoria,
Justin Upton and Zack Greinke.
Shortly after lunch, we headed to the
ballpark. Coors Field is a pretty typical modern-day Major League
ballpark, with the requisite neo-retro architecture, spacious
concourses, wide variety of food and drink options, etc.. The
stadium was filled to capacity (roughly 48,000), with seemingly half of
the fans in attendance rooting for the visiting Cubs.
The view from
The BDBL crew
The hometown team grabbed the lead in
the second inning with a three-run blast into the center field shrubbery
by Miguel Olivo. The following inning, Carlos Gonzalez tripled and
then scored on a base hit by Melvin Mora, making it a 4-0 game.
Chicago got on the board in the fifth inning thanks to a double by
Alfonso Soriano and a sac fly by Giovanni Soto, cutting the lead in
A sac fly by Gonzalez gave the Rockies
an insurance run in the seventh inning, but a three-run blast by Derrick
Lee in the top of the eighth tied the game (to the delight of half the
crowd.) In the top of the ninth, Gonzalez led off the inning,
needing only a home run to complete the cycle. And he did just
that, becoming the first player in BDBL Weekend history to win a game by
celebrate the walk-off.
hit for the cycle.
After the game, Potrafka took the
entire group on a 45-minute walking tour of downtown Denver in search of
the "real Denver." We lost a few good men along the way, including
Newgard (knee), Clemm (back) and Duel (knee.) And a few more of us
broke off from the pack before reaching Potrafka's final destination.
But we all had a good time taking in the Denver nightlife (which has to
rank #1 among all the cities we've visited so far) in our own ways.