August 19-20, 2011
BDBL Weekend 2011:
The official BDBL
Weekend 2011 starting lineup.
By Mike Glander
WASHINGTON, DC -- The 12th annual BDBL Weekend festivities were held on the weekend of August 19-20 in
Washington, DC, attended by eight loyal and dedicated GM's and one
GM-in-training. I arrived at around 11:00am with my 15-year-old
son Ryan in tow, and we immediately made our way to the hotel, where we
had a nice lunch at the 50's-style diner attached to the hotel.
Upon checking in, I was told that our room had only one king-sized bed
(which is the price I pay for using hotwire.com to make my reservation.)
I explained to the person behind the desk that I would be sharing the
room with a 15-year-old who kicks in his sleep (and has sharp toenails)
and a very large Texan. She didn't seem all that concerned, but
finally felt pity for me and gave me a room in the smoking section with
two double beds.
Eventually, we were joined by Tony
Chamra and Greg Newgard, who was sporting the most awesome custom-made
uniform I have ever witnessed:
In an effort to boost attendance at
next year's BDBL Weekend, Greg said he would purchase one of these
jerseys for every member who attends (as long as you pay him back.)
The four of us called for a cab and
headed straight to the National Mall, wanting to take in as many sights
as possible before the impending storm. We walked from the green
in front of the Capitol building to the Washington monument, then made
our way toward the World War II monument, the Vietnam Memorial and the
and Newgard in front of the Capitol.
Newgard and the
Pool". (Must be one of those
"shovel-ready jobs" Obama keeps talking about.
Ryan in front
of the Lincoln Memorial.
At that point, we received a phone call
from Jim Doyle, who agreed to meet us at the Washington monument with
his friend Kevin. So, with the sun beating down upon us and sweat
pouring down our backs, we made the trek and eventually spotted a large
orange figure on the horizon, heading in our direction. Of course,
it was Mr. Doyle, sporting one of his many Giants jerseys. After a
brief rest, we ventured off to the White House. We knocked on the
front door, but no one was home. So I left a flaming paper bag on
the doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran away.
in front of Obama's house (when he's not at the Vineyard.)
After seeing all the white buildings
with Gothic columns there are to see in Washington (or so it seemed), we
all agreed that we could use a drink. So Kevin then led us on a
10-mile hike through the streets of DC to the ESPN Zone...which no
longer existed. As we stood outside the now-defunct establishment,
we ran into Bobby Sylvester and Nic Weiss, who had just completed a
cross-country road trip with Bobby's new wife, Kara. We then made
the executive decision to duck into the nearest bar/restaurant across
the street. Doyle ordered a pitcher of Diet Coke...and two Diet
Cokes. (Seriously.) And we sat and relaxed for awhile,
eating, drinking, catching up on the latest news and events in our
lives, and listening to Doyle ramble on about random topics, and telling
stories that had no ending.
From there, Doyle and his pal ventured
off to that night's game (a lightning-storm-interrupted game that ended
on a walk-off grand slam by Cowtipper star Ryan Zimmerman), while the
rest of us began roaming the streets to find another place to sit and
have food and drinks. We eventually found that place, sat down,
and had more drinks and appetizers. The main topic of conversation
was Bobby's proposal to expand the league, and the ramifications of such
a radical change. Finally, after a torrential
downpour had subsided, we ventured off to another part of the city,
where a few of the boys went bowling, while I headed back to the hotel
to drop off Ryan. (Unfortunately, it took so long to get the front
desk to bring Ryan his rollaway cot, I was hotel-bound for the night.)
Matt at the
lane (notice the strange body language.)
Nic Weiss gives
it a roll.
apparently rolls a gutter ball.
The following morning, I enjoyed a
hearty breakfast at the 50's diner with Ryan, Greg and Tony. We
all then headed back out to the National Mall, where we visited two of
the Smithsonian museums. Our first stop was the American History
Museum, where we saw relics from the Revolutionary period, including an
outfit worn by George Washington, an auto-pen invention made by Thomas
Jefferson, clothing and weapons from the Indian tribes of that era,
military artifacts from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, the two World
Wars, and other American conflicts...and, of course, Archie Bunker's
Tony's skateboard and Farrah's swimsuit.
After breezing through the American
History Museum, we then trekked over to the Air & Space Museum, where we
met up with Bobby and Nic. Here, we saw thousands of artifacts,
from war planes to commercial airliners, to replicas of the Wright
brothers' plane, to spacecraft.
The Apollo 11
After an afternoon of walking, we
decided it was time to find another bar to sit, eat and drink. We
decided upon the Hard Rock Cafe, and put our faith in Matt Clemm to get
us there. Armed with a map that clearly indicated the location of
the Hard Rock, we hopped into a metro train to take us approximately
nine blocks north...only to discover that Matt hadn't noticed that the
"Hard Rock" logo on his map included an arrow pointing to the exact same
spot from which we originated. After a nine-block walk south (and
after discovering that the Hard Rock was too crowded), we settled in at
a small bar, where we had a small meal and a few drinks before heading
to the game.
Nationals Park is one of those typical
new-era ballparks with wide concourses, comfortable seating, a vast
array of food and drink choices, etc., etc.. While it's as
beautiful as any of the new parks, there is nothing unique that sets it
apart from the others, making it seem rather generic.
in for Jeff Paulson with the obligatory
BDBL Weekend statue pose.
The view from
our seats, in the very last row of the upper deck.
Thanks to the previous night's rainout,
we got to see Roy Oswalt take the mound for the visiting Phillies.
And Oswalt brought his "A" game: 8 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K. That
made for a rather boring game, as the hometown Nats were also shut out
by reliever Michael Stutes, giving the Phillies a 5-0 win to the delight
of the approximately 30,000 Phillies fans in attendance. The only
runs of the game came as a result of a two-run, two-out triple by Wilson
Valdez, a solo homer by Hunter Pence, and a two-run single by Jimmy
After the game, it was utter chaos as
we all tried to find our way out of the ballpark through the mass of
humanity that filled the streets for blocks and blocks. Ryan and I
managed to somehow hail a cab, and after dropping him off at the hotel,
I headed back out to the city, to the same bar where the rest of the
gang had gathered the night before. After a long while, I was
joined by Greg and Tony. Later, Matt joined us for some food on
the upper level, where we engaged in a heated discussion over Matt's
idea to merge our farm teams with our major league teams, eliminating
the farm draft, and begin paying farm players as if they were major
In conclusion, Nationals Park receives
a solid B grade for being generically beautiful, the city of Washington,
DC receives an A grade for providing so many great sights for us to see
throughout our two days in the city, and Matt's rule change proposal
receives a solid F. Thanks to all who attended, and I'm already
counting the days until the next one!