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Big Daddy Baseball League

O F F I C I A L   S I T E   O F   T H E   B I G   D A D D Y   B A S E B A L L   L E A G U E
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August 19-20, 2011

BDBL Weekend 2011: Washington, DC

The official BDBL Weekend 2011 starting lineup.

By Mike Glander
BDBL Staff

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 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 Lincoln Memorial.

Chamra and Newgard in front of the Capitol.

Newgard and the Washington monument.

The "Reflecting 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.

Ryan, standing 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.

Chamra 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 chair.

Abe's hat.

Eddie's guitar, Tony's skateboard and Farrah's swimsuit.

Archie's and Edith's chairs.

Revolutionary-era clothing.

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 space module.

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.

Chamra, filling 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 Rollins.

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 leaguers.

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!