June 28-29, 2013
BDBL Weekend 2013:
By Mike Glander
SALEM, NH - The league returned to the
city of Boston for the 14th annual BDBL Weekend festivities this year,
taking in a Double-A game in Manchester, New Hampshire, a walking tour
of the Freedom Trail, and a MLB match-up between the Red Sox and Blue
Jays at Fenway Park. With just five league members (myself, Ryan,
Scott Romonosky, Matt Clemm and the legendary Jim Doyle) in attendance,
it was the smallest group in BDBL Weekend history, though we all managed
to have a good time just the same.
The weekend began at Logan Airport,
where I met up with Scott at Jerry Remy's bar. We enjoyed a couple
of burgers and beers while waiting for Matt's flight to arrive. By
the time we fought the northbound traffic on I-93, briefly stopping at
the Glander residence on the way, we managed to arrive in the middle of
the first inning of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats game. There, we
met up with Doyle and his pal, Benjamin Franklin. As it was the
first meeting between Romonosky and Doyle, it was especially
entertaining to witness a newbie's introduction to the Whirlwind of
Wackiness that is W. James Doyle.
As the game progressed, we learned a
great deal (some would say more than we'd ever want to know) about the
1978 Red Sox, the history of the NHL and other illuminating topics from
Jim's friend, Ben. We also learned the details of the story about
how Jim was once hit on the top of the head with a foul ball while
seated behind home plate -- a nearly impossible feat made possible only
because: a) Doyle was too busy writing in his dopey scorebook to pay
attention to the game, and b) Doyle's "friends" were too busy ducking
for cover to alert Jim to the impending danger from above.
The Fisher Cats' home park (which is
named after a bank or something) is a very nice, state-of-the-art,
modern ballpark with all the amenities you would expect from such a
facility: wide open concourses, a large selection of food and beverages,
and endless between-innings distractions from mascots and folks dressed
like sumo wrestlers or hot dogs.
As for the game itself, I can't recall
who won or lost, although I'm sure Jim could give you all a detailed
play-by-play recap from the first four innings. (After which, he
stopped keeping score, as is the case with 90% of the games in his
Following the game, we all headed
across the street to a sports bar, where we inhaled a bunch of bar food
(nachos, wings, sliders, etc.) and beer, and listened to more stories --
including an exhaustive history of the AFL -- from Mr. Franklin.
As we had an early day the next morning, we decided to call it a night
On Saturday morning, we ventured south
to Boston in the Glander family minivan. On the way, Doyle and I
engaged in a spirited debate over the issue of illegal immigration.
We learned that Jim (an attorney, by the way) believes that some laws
don't need to be followed because they are "unjust." (Note: the
question of who decides which laws are "just" or "unjust" was never
resolved, but it is assumed that Jim himself would decide such matters.)
And we learned that Jim believes that even a just law should be broken
as long as the person breaking the law doesn't have enough money.
Basically, we learned that Jim is a hippie anarchist.
After a short van ride and a quick ride
on the T, we all arrived at Boston Common, where we were met by a
far-too-enthusiastic young woman dressed in Colonial attire. She
then guided our group (along with about 100 others) to a plaque, where
she proceeded to shout at a great volume about the man pictured on the
plaque. From there, we proceeded to a statue, where she shouted
with great enthusiasm about the statue. We then walked 25 feet
further to a map, where she shouted with unequalled enthusiasm about the
map. Eventually (and inevitably), Doyle got into the act, and
began enthusiastically shouting about inalienable rights -- to the great
delight of the tour guide.
This went on and on, every 25-50 feet
or so, through various plaques, buildings, statues, gravestones, etc.,
until we finally tired of all the enthusiastic shouting and decided to
end our tour prematurely and grab some lunch. It has become a
tradition and requirement of every BDBL Weekend to walk aimlessly for a
given period of time, so we did just that, before finally arriving at a
place called "Joe's" overlooking the harbor. There, we all filled
our bellies with delicious and hearty food -- except for Doyle, who
ordered (get this) a WEDGE SALAD. Seriously. A freaking
wedge salad. And he then had the audacity to question my manhood
for putting a wedge of orange into my beer.
From there, it was another quick T ride
to Fenway Park. Although the pre-game weather report had called
for cloudy skies and intermittent showers, it was a bright and sunny
day, and the ballpark appeared to be filled to capacity.
Incredibly enough, it seemed as though half of those in attendance were
from Toronto, as indicated by both the number of Blue Jays jerseys and
the unusually frequent usage of the word "hoser."
While Matt went off to spend his kids'
college funds on souvenirs, the rest of us found our seats in the
grandstand section of right field, just beneath the upper deck. I
chose these seats for two reasons: 1) to keep us dry in case it rained,
and 2) to keep the sun out of our eyes in case it was sunny. As
soon as we took our seats, however, we noticed that a mystery fluid was
constantly dripping on us from an overhead girder (most likely a leaky
A/C unit from the luxury suite of the beautiful people above us.)
And by the 5th inning, our seats in the shade had become seats directly
in the sun, which required us to stare directly into the sun in order to
view any of the action on the field.
It was a fairly exciting game.
The standing-room-only crowd appeared to be split almost evenly between
Sox and Jays fans, and while both sets of fans were competing to
out-cheer each other, the teams on the field competed in an
evenly-matched, back-and-forth game where the Jays took the lead and the
Sox eventually rallied late in the game. But a mammoth blast by
Jose Bautista (his second of the game) sailed over the Green Monster in
dead center field, and appeared to smash into the Citgo sign several
blocks away, giving Toronto a lead they would not relinquish.
After the game, we ducked into a
Pizzeria Uno to escape from the mob for a while. There, we were
treated to some decent pizza while witnessing the weekend's only trade
-- a deal between Doyle and Clemm. We then did some more aimless
wandering around the Fenway area before finally heading back home.
And we wrapped up the night with an impromptu best-of-seven pool
tournament at the Glander house, which was won by myself (and, to a
lesser extent, my teammate Matt.)
On the heels of the worst-ever-attended
BDBL Weekend, plans are already underway for BDBL Weekend 2014.
The plan, set in the same concrete as the famous obelisk of Chevalier de
Saint-Sauveur (which is a reference only those who attended will
understand) is to celebrate the 15th anniversary of BDBL Weekend with
TWO BDBL Weekends: one in the spring (a tour of Phoenix-area spring
training sites) and another in the summer (Toronto.) So start
saving your pennies today!