Why were there 20 or more guys wearing Expos jerseys at the Dodgers/Giants game in LA on Sunday night?
As the Dodgers were coming to the plate for their half of the 8th, the camera panned across a mob of who were obviously having themselves a good time. If they were from La Belle province, they must have swilled at least 20 of those piss waters you Yanks call beer to be as drunk as they looked to be.
It was ESPN’s Sunday night game of the week, a national broadcast. The play-by-play guys were as puzzled as I was, but they instantly mentioned the fact that there is a serious push underway in Montreal to get an MLB franchise back. The ESPN guys told viewers that the Blue Jays and Mets held a two game series in Montreal on the last weekend before the season started. Those two games drew 96,000 paying customers.
I lived in Montreal for two years and have been a Habs fan since I was 2 years old, which would have been back in 1965. So, I listen to a lot of Montreal sports talk radio – TSN 690 to be exact – and I have been following the campaign with great interest.
My first thought is that the people behind the campaign are running a PR campaign that includes buying tix and jerseys for people to attend ESPN’s Sunday night games, which get the largest TV audience possible because the network has a deal with the league that assures there is only one game played on Sunday nights. Maybe locals are the lucky ones, or maybe they’re even paying all expanses trips for a lot of lucky Montreal dudes.
That’s pure conjecture on my part, at this point, but I’m gonna link this post in an email to the pushers and see what they have to say about it all. FYI, here’s the official site of The Montreal Baseball Project.
I didn’t see any Expos jerseys in the stands in San Diego during last Sunday night’s game, but it’s hard to see the cheap seats from my post in Yugoslavia. But maybe, if this really is a concerted effort t get their cause into the minds of baseball fans, it’s not improbable that our intrepid heroes choose to start it up in LA. The Dodgers, after all, dealt the Expos their most crushing defeat in the history of the franchise, on Blue Monday
October 18, 1981. It was game five of the National League Championship series. That was back when the LCS were best of five affairs. It was the only years the Expos made it into the post season. The game was tied at one going into the 9th. The Expos had two out when… no, I’;m not even gonna tell the story. If you wanna know, read about it here, and/or watch this
I remember Blue Monday oh so well. It was my last year of high school. It was an afternoon game. I skipped school to watch the game at home with my old man.
My Vice Principal, who hated me and wanted badly to kick me out of school, called my house to ask if anyone knew where I was. My old man was having a few beer, as was I. The old man took the call and told Freddy that we were watching the game and drinking beer. He made it clear that we were not to be bothered. Apparently, Freddy didn’t like that and connived to keep the old man on the phone. The old man ripped Freddy’s head off and said that he was gonna make it known to his boss, the principal, whose kid I’d played hockey with for four years, that we did not appreciate being harassed, especially not by a Nancy Boy who would be drinking beer and watching the game himself if he were any kind of man, or even a Canadian woman. The old man then hung up the phone, opened the fridge, grabbed acouple more cold ones for us, and returned to the living room to watch what ended in tragedy.
Okay, enough of the Memory Lane stuff.
When it occurred to me that the 20 Expos fans at Dodger Stadium might be there at the behest f the Expo faithful, I though, “Brilliant!” But will thye have the balls to do that when the Sunday night game is in Tampa Bay, at this point one of the most likely candidates for a repatriation bid? No, I thought. The league would not appreciate that. Too pushy.
But, I have been informed, by the mastermind behind this site, that Quebec Nordiques fans have turned up, en masse, at NY Islanders games (the Isles being one of the most likely candidates for relocation). As many as 5000 at one game, I am told.
Well, well, well, isn’t that interesting? So, yeah, why not send Expos fans to every Sunday night game this year. It;s a small expense compared to the hundreds of millions that are going to have to be flushed out if the Expos are to return to Montreal.
On Sunday, August 24, the Blue Jays host the Tampa Bat Rays. At present, first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 PM. But ESPN has yet to announce what game they will air on August 24. Their announced schedule only goes sup until July 20. I assume that ESPN has the power to move games into the Sunday night slot, the same way NBC does with the NFL Sunday night game. So, it’s not impossible that the Jays/Rays August 24 game could be moved .
That would open the door for thousands and thousand of Expos fans to invade Trawna and tell Mairka that we want our team back. It would behoove the Jays to play along, maybe even give out free Expos jerseys to everyone in attendance. Montreal vs Trawna is the most natural rivalry in the world, no matter what the sport.
The Jays, however, are owned by Rogers, one of Canada’s big three telecoms. If the Expos are t return to Montreal, Bell, another of those three massive Canadian telecoms, just might be the ones to bring them back. Would Rogers and its Jays play along on this one if it helps its biggest rival? Hard to imagine, but you just never know. The plot thickens!
Or maybe this is all just nonsense, the product of an overactive imagination.
One thing I do know for sure – the guys behind the Montreal Baseball Project are, as I write, lining up at polling stations to vote in Quebec’s provincial electin. They are encouraging all Expos fans to get out and vote for the federalist Liberal party, because if the separatist Parti Quebecois get a majority there will be another independence referendum , and that will but the kibosh on any dream of seeing the Commissioners Trophy in Montreal one day