With the Toronto Blue Jays making a big splash in the off-season I got really excited for the upcoming baseball season, but it also had me day dreaming about the team that made many people fall in love with, but also broke many of their hearts, the Montreal Expos, nos amours. The Montreal Expos started their first season in 1969 and was a true gem in the eyes of Montrealers, Canadians and baseball fans, nevertheless with a lot of bad luck after the 94 strike the Expos left town after the 2004 season which created a hole in many of our hearts. This post however is not about how sad or angry I am about losing the Expos, it is about the happy thoughts that come to mind and about the great times I had in the cavarness Olympic Stadium with the team I loved and enjoyed going to see. Before I go down memory lane in the BIG O I need to share some history in to how and why I started to like baseball and the Spos.
The term “looks good on paper” is thrown around quite frequently in sports and this baseball off-season has not been any different with a possible change coming this MLB season. The AL East is part of this possible change with the new dominant team being the Toronto Blue Jays; well at least “on paper” they look like the new dominant leader of the AL East. Anyone who knows baseball will agree that the American League East is the hardest division for any team to play in with the Red Sox and Yankees who are always paying top dollar for players to come to these respective clubs; but that is not all, in recent years the Tampa Bay Rays have built a strong team to contend with through their farm system and it has shown great results with 3 playoff appearances and making it to the World Series in 2008 only to lose it to the Phillies. There is also the Baltimore Orioles who made the playoffs last year like the Rays through a farm system and a few trades that made that team very successful last year. So where does this leave the Jays? Well they have not had a first place win since 1993 when they won the World Series, and the last time they were in second place was 2006 and they were still 10 games back of first place so it has been a significantly long time since the Jays were a threat. With this season being full of injuries and a 73-89 record to finish this season off things were looking grim, even on paper things looked bad with the Jays needing to fill major holes such as starting pitch and holes in the middle infield even with the players like Jose Bautista who were injured over the season, returning the team looked like it was doomed to repeat itself. Continue reading