I Reminisce Over Les Expos
There is a great article in the Toronto Star today that reminisces about the 1994 Montreal Expos.
When the plug got pulled that first season of six-division, wild-card baseball, the Expos were 74-40, headed for something like 105 wins. Then-Expos skipper Felipe Alou said this past week: 'When you have a club getting better in August ... that was an awesome feeling. We were dominating everybody. Nobody could play with us.''
[The Expos would] have 29 of their final 48 games at Olympic Stadium, where crowds, warming to the occasion, had started to routinely clear 35,000.
35,000 fans at the Big O boggles the mind now, where average attendence in 2004 is just over 12,000 fans per game (and is probably up from the last two years because this is most likely the last year the Expos will be in Montreal).
It may seem strange to think that a strike 10 years ago has contributed to the imminent departure of the Expos from Montreal. It is surely the case, however, and The Book of Mike details why.
Of course, given that Major League Baseball (MLB) has failed to make a decision about the future of the Expos for several years has given fans of the team fewer and fewer reasons to come out and support them. Why would anyone support a team that plays many of its "home" games in Puerto Rico, is almost certainly leaving--but nobody is sure when, or to where, and loses its many good players because it can't afford them, thanks to the MLB ownership group?
Feh, I say. But take it from the former players... as Pedro Martinez puts it,
I feel sad about the whole story, the way Montreal turned out. That's the best city I ever played in and my memories of the fans are incredible.