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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keri: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite

Or: How I Learned To Love Them Even Though They Stole My Team

The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch their division this season…. Throughout the 2014 campaign, the Nats have conjured late-inning heroics and convincing blowouts alike while building the best record in the National League, and at 87-64, they’ve still got a shot at matching the 98-win 2012 Nationals for the best record in franchise history.1

That’s a damn miracle, considering that just five years ago this was the worst franchise in baseball, and a way station for the damned.

boteman Posted: September 18, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, grantland, jonah keri, nationals

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What if the Expos won the 1994 World Series?

I don’t want to live in a world where Loria’s glorious home run machine in Miami doesn’t exist.

World Series champions always experience an attendance craze in the following season, sometimes several seasons. With the revenue increase down the stretch in 1994 with postseason games and everything, isn’t it possible the Expos kept the core together?

If so, the Expos don’t alienate their fan base and finish last in 1995. That’s a whole different ballgame now.

It was obvious the Expos needed a new stadium with a better location, and it’s also possible that a World Series championship (or more, should they have kept the band together) would have provided the momentum necessary to get Labatt Park built.

And if that happened, Montreal may have been able to keep supporting the Expos to this day.

The implications seem infinite.

As far as the Expos not becoming the Nationals, Washington, DC, would still be without a team, but maybe the threat of moving to DC would be real enough to have created better leverage in stadium situations for the Rays and/or A’s.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:41 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, expos, strike, work stoppage

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bud Selig: Montreal ‘excellent’ choice for return

IF the build a fantastic new stadium.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig can envision Montreal making a bid to return to the major leagues…

“I think they would be an excellent candidate in the future. No question about it. That was very impressive,” Selig said Tuesday during a question-and-answer session with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

“They have much work to be done,” he said. “There’s certainly in my case no hard or angry feeling toward Montreal. We tried to keep a team there. It’s a long story now. But I thought that was marvelous.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM | 123 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, expansion, expos, montreal, relocation

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Friday, January 20, 2012

Q&A: Larry Walker on his Hall of Fame snub

“Mr. Walker is not a suspect…We don’t know if the person was killed at the site or if his body was dumped there.”

CBCSports.ca: Who’s more upset about your low vote total in the second year of your 15 years of eligibility: you or your family, friends and former teammates with Colorado and Montreal?

LW: I don’t think it bothers me a lot. Why am I going to get my feathers all ruffled over something that’s out of my control? Obviously, it would be an amazing honour.

Some people have pointed some things out to me that made me wonder. [Designated hitter] Edgar Martinez [only played 592 of his 2,055 career games in the field] and he’s getting twice as many votes as me [36.5 per cent to Walker’s 22.9 per cent]. Is Edgar Martinez twice the better player than me?

Not to pat myself on the back but I think I was as good as Edgar Martinez.

But I’m not going to rack my brain. I’m sure there’s people that are in the Hall of Fame that a lot people think shouldn’t be there or some that should be there and aren’t.

CBCSports.ca: The knock against you when people say Larry Walker shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame is that you played 10 of your 17 seasons at hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. But a lot of times players can’t control where they play, right?

LW: I was in the big leagues, man. Are you she—-in me? You can’t always pick where you go or what happens. You just roll with the friggin’ punches. I was in the dugout trying to beat the other 25 guys in the dugout beside us. That’s all I tried to do. I can’t control where I’m at and the numbers that go up. Every ballpark has its quirks.

If you read something in the paper or a magazine or hear something on TV, whether it’s negative or positive, people tend to want to go that way with it. If what was being printed all this time was ‘Walker deserves the [Hall of Fame nod], he’s going to make it,’ I bet my percentage would be a lot higher. But all you hear about is Coors Field. That’s all I’ve heard since my first game in Denver [in 1995].

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2012 at 06:51 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, rockies

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Sunday, January 15, 2012

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Chimelis: Baseball Hall of Fame final four: Bagwell, Morris, Larkin, McGriff

Keri, Burley, Sager and Tango. Nothing to see here, just move along. (gulp)

Now, for the many borderliners I rejected:

...Tim Raines. My first instinct was to vote for Raines, who ranks fifth all-time in steals with 808.

Unlike saves, steals have been been meaningful for 140 years. Raines had six straight 70-steal seasons.

He had a cocaine problem early in his career. I could get past that.

Raines played 23 years. I don’t think that would have happened had he not kicked the habit - and if he did beat the demon, good for him.

But if Raines gets in because he is fifth in steals, what about Vince Coleman, who is sixth?

That’s why I talked myself out of it.

 

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2011 at 06:46 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics

Monday, December 12, 2011

THT: Jaffe: The Cooperstown case for Tim Raines

Jaffe’s latest HOF biz…

The future for Tim Raines

Despite his lackluster ballot debut, my hunch is that Raines will go into Cooperstown eventually. After debuting with 24 percent in 2008, he sprang up to 38 percent in 2011, and he’s a very good bet to rise up much more this year (as should all the backlog).

Furthermore, down the road Raines will be helped because he’ll have a case like no one else.

The ballot looks like it will be littered with powerful sluggers and some good pitchers— along with a few others fitting various styles—but who else will have 800-plus steals? Raines will stand out, and that will help him.

Best of all, his case is strong enough to help him. Yeah, that does matter.

There is a downside. In 2013, the ballot goes crazy with a huge list of super candidates all arriving, and some of them will stick around due to the steroids controversy. Beginning in 2013, no one from the backlog will go in for several years.

Yes, but Raines will have 10 more tries, and his is a high-quality case. It’s possible the BBWAA won’t elect him.

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, hall of fame, history, projections, sabermetrics

Friday, December 02, 2011

Omar Minaya hired by San Diego Padres for undisclosed front office position

I get my Naval Base Percentage from San Diego!

A year after seeing his five-year stint as Mets general manager end with a thud, Omar Minaya is back in the baseball biz after being hired by the San Diego Padres to an undisclosed front office position.

The move, first reported by SI.com, will most likely see Minaya in an advisory role to Padres GM Josh Byrnes and deal with scouting – particularly in Latin America – and trades.

Minaya, 53, who was fired by the Mets in October 2010, was the Amazins GM from 2005 through the 2010 season and saw his share of ups and downs in Queens.

Repoz Posted: December 02, 2011 at 09:41 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, mets, padres, sabermetrics

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Sox could bring on Omar Minaya to baseball ops staff

Well, we know where he learned obp from…ops, I’m not quite sure.

With the Red Sox considering changes in baseball operations, including in international scouting, is it possible Omar Minaya could be added to the staff? According to a source, the Sox may be interested in Minaya for a position in the organization.

...Minaya was appointed GM of the Mets on Sept. 30, 2004, a position he held until the end of the 2010 season, when he was let go with two years remaining on his contract.  He was not with a team in 2011, and still has one year remaining on his Mets contract, which would not affect the Sox’ ability to hire him. If he were to join the Sox, the money owed him by the Mets would be reduced by the amount of his Sox salary for 2012.

“He’s a versatile experienced baseball man,” said one major league executive. “He can scout and knows Latin America. He’s a good evaluator with good people skills and a creative mind. He’s not afraid to think outside the box. He’s aggressive. He likes players.”

Repoz Posted: November 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: business, expos, history, mets, red sox

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Charlie Lea, former major league pitcher, found dead at Collierville home

Charlie Lea...RIP.

Former major league pitcher Charlie Lea, a star at Kingsbury High and then-Memphis State University before embarking on a successful pro career, was found dead in his Collierville home Friday. He was 54.

Collierville Police Chief Larry Goodwin said Lea died of a suspected heart attack.

Winner of 62 games in an eight-year major league career that ended with the Minnesota Twins in 1988, Lea pitched a no-hitter for the Montreal Expos against the San Francisco Giants in 1981, and was the starting and winning pitcher for the National League in the 1984 All-Star Game.

Repoz Posted: November 12, 2011 at 04:38 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, obituaries, twins

Saturday, November 05, 2011

ESPN: Kurkjian: O’s, Dan Duquette near deal

The Baltimore Orioles are close to officially naming Dan Duquette as their next general manager, two sources confirmed Saturday.

Duquette, formerly a GM for the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, interviewed in Baltimore Friday and was traveling to Baltimore Saturday to finalize a contract.

The twilight’s last gleaming?

villageidiom Posted: November 05, 2011 at 06:21 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, expos, international, orioles, red sox, rumors

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Cardboard appreciation: 1976 Topps Mickey Scott

Remembering Mickey Scott...

Scott continued to live in Binghamton after his career. He opened a bar, called “Mickey’s Mound,” which I remember driving by when I was a teenager, having no idea that it was Mickey SCOTT’s Mound. I wonder how the conversation would have went if I asked my folks if we could just pop into a bar to see if a former major leaguer was there. (Mickey’s Mound is now The Brass Lantern Tavern).

Scott pitched for a Yankees farm team, the Binghamton Triplets, during the 1960s, and kept his connections to the Yankees after his career, working in various capacities. Yankees manager Billy Martin often frequented Scott’s bar.

But on Sunday, Scott went out to rake leaves. He never returned. His lifeless body was found slumped over outside of his home in Binghamton. Relatives believe he suffered a heart attack or stroke. Mickey Scott was 64.

In this article, Scott’s sister calls her brother a “super, super guy” and “fun-loving.” “Mickey was a hell-raiser, but everyone had good things to say about him,” she said.

Hell-raiser indeed. His card sure raised hell with me in that basement in 1976.

 

Repoz Posted: November 03, 2011 at 11:51 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, expos, history, obituaries, orioles

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FanGraphs: Carruth: Ron Hunt Got Hit Like Nobody Else

In contrast, consider Ron Hunt. A second baseman during the expansion era, Hunt made a couple All Star games but otherwise made little dent in baseball history, except in being hit by pitches. Ron Hunt was hit 50 times in 1971, which destroyed the previous record by a whopping 19. That number is made more interesting to me by Hunt’s 58 walks and his 41 strikeouts. He was hit more often than he struck out! That’s an incredibly rare, if not, unprecedented achievement over a full season. Hunt’s 50 times reaching base via getting hit accounted for almost 20% of his OBP. If, somehow, all 50 of those had been outs instead, Hunt’s OBP would have been 80 points lower.

While 1971 was the clear pinnacle, it was by no means unique for Hunt who led the league in HBPs for seven straight seasons despite usually playing only about 120 games a year. Past the Hughie Jennings era, nobody has a higher HBP per game rate than Hunt though two recent players, F.P. Santangelo and Carlos Quentin, do have slightly higher HBP/PA rates over shorter careers. Quentin’s might be difficult to keep up now that HBPs have stopped their mid-2000s climb.

Over Hunt’s career he ended up with 243 HBPs, 555 walks and just 382 strikeouts. Hit by pitches accounted for over 20%. Only Fernando Vina has managed to have a similar combination of the three, though he had many fewer walks and played during a time (the “Steroid era”) that had about 60% more HBPs than Hunt’s mid-60s to mid-70s time frame. Overall, I’m not sure that contextually, there a player that made a bigger use of getting hit than Ron Hunt.

Dent little? Again with the Yankee/Met biz! Hunt - OPS+104 ~ Dent - OPS+74. .......oh, sorry.

Repoz Posted: October 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, expos, giants, history, mets

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

L.A. Times: Frank McCourt goes on a fishing expedition

On deck in the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case: the Florida Marlins?

Could be, if Frank McCourt gets his way. As the bankruptcy proceedings increasingly resemble a grudge match cloaked in legal briefs, with Bud Selig threatening to banish the Dodgers from the league in order to rid it of McCourt, the Dodgers’ owner might respond by trying to take down the commissioner.

The Marlins could be in the collateral damage.

In July, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross wrote of what he called “the underlying feud between the Commissioner and … Frank McCourt” and added: “It appears that their dispute will shortly be before the Court.”

Game on.

Selig’s argument for kicking out McCourt boils down to this: You consented to our rules, you broke our rules, and we don’t want you in our club any more.

“Compliance with the Baseball Agreements is the price of membership in Major League Baseball,” league attorneys wrote in a court filing Friday.

And what is most prominent among Selig’s grievances?

“A Club owner must be well-capitalized and cannot use the team as a personal ‘cash cow,’ ” the filing read.

That could bring us to the Marlins — perhaps uncomfortably for Selig, and for Jeffrey Loria, the team’s owner.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Said The Gramophone: The Chills and Genesis

The Dunedin Sound to The Sound of Eden Done…

For most of his life, my brother believed that there was a direct correlation between the Montreal Expos’ fortunes and his own. (Given my brother’s occasional happiness and success, the theory was dubious from the start, and it would finally be disproved in 2004 when the Expos were given a name-change and moved to Washington and he was not.) In 1981, the Expos made the playoffs for the first and only time in franchise history, but were defeated by the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. The final game, which was played on a drizzly Monday and was decided by a late-game home-run by Rick Monday, would come to be known by Expos fans as Blue Monday.

My sister was never a sports fan. She preferred art to athletics and my earliest memories of her are my earliest musical memories: “Blue Monday” or the Happy Mondays or The Chills emanating muffled through the closed door of her room - music that has persistently shaped my understanding of how the world sounded at the time I came into it.

Ten years after Blue Monday, I cared a lot more about Fernando Velenzuala than I did about The Chills. Ten years after that, baseball had lost its appeal and music had replaced it in the forefront of my mind. Nearly ten years hence, I think about music less than I used to and baseball almost not at all, though I still derive great pleasure from The Chills and can’t help but think of Fernando Velenzuala as I listen.

Repoz Posted: September 02, 2011 at 09:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, expos, history, international, music, nationals

Thursday, September 01, 2011

al.com: Former Olympic baseball player charged with making meth near Loxley school

It’s B.J. Wallace.

Billy Lyle “BJ” Wallace Jr., 40, and Amber Sheree McKenzie, 29, were being held in Baldwin County Corrections Center as of Wednesday, both charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wallace, a Monroeville native, pitched for the U.S. team in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and the Montreal Expos picked him third in that year’s amateur draft, signing the left-hander for $550,000, according to baseball-reference.com and Press-Register archives.

He set an Olympic record for strikeouts in a game by fanning 14 in a win over Italy, but he never reached the major leagues. ...

While his professional baseball career never prospered, Wallace put up impressive numbers in organized baseball.

In 1992, Wallace set a Mississippi State University school record with 145 strikeouts, according to baseball-reference.com.

Greg Franklin Posted: September 01, 2011 at 04:03 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: college, expos, olympics

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-23-2011

22 years ago today:

                1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9  10 11 12  13 14 15  16 17 18  19 20 21  22    R  H  E
                -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -   -    -  -  -
Dodgers         0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   1    1 20  1
Expos           0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0    0 13  1


AP via Pittsburgh Post Gazette, August 25, 1989:

The score was 0-0 in the top of the 22nd inning, the game was six hours old, and Rick Dempsey, at 39 the oldest player on the field, was ready to go home.  He stepped to the plate against Dennis Martinez and ended the second longest shutout ever.

...

The six Expos pitchers…did not allow a walk, setting a National League record [for most innings in one game without walking a batter].

The only ejection that night was Youppi!, who got tossed for messing with Tommy Lasorda.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 23, 2011 at 09:01 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, dugout, expos, game recaps, history

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brochu: We may dream, but time has passed the Expos by

Where even the Montreal Brochure gets cut short…

MLB would have difficulty justifying the location of a franchise in a city that would require revenue sharing subsidies from the beginning. A new franchise would need to be a contributor to revenue-sharing, not a recipient. Given our levels of disposable income and wealth in Montreal, and the knowledge that the Toronto Blue Jays receive significant revenue-sharing support, the bar would be set very high for potential Montreal investors looking to bring a franchise to Montreal.

Major League Baseball did not succeed at Olympic Stadium; nor would it be successful at the Hippodrome, the former Blue Bonnets site. To attract the all-important corporate clientele, a new ballpark would need to be built in the downtown area. The real estate that was available in and around the Peel St. basin is no longer available.

...Every baseball fan in Montreal has an explanation for the loss of the Expos. Some go back to Blue Monday, others to the lost 1994 season, others the fire sale in the spring of 1995, still others to the explosion of player salaries and our inability to compete, the absence of political will municipally and in the premier’s office, and, oh yes, me.

All of these opinions are valid to a point. But baseball is a business and it needs to be successful as a business to prosper and survive. It is as a business that the Expos failed, not on the field. And that responsibility rests with the ownership at the time.

We can dream of recapturing what was; unfortunately, time has passed us by.

Repoz Posted: August 13, 2011 at 01:13 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: business, expos, history, media

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Montreal Gazette: Diamond dream alive in Quebec City

Keri est toujours sur le qui-vive.

Playing host to ALS Quebec’s sixth annual Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday, Municipal Stadium in Quebec City - home to the independent Can-Am League’s Quebec Capitales - couldn’t have been a more ideal setting. On hand to lend their support for the cause were former Expos Tim Raines, Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou and Denis Boucher. Former Canadiens captain Vincent Damphousse, a spokesperson for ALS Quebec, also suited up for the game.

This marked the first year the event took place in Quebec City, after five years at Montreal’s Jarry Park. .....

The Capitales are doing their part to keep professional baseball alive in the province. Recently, the team unveiled a Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame section in the stadium, complete with painted plaques of all the members. Throughout the corridors of the stadium, special tributes are paid to Quebec baseball pioneers and heroes.

The right-field wall pays homage to the Expos, listing the franchise’s retired numbers - Gary Carter’s No. 8, Andre Dawson and Rusty Staub’s No. 10, and Raines’s No. 30 - and acknowledges the 1994 Expos as the best team in baseball for that season, which was cut short because of a players’ strike.

Greg Franklin Posted: August 09, 2011 at 08:58 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, history, memorabilia

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Montreal Gazette: Riding with the Spaceman

Wadda ride with Bill Lee! More fun than a mesced-up Mint 400 off-road motorbike race!

As Bill Lee often says, it’s about the journey, not the destination. And the crowning achievement of the former Expos pitcher’s rather eventful journey may very well be a planned feature film about his life.

Have Glove, will Travel is scheduled to start shooting next year. Filmmaker Brett Rapkin has already written the script, adapted from two Lee biographies.

This week, Rapkin and Lee, along with Lee’s wife Diana, daughter Anna, and two attachés from the City of Montreal’s film and television office, toured the city scouting film locations.

...9: 30 a.m.: Gibbys Restaurant, Old Montreal

“Unbelievable place. Could be a great place (in the movie) where I break up with my wife. When she gives me the boot. She took all three kids. But she left me with my shotguns and the Volkswagen camper. And the Salvador Dali paintings.”

...1: 05 p.m.: Brasserie 77 (now the “99”).

...“I had four beers. After the game got close, and I knew they needed a left-handed reliever because they had used (Woodie) Fryman, I came back to the ballpark. I only had four beers. I wasn’t lit, I was perfect. That’s the way I played.

“Hell, I beat Catfish Hunter after having seven beers.”

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, history, media, red sox

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Matador Sports: Top 10 Worst MLB Owners of All Time

1.  Harry Frazee, Red Sox

Baseball has always been a business, as evidenced by Frazee’s tenure as owner of the Sox. He bought the team for $400,000 in 1917 and sold it for $1.5 million in 1923, peddling his best players in the meantime to finance his theatrical investments. His favorite trade partner was the Yankees, who received Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Everett Scott, and infamously, Babe Ruth. After Ruth’s departure in 1919, the team wouldn’t reach .500 again until 1934, while the Yankees won four World Series titles during that period. Not even the 1918 World Series title, which was won with players inherited by Frazee, excuses his moves as the owner.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 29, 2011 at 08:12 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, dodgers, expos, mariners, miami, orioles, phillies, rangers, red sox, reds, royals

 

 

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