Note from Chuck Booth: I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.) To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on Twitter)- The Montreal Expos were a model franchise from 1979-1994. They only finished under .500 in 3 seasons out of 15 in this stretch of time. The club simply drafted better than any other Major League team. Long before the Oakland Athletics and Billy Beane came up with MoneyBall, or the Minnesota Twins, Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays showed us that you can have good runs with your baseball teams on a shoe string budget, the Expos wrote the book on it. The Expos were forced to trade away their best talent when they came up for free agency or lose them outright. There was no way the team could ever re-sign the players. It wasn’t even in question. The province of Quebec said good-bye to Hall of Famers: Pedro Martinez, Vlad Guerrero, Tim Raines and Andre Dawson in the prime of their careers with nothing back in return as Free Agents.
Gary Carter was the 1st great player to be traded by the club after the 1984 season. Other great players like Larry Walker, Marquis Grissom, Moises Alou and John Wetteland were jettisoned out the door as part of a 1995 Firesale after the strike/lockout because the team could not pay them after a massive loss in revenue at the end of the 1994 season. With the clock ticking on the Expos brass (financially as soon as the lockout was lifted) the ownership could not pay the bills! It is a sad commentary on this franchise that the two big work stoppages in 1981 and 1994 stifled this franchise-perhaps the most out of any team in the MLB. It all ended up costing the Expos the team and/or a chance to build a brand new ballpark in the downtown core to ever revitalize the interest of the avid baseball enthusiasts in Montreal. This fan base had suffered enough and they made the baseball club pay for it at the turnstiles. They had suffered 7 losing seasons at Jarry Park, a 2 billion dollar scam gone wrong in what was Olympic Stadium, a park that was supposed to be a modern-aged retractable roof that never materialized at all and Quebec was left with the bill. I don’t blame the fans for walking away from the game after the 1994 strike. They had supported the team through many of trials an tribulations-only to be disappointed time and time again by the economics of baseball.
There is a lot more of this article past the video clip, just click on: READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY
For Part 1 of the Article Series, The Expos Hitters: click here
For Part 2 of the Article Series, The Expos Pitchers: click here
For Part 4 of the Article Series, The Washington Nationals Franchise 2005-2012: click here
For Part 5 of the Article Series, The Nats Best 25 Man Roster 2005-2012 click here
A nice tribute video to the club!