One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Johnny Damon, New York Yankee

Enough time has passed, so I should probably post once again! I have been meaning to for a while now. Anyway...

The big news is that Johnny Damon, probably the biggest name on the free agent market this offseason, is now officially a New York Yankee. Without a doubt, a shot was heard 'round the world in Red Sox Nation. Upon briefly checking out their MLB forum, there was plenty of disgust to go around, since he signed with THE rival team. So when his first at bat in Fenway rolls around next year, I'm sure the boos will outweigh the cheers. Cheers coming from the people who are nice enough to thank him for his service as a Red Sock. Cheers Orlando Cabrera received plenty of, as a member of a non rival team.

Personally I would have preferred seeing him go to another team, but it really doesn't make a difference to me, as I am not a hardcore Red Sox fan. And he was my favourite Red Sock, due to his quirky personality (not his hair, heck no! Which is now much better clean cut, even if that was in recent years his identity), also his batting stance is quite similar to mine. One quote of his which stuck, was "I'm gaining weight the right way: drinking beer". Although I rarely drink, it is good to know some aren't using 'roids. Damon had been alleged, but when he was on Conan he said he was fully grown into a mans body by age 15, or thereabouts. This I believe also was in his book.

So these days are definitely not like those of yesteryear, where money wasn't as big an issue. I'm sure it was even going back many decades, but not in the same way as today at all. I'm one hundred percent sure Red Sox fans would have preferred to see him as a Dodger, even if that was just no more than a rumour, or anywhere else for that matter. I remember hearing at some point in the 2005 season how someone said George Steinbrenner likes Johnny Damon, so it comes as no surprise. I believe now the Yankees will have a better shot at a WS title, however, more likely, the Blue Jays, and Orioles, maybe even the Devil Rays (!!!) will have a better shot at the wildcard in 2006.

Further Reading:

Yanks Add Centerpiece in Damon (New York Times - December 21)

Damon jumps to Yankees (Boston Globe - December 21)

It's Damon's Turn at Center of a Yankees Myth (New York Times - December 27)

Johnny Damon at Wikipedia

The first two are New York Times, and Boston Globe articles announcing the trade, as being official, next is a good read about NYY centerfielders. Finally Johnny Damon's article at Wikipedia. If it is needed to register to view either of the first three articles, I recommend BugMeNot

My next post in the upcoming days will be about former Expos that are no longer in Washington. Most recently of note, Brad Wilkerson.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Marlins will explore relocation/Everything must go!

Explore they will. And that comes as no surprise to Montreal Expos fans who have gone through that process, and had to deal with it. Jeffrey Loria and David Samson, the ones who essentially made Montreal a lame duck team (among others) are at it again in So. Florida! Now Marlins fans know what we went through! The way it looks now is that they will stick around in Dolphins Stadium until the end of the 2007 season when their lease expires, or 2010 at the very longest when their series of leases expires. But it sounds more likely the former. So, unless a stadium deal gets finalised, looks like they will become the Las Vegas Gamblers, or the Portland Western Meadowlarks. East Rutherford, N.J., Puerto Rico, and also Monterrey, Mexico are also interested. That makes five, and David Samson says seven cities, counting South Florida, have expressed interest in building a new stadium for the team.

Had Loria not let the lease expire on the downtown Montreal lot where a new stadium was going to be built, this is where Vlad should have been hitting homers. Instead condos are going up. Talk about an eyesore!

So as it is, it sounds like the Expos all over again, but wait, there's more! A mere day after it was announced that the Marlins would explore relocation, even though it was unofficial prior to that, as they needed a new stadium, Carlos Delgado is shipped to the Mets for three no name players (1B Mike Jacobs, RHP Yusmeiro Petit and INF Grant Psomas). Reason: Marlins are financially strapped. The day after that, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota are sent to the Red Sox for four no name players (SS Hanley Ramirez, RHP Anibal Sanchez, RHP Harvey Garcia, and RHP Jesus Delgado). Reason for Lowell: his future with the team depended on a new ballpark, he apparently understands Loria's predicament in a low revenue generating stadium.

Next up, Luis Castillo is off to the Twins for RHP Travis Bowyer and RHP Scott Tyler. And finally... Paul Lo Duca is off to the Mets for RHP Gaby Hernandez and another pitcher to be named later. Reason: "The Marlins continued their salary purge." Juan Pierre is expected to be traded by the end of the Winter Meetings. So obviously they are loading up for the future (a future elsewhere?), with young players. Not counting Juan Pierre, that is 4949 games of experience traded away for a whopping 40 in return!

So with all those star players gone, I imagine they'll make the money back with loads of people heading out to the ballpark to see the young players! Seriously though, the Marlins fire sale is very reminiscent of the Expos over the years, and also after the Marlins won the World Series in 1997. It will also be interesting to see what the 2006 New York Mets payroll will be. Possibly creeping close to the Red Sox for second on that list. I'm not even going to try and bother doing the math on that! Anyway, maybe the Next Year is Now Mets should have been the Next Year is Next Year Mets. Meaning, maybe 2006 will give them a better shot at the postseason. I can tell you one team that won't be in it, yes, you guessed it, the Florida Marlins. NL East is now officialy four teams!

This just in David Samson paid a visit to San Antonio. He is also expected to visit Las Vegas, Portland, oh and a few other cities he did not disclose. That was fast!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

One month later, much to discuss!

One month later, I am back posting! I have been meaning to write since the WS ended, as that is when all the free agent, and moving about of players started. Those who frequent Wikipedia may know that a good amount of depth can be found there, by that I mean much more than a single entry on baseball. With that said, they have a good article about the different types of transactions, it can be found here.

So onto the goings on of the off season. Four days after winning the WS, the White Sox declined the club option on Carl Everett, and exercised the 2006 player option on Frank Thomas. Four days after that, the White Sox exercised a buyout of Frank Thomas' player option. Therefore he became a free agent. Cliff Politte and Chris Widger will remain for at least a year, well, for now anyway.

The big CWS deal is Jim Thome heading back to the AL to play for the South Side, along with cash considerations, in exchange for Aaron Rowand, LHP Dan Haigwood and a Minor League player to be named later, who'll be heading to Philadelphia.


Declining has been going on since the regular season ended, some of note, in chronological order:

October 7th: Minnesota Twins: Declined the 2006 club option on P Joe Mays.

October 13th: Toronto Blue Jays: C Ken Huckaby and INF Frank Menechino are free agents after declining assignments to Triple A Syracuse.

October 25th: Pittsburgh Pirates: Declined the club option on RHP Jose Mesa making him a free agent.

October 28th: Cincinnati Reds: The Reds and INF Rich Aurilia mutually agreed to decline his 2006 contract option.

Chicago Cubs: Declined a mutual option on OF Jeromy Burnitz.

November 1st: Florida Marlins: Declined the club option on RHP Antonio Alfonseca.

Oakland Athletics: Decline to exercise contract option on DH Scott Hatteberg for the 2006 season.

Seattle Mariners: Declined the club option on the contracts of INF Pokey Reese, a member of the 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series champions.

November 8th: New York Yankees: Declined the club option on 1B Tino Martinez.

November 10th: St. Louis Cardinals: Declined club option on OF Larry Walker, making him a free agent. Will be interesting to see if he plays again, and where he may end up if he does.

And finally...

November 15th: New York Mets: Declined options on LHP Felix Heredia and LHP Kazuhisa Ishii.

Alright, I'll end this post now. I'll post again soon talking about the possibly doomed Florida Marlins! As well as other transactions happening, and whatever else I can think of.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series Champions

One day shy of a year after the Red Sox won their first World Series title in 86 years, the Chicago White Sox win their first in 88 years!

Turned out game 4 had the best pitchers duel, when it was probably least expected. Which made for an entertaining game. I believe Phil Garner will, or rather has been, under fire from fans and media for some decisions, but getting the Astros to the WS, and last year to the NLCS, and almost the WS is still quite an accomplishment.

To see the look of disappointment on George H.W. Bush's face, priceless! I think I may have been rooting more for the Astros to lose, but either way, that amounts to rooting for the White Sox. Both teams, the Astros, and White Sox beat the teams I wanted to see in the WS, the Cardinals, and Angels respectively. The White Sox also beat the Red Sox, which didn't really bother me that much, only reason I was rooting for them for the most part was if the Yankees beat the Angels. However I was happy to see the Angels beat the Yankees.

One thing worth mentioning that most highlight reels will skip, is Carl Everett's job in grounding out to second, to advance Willie Harris to third, who then scored on the next batter, Jermaine Dye's single to centerfield. This off closer Brad Lidge. Oh, yeah, and Carl Everett was an Expo for half a season! He was brought in as a replacement of sorts for Vladimir Guerrero. Had he played as well as he did with the White Sox when he was with the Expos, he would have been much closer to a Vlad replacement, but even then, Vlad is pretty much impossible to replace! In his first game back as a White Sock, July 19th, 2004, he went 2 for 5, drew on BB, and scored twice, including a solo homer!

Run differential was a mere +6 for the White Sox over the Astros, which tied the 1950 New York Yankees who swept the Philadelphia Phillies. The next three lowest run differentials in WS history goes as follows (all sweeps):

1963 +8 Los Angeles Dodgers over the New York Yankees
1914 +10 Boston Braves over the Philadelphia Athletics
1966 +11 Baltimore Orioles over the Los Angeles Dodgers

Maybe next year should be the Cubs turn! Regardless, it will be an interesting off season!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Game 3 Hero (Geoff Blum) Started in Montreal

As I write this now, game 4 remains scoreless. However, thanks to Geoff Blum, the hero from game 3, the White Sox have essentially guaranteed a World Series win.

Geoff Blum came in as a defensive substitution for Tadahito Iguchi in the bottom of the 13th. So with two out, Jermaine Dye singled, and Paul Konerko grounded into a 543 double play, Geoff Blum lined one out of Minute Maid Park in a hurry, and gave the White Sox a lead in the top of the 14th. What all the play by play people, FOX, the international feed, and journalists, would have mentioned, was that he was in San Diego this year before becoming a member of the White Sox, of course that he was an Astro as well, and went to Tampa Bay for game 4 starter, Brandon Backe, but more than likely, unless they went in depth, which I doubt in most cases, is that he started his career as a Montreal Expo. Of course it was also mentioned his first WS at bat was that one. His first postseason AB he popped out 2B Tony Graffanino, and stayed in the game at first base as a defensive substitution for Paul Konerko. Geoff Blum was selected in the 7th round of the free-agent draft, on June 2, 1994.

Two other former Expos made their 2005 postseason debuts last night, C Chris Widger, and RHP Dustin Hermanson. Chris Widger started in Seattle, but spent the most of his time in Montreal. He was traded with Trey Moore and Matt Wagner, in exchange for Jeff Fassero and Alex Pacheco, October 29th, 1996. Dustin Hermanson started in San Diego (originally selected by Pittsburgh in 1991, but did not sign), selected in the first round, 3rd overall in 1994, and found his way to Florida, November 21, 1996, and then along with Joe Orsulak went to Montreal, in exchange for Cliff Floyd.

All three were Montreal Expos together for a short time, in 1999 and 2000. However before that, Dustin Hermanson and Chris Widger were teammates from 1997 until 2000.

Dustin Hermanson was credited with the blown save last night, however in the end it did not matter. After allowing a game tying double to Jason Lane, he got Brad Ausmus out on strikes. Chris Widger struck out at his first at bat, but his next two he drew walks, the latter giving him an RBI, and an insurance run for the White Sox, their 7th, making it 7-5.

Orlando Hernandez made his 2005 WS debut last night as well, but that isn't too exciting as I have mentioned he had zero games played as an Expo, but he was an Expo, along with his brother Livan! Oh, and time wise, it was the longest World Series game ever, (tied innings wise, 14) and it broke a few other records! Alright, a few include walks by a team, Houston, overall walks, pitchers used by one team, Chicago, total pitchers used, total players used, and total LOB. That is what I remember.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

World Series game one.

Considerably different from last years game one that is for sure. One day shy of a year. This was definitely a pitchers duel in the making, Roger Clemens vs Jose Contreras. However in the end, the 'duel' only lasted 2 innings, as struggling Roger was pulled after 2IP 4H 3R 3ER 0BB 1SO and 1HR, due to his sore hamstring, his shortest WS start. And for the first time since game one of the ALCS Chicago did not pitch a complete game. Contreras lasted 7 innings, allowing 6H 3R 3ER 0BB 2SO and 1HR.

Not much else to say really. I am happy the Sox won, despite the fact they beat the Angels. Reason being I don't want the Astros to win. I was rooting for the Cardinals to make a big come from behind win, especially after Pujols' blast! However, to no avail, as Oswalt silenced them, and any momentum they had did not show. Pujols' home run will still go down in history, but would have been more meaningful if the Cardinals could have gone on to win the ALCS, which would have been nice!

As far as "God Bless America" goes, I felt Liz Phair's rendition was not quite that good. I'm not sure if it is as hard to sing as "The Star-Spangled Banner", but anyway, it is still better fit for voices such as Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who sings it at Yankee stadium. However since she is from Chicago, I imagine she couldn't resist the opportunity, especially if she is a Sox fan. And MLB would like the idea as well. Regardless, will be interesting to see who sings the anthem in the upcoming games (okay, maybe not!). Much moreso will be the next pitchers duel, Andy Pettitte versus Mark Buehrle. We shall see if the low scoring WS continues.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pujols (and Eckstein/Edmonds)!

Nice comeback! A mere strike away from their season being over, and David Eckstein gets a base hit. That base hit deserves loads of credit. Then Jim Edmonds draws a 5 pitch walk. Which sets up Albert Pujols for his huge home run, both literally and figuratively! 0-1 count, and Lidge threw a slider that hung there, and Pujols got all of it! See the homer and the rally!

I'm happy they managed to get the win, as I'd prefer to see the Cardinals in the WS. It would be nice to see Larry Walker, fellow Canadian, and ex Expo have the chance to get a WS victory. The Cardinals only have to win one more before being tied, if they can do so, possibly have momentum in their favour. All they have to do is look to last year, when the Red Sox were down 0-3, it makes being down 1-3 seem very doable!

Speaking of the Red Sox, Pedro Martinez won it all last year, and during the celebrations, in the locker room, he referred to the 1994 Expos, and how a part of the Red Sox championship is for us Expos fans. That was nice to see! So if Larry Walker and the Cards can get to the WS, and win, then that would be another Expo from that 1994 team winning it all! Not to mention, as I said earlier, a great way to end his career!

The only former Expos on the Astros is backup catcher Raul Chavez, and when he was with Montreal, he was always the third catcher, so he logged a mere 17 games in 2 and a quarter years.

St Louis also has Mark Grudzielanek, as far as former Expos go, and he was much more prominent than Raul Chavez! He was originally selected by the New York Mets, in the 17th round, but did not sign. Two years later, he was selected by Montreal in the 11th round. Not to forget Einar Diaz as well, who was the final Expos backup catcher. He has yet to log a postseason appearance this year.

If the Cards can make it to face the White Sox, Dustin Hermanson, Carl Everett, Orlando Hernandez (although as I mentioned in an earlier entry, he played 0 regular season games), Geoff Blum, and Chris Widger (also yet to have a postseason appearance) are the former Expos there.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

K E2

K E2, that was how it was ruled. Going back to last year, Boston in New York, for game 6 of the ALCS, the umpires two different times got together, and made the correct call. That was not the case last night.

The way I see it is probably the way Mike Scioscia saw it. And that being that A.J. Pierzynski was rung out by the home plate umpire, therefore he was out. And if the ball does hit the dirt, or touch the dirt, the catcher always makes the tag immediately after, and if need be, throw to first. Josh Paul knew he caught it, hence the routine of heading to the dugout. The umpires getting together obviously agreed it was not clearly caught. A.J. Pierzynski and the White Sox caught a break. So bottom line is the game ends with a controversial call that was wrong. Luckily it was not a game six or seven. Possibly it will give the Angels an extra boost to play better, and get more runs on the board.

Another thing I think of, is when catchers are involved in a play at the plate, they usually have respect for eachother, and won't slam into, or make a violent play. This sort of surprised me that A.J. Pierzynski ran after Paul caught it. In the postgame press conference, he said he ran when he didn't hear the umpire call him out, and he realised he wasn't tagged, that being why he started walking away before running to first. He also said something similar happened in San Francisco last year, he was catching, and the pitcher tried to bunt, didn't get it down, ran, and was called safe. From what I understood, the pitcher started walking towards the dugout (visiting dugout on the first base side), then ran to first. Anyway, view the postgame press conference at the ALCS video page.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Red Sox, they gone!

I'll start this entry with an Expos/Red Sox reference. (And I apologise for the White Sox announcers call reference used on the now swept Red Sox! Used when a White Sox pitcher strikes out an opposing batter.)

Watching game 5 of the Yankees versus the Angels, when Giambi got on base, Mark Bellhorn took over as pinch runner. He then got to second on the defensive indifference. So while there, he reunited, albeit not for that long, with his 2004 Boston teammate Orlando Cabrera, both of whom won the World Series almost one year ago. It is mostly a Red Sox reference, but prior to the trade, Orlando was an Expo since his MLB debut. It is small things like this I tend to notice.

Now onto post season baseball. When Boston got swept out of the playoffs, at that point I was rooting for the Angels again. Reason being, had the Yankees beat the Angels, I would not have been too upset, but this was assuming Boston would meet them in the ALCS, since they make for good games against eachother. So, it was good to see the Angels move on to the ALCS. Nice pitching performance by Ervin Santana, after Bartolo Colon only went one inning.

Ervin Santana I might add is 6'2" and 160 according to his player page at MLB, although he doesn't quite look 160, he looks like he may weigh a bit more. I add this because it reminds us not all ballplayers are built like Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, and Johnny Damon, to name a few! There are still some smaller (less muscular guys), like Ichiro, who still have pop! Especially former Expo Endy Chavez, but he isn't quite at Ichiro level! Regardless, Barry Bonds was once a small guy! Oh, and say no to steroids! Johnny Damon once said how he gains weight the proper way, drinking beer! Although I don't do that much either! Anyway...

Bartolo Colon was an Expo too, for the second half of 2002. That being one of Omar Minaya's bad trades, sending him, along with Jorge Nunez to the White Sox in exchange for for Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer. Orlando Hernandez pitched a grand total of zero (0) innings for Montreal. And Rocky Biddle, well, in late 2004, as a starter, he did well! Prior to that he did have some (some being the key word!) success as a closer!

Now, to get some Red Sox fans mad! First off, I was rooting for them in 2003 and 2004. Now the part to get them mad. Since they do have the second highest payroll in baseball, one can argue, what is wrong with baseball in the way everyone refers to the Yankees, can be thought of with the Red Sox too. Their payroll for 2005 was just shy of 60% of what the Yankees' was. The Yankees tipped the scale at $208,306,817, and the Red Sox at $123,505,125. So my point being, it is good to see the big money teams gone in a way. Although it was proved last year (and other times, but last years example is too good!) piles of money still won't buy an invinsible team. In close third is the "Next Year is Now" Mets, at $101,305,821. Bringing the New York MLB total to, three hundred nine million, six hundred twelve thousand, six hundred and thirty-eight dollars! Those three teams all have over one hundred million payrolls, however the Los Angeles Angels (yes,) of Anaheim, are in fourth with $97,725,322. Would be nice to see the Kansas City Royals or the Devil Rays win the World Series for payroll reasons! Why do I not see that happening anytime too soon!

Whew, now I am tired of typing!

The NL side is much briefer, and I'll elaborate further once game one of the NLCS is over. I was happy to see the Braves choke again, having won 14 consecutive titles (notice my previous post, in regards to the NL East), and only winning one World Series. Now that is a given, win the division, lose the NLDS. Now four years in a row they have lost the NLDS, and five of their last six. Their last NLCS appearance was in 2001, losing four games to one, against Arizona. Arizona went on to beat the Yankees, and win the W.S. Hats off, Luis Gonzalez! I'll end this entry now, and use game one of the NLCS to talk about those teams. As well as the ALCS once their game two is over. Tomorrow's game for the Angels will be their fourth consecutive playoff game.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Hunt for October

Okay, been a while since I posted, anyway... Now I should post more frequently as the regular season comes to a close. I'll also will attend a couple Toronto Blue Jays games versus the Kansas City Royals, so I can post some pictures, if I get any of interest. Possibly of the next big player to be shipped out of KC (Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, etc!), reminiscent of the Expos, unfortunately. No playoff implications, but it is still baseball.

Okay, so onto the hunt for October. Starting with the National League.

NL East

Looks like the Braves will take it again! Has looked that way for a while. I'd like to see the Phillies take it, although it doesn't look good, Atlanta won tonight, and Philadelphia lost, dropping them to 5 GB, and the magic number for the Braves is 3. Both with 7 games remaining. Had the Braves lost the division, maybe it would have been brought to people's attention that they were behind, and more than likely would have lost it in 94, if it weren't for the strike. So really (sort of), it will only be their 11th consecutive Division title, which is still good. Phillies are still looking good for the wildcard, but with a Houston win, they slip to 2 GB. Washington, and New York are on the outside looking in, with both of their elimination numbers being at 1. Florida's E# is 3, 5 GB for the wildcard, so they still could make it, but realistically speaking, they are on the outside looking in too.

NL Central

St Louis will be playing into October for sure, and it is looking like Houston may be in there as well. However it is not a given yet, and they have a tougher schedule than Philadelphia in the coming week. Two at St. Louis, and four home games hosting the Cubs. Whereas the Phillies host the Mets for three, and finish the season with three in Washington. On a personal note, I'd like to see Milwaukee end the season with another losing record, as I associate them with Bud Selig, and his daughter is there as well. They'll have to lose 5 of 8 to do so, here's hoping!

NL West

San Francisco lost today to Colorado, not exactly a game that should be lost trying to get to the postseason, and San Diego are winning right now, so with one game over .500 right now, SD will be heading to the post season. That's about it for an injury plagued NL West!

Onto the American League.

AL East

Boston or New York. It's anybody's guess as to who will win that division. Boston have one more against Baltimore, going for the sweep, then they host the Blue Jays for a four game series. New York has one more versus Toronto, the rubber match. Then they have a four game series in Baltimore. After those five games for each, they Red Sox are hosting the Yankees for the final three games. The Yankees may have it easier, as Boston will have four against Toronto. I say may, because it really is down to statistics. Which in a lot of cases is just that, statistics. My statistic being based on the first half, where Toronto played well against over .500 teams. Not sure how that stat is since the All Star Break. Earlier in the season, Terry Francona said how they could still be playing better, and I agree, well, I think they could have certainly cashed in better during the Yankees streaky first half. They ended a mere 3.5 games ahead of the Yankees. Will be interesting to see it play out.

AL Central

The American League Central is almost as close as the East, the hot Indians are only 1.5 GB the White Sox. At the All Star Break, they were 11 GB! Together the East and Central make for a good chase for the postseason.

AL West

It is looking good for Los Angeles to make the post season again, and if Oakland wants to play into October (besides the fact all teams will till October 2nd!), they'll have to catch L.A., as they are 6.5 GB right now for the wildcard, and their elimination number is 2. They won today, and it looks like L.A. will make it 8 straight. Oakland could easily catch L.A. however, as L.A. will visit Oakland for a four game series. Following which, L.A. ends their season with three in Texas, and Oakland ends with three in Seattle. So L.A. will need to keep their momentum, as Oakland will have a good opportunity to get the division. However if Vlad can get in MVP form for the last week, he could single handedly takes the Angels back to the post season like last year.

So all in all the AL final week will be the most exciting, with two teams from the East and Central battling it out, along with the AL West in their own race. Then the NL wildcard and East will be entertaining as well!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Vlad hits Number 300!

So after a drought of 16 games without a homer, or 61 ABs, Vladimir Guerrero becomes the 11th player to reach 300 under the age of 30. Many of those at bats were intentional walks, or pitching around him, even that is hard to do as Vlad can hit all over the strike zone, and put it outside the park.

On July 27th, Eric Hinske missed catching a foul ball hit by Vlad in his first at bat. Five pitches later, Vlad homered the opposite way. Obviously he made Eric Hinske wish he caught that foul ball, but my point is Vlad makes hitting home runs look very easy!

Check out homer number 300!

Saturday, September 03, 2005


All politics aside, as fellow human beings, I think everyone should help out in any way possible, the people suffering in the affected states. So I am taking a break from baseball to point anyone who comes upon this blog to some places they can help out.

American Red Cross - 1-800-HELP-NOW
Canadian Red Cross - 1-800-418-1111
Americares - 1-800-486-HELP
America's Second Harvest - 1-800-771-2303
Plan USA - 1-800-556-7918
Salvation Army - 1-800-SAL-ARMY
United Way

Major League Baseball has donated, as will the three other major sports leagues, if not already. So has Microsoft, and they have a page with even more links and addresses of many causes. All of what I just mentioned are ones that would be expected to help out.

As is the case with all disasters, it makes life all the more valuable.

If you the reader ever feels generous, or has some money to spare, there is always good causes out there that need support.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mark Bellhorn, the newest Yankee

After being designated for assignment, August 19th, the Yankees signed Mark Bellhorn to a Major League contract yesterday. He'll join Alan Embree in New York, who was released by the Red Sox, July 29th, and signed by the Yankees the very next day!

I remember watching the Angels at Boston, and Embree gave up four runs, just getting 1 out. At around that time, and a few other bad outings, many fans didn't want him any longer. To make an in blog reference, that is the game I first wrote about in the first entry of this blog! Not sure how they all feel about Mark Bellhorn, but probably most won't miss him, since he strikes out a lot, and doesn't have a high batting average, but can get some timely hitting. Some good examples of that go back to last years post season for Boston, the biggest being his three home run in game six. Those four runs in the fourth were enough to tie the series at 3 all. Anyway, point being, both players will always be remembered as being part of the historic 2004 Red Sox team.

So I'll leave it at that. It will interesting to see Bellhorn playing his former teammates when the two teams meet up again, September 9th through the 11th, at Yankee Stadium. Outside of game time however, they all remain friends.

David Ortiz's bunt single

Nine days late, but oh well. Anyway, I was watching Boston at Los Angeles, and in the top of the eighth, with two out, after Renteria hit a three tun home run, Ortiz was up, and the shift was on, and he just layed down a bunt, for the bunt single, and made it, since Chone Figgins was playing so deep. I probably would have wrote more had I posted this soon after the game! Anyway, point being it was funny to see Ortiz lay down the bunt. It payed off too, following a pitching change, Brendan Donnelly in for Paul Byrd, Manny Ramirez homered, and added some insurance. Those five runs were the first runs of the game, and L.A. only got one back in the bottom of the ninth.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Surprisingly, Vlad still one shy of 300!

So, I wasn't able to see the first two games of Boston versus Los Angeles. Although today and tomorrow I will be able to see them again. And as the title says, Vladimir Guerrero surprisingly hasn't hit number 300 yet. That makes five games without a homer. After hitting seven in the first half of August, it is understandable though. I still think he is due. Plus hitting them at home would be nice. I'll be watching on FOX, which I don't mind, unlike some. I find the Joe Buck, and Tim McCarver duo a little annoying, luckily they'll be doing the St. Louis game, so there'll be other play by play guys. To add some additional information to this post, the Angels won the first game, 13-4, and Boston won yesterday, 4-3 in 10 innings. Today Bronson Arroyo pitches versus Ervin Santana. Should be a pretty good matchup, and their win loss records are very close, Boston at 70-50, L.A. has two more losses.

Now, had baseball, etc. (Selig, Loria...) not messed up baseball in Montreal, which was a great baseball town in the past, we should be watching Vlad hit home run number 300 in a downtown Montreal ballpark, just behind the Bell Centre, with a nice view of the tall buildings of downtown! Instead, condos are going up in the lot! Bah, to condos, especially those ones!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vlad, one shy of 300 homers!

Much going on that is worth mentioning, so I'll get right to it!

I'll start off with Toronto at Los Angeles. I forgot to mention yesterday, but it is still relevant today, the fact that Vladimir Guerrero is one home run shy of his 300th. 234 of which came as an Expo. I am hoping he hits it tomorrow, because I know I'll be able to see it. If he doesn't, then I'll probably miss it, even though I'll be able to watch the last two games of their four game series with Boston. I say that I'll probably miss it because he is hitting .451 this month, with 7 homers already, 5 in his last 8 games. His last homer was on the 14th in Seattle. Both in game one and game two against Toronto he was within a few feet of getting a homer. Overall I would say Vlad is the best player playing today. There are others, so it is arguable. However, I am a bit biased as an Expos fan. Seeing him live at his best confirms he is a superstar! He is without a doubt one of the best hitters for sure.

No extra innings were needed in tonight's game. Toronto came from behind to win 4-3. They were down 3-2, and the blown save went to Francisco Rodriguez, his fifth, and the loss, putting his record at 2-3. Two of those blown saves were against Toronto!

A good game happened in Detroit tonight. Nate Robertson was cruising, and Detroit took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth. Despite Robertson doing well, 8.0IP 2H 2R 2ER 3BB 5SO 1HR, Alan Trammell went with their current closer, Fernando Rodney. I hear he has been under fire for decisions like this by the fans. This decision was costly as David Ortiz, Big Papi himself, hit a solo shot to tie the game. To the tenth, Boston's offense exploded! With two runs in already (Tony Graffanino scored on a fielder's choice with one out, and Kevin Youlkilis with two outs on a Johnny Damon single), David Ortiz hit another homer, this time a three run shot! With Manny Ramirez on second with a double, and another new Detroit pitcher (Franklyn German, Detroit's 4th after Robertson left), Jason Varitek hit his 20th home run of the season. However Detroit weren't down and out. Mike Remlinger came in to finish the game. The NESN guys said how maybe he'd find his bearings with this outing, after a couple bad outings. Anyway, that he almost did, if you feel like omitting a grand slam he gave up. He got the first two batters out easily, then managed to load the bases, and give the slam up to Craig Monroe. Next batter up, Brandon Inge flew out to right field. Boston wins 10-7!

I'm not sure if Kenny Rogers was booed in Cleveland, although Rafael Palmeiro was in Oakland. Rogers got the benefit of the doubt on one call in the bottom of the first, Gary Matthews caught a ball but only after it went off the wall and got caught in the top of his uniform, or pinned it to him as he hit up against the wall. Regardless, Rogers still ended up with the loss, going 7 and allowing 6 hits and 6 runs, although only 3 earned. One of two errors was Kenny's own.

Chicago hosted the Twins, in a game that went five hours and nine minutes, and lasted sixteen innings! Michael Cuddyer tied the game at 4 in the top of the ninth. Former Expo Dustin Hermanson got the blown save, only his second this year! Cuddyer also saved the game with a nice play in the bottom of the 11th. He then went on to get the go ahead run in the 16th a couple hours after tying the game! The Twins scored five times in that inning, and Joe Nathan closed out the game, although not a save situation. Detroit used eight pitchers and Minnesota six, for a total of fourteen! Both starting catchers caught the entire game.

Kansas City lost their 17th straight. I sort of feel sorry for them, well maybe the fans anyway, as I know what it is like to be a fan of a losing team. Although not as poorly as they are doing now! The Expos final year was not one to remember, as far as having a good record, but 2002 and especially 2003 were good years! If even the Expos played .500 on the road in 2003, we would have had a great chance at the wildcard, if not taken it. Even still, after sweeping the Phillies in four at home, we were tied for the wildcard with Florida. Expos fans there, can tell you how electric it was. A mere 20 000, yet it sounded like twice that easily in any other stadium. I remember some Phillies said it was the loudest they have ever heard a crowd! Seeing Vlad play that year, and that was awesome! Everytime he was up he would receive a standing O, and he hit three homers in that series! He was an important aspect of us winning those games as he was with Anaheim (still Anaheim at the time) at the end of 2004!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

4 of 9 and 3 of 4.

So tonight, again, for the first game of their series, this time in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had four former Expos in their lineup. Orlando Cabrera, batting second, at short, Vladimir Guerrero batting cleanup, in RF of course, Juan Rivera batting sixth, in left field, and Maicer Izturis batting eighth, at third. Vlad went 2 for 3 with two walks, one being intentional. Orlando Cabrera was only 1 for 6, but that one hit was a double with no outs in the bottom of the 11th. Next batter, Darin Erstad singled in Cabrera to win the game. It actually would have been most likely a double since it found the gap, but since it was the game winner, Erstad only had to touch first.

The three of four is referring to the fact that all but one games in their four meetings have needed extra innings to be decided. The one that didn't was the first meeting, in Toronto, so as far as their meetings are concerned, that makes three consecutive extra innings ballgames. Not very exciting, however if tomorrow's game (actually today) goes to extra innings, then it will start to be interesting! The time prior to this was the one that went to 18 innings!

Elsewhere in the league, former Blue Jay, who I just wrote about yesterday (about a nice DP he was involved in), John McDonald got the walk off hit for Detroit in a come from behind win for the Tigers, over the Boston Red Sox. John McDonald was traded to Detroit for a player to be named later, on July 22nd. Curt Schilling got the blown save, his second, and the loss, putting his record at 4-5. In the game, Jason Varitek made a nice grab in foul territory, right in front of the Red Sox bullpen, hanging over the rail to make the out. It was a big out too, with the bases loaded, and only one out. There was a similar play recently, third baseman for the Reds, Edwin Encarnacion, leaned into the Reds dugout for the out. It was a big out too. So anyway, as the NESN broadcasters said, regarding Varitek's play, such a play may not be possible in Boston, since there is no fence/railing, since the catcher, or player can only slide so far to try for the out.

Finally, Randy Winn hit for the cycle today in Cincinnati, in order, single, home run, double, and triple. His single led off the game, his homer led off the third, his double was with one out in the fourth, and his triple led off the sixth. He also struck out in the seventh. It is the first cycle recorded at the Great American ballpark, which opened March 31st, 2003 against the Pirates. He is the first Giant to do so since Jeff Kent on May 3rd, 1999, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. He is the third to do so this year, Brad Wilkerson did so April 6th in Philadelphia, and former Expo Mark Grudzielanek did so April 27th at home, in St. Louis. All of the which were on the winning side. Yes it's a lot of information, but I am sure the trivia nuts would enjoy it, and I like to be as complete as possible!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Around the league.

Rafael Palmeiro made his return to the lineup yesterday. Although he could have played in the first two games against Toronto, as well as the finale against Tampa Bay. His reason being he did not participate in baseball activities in those ten days, so he had to prepare to start playing again. Palmeiro was greeted by predominantly boos, for his first at bat, although I am pretty sure I did hear some cheering in there. This was at home. I'm sure he'll receive many more boos at Oakland today!

Speaking of Bronx cheers, Kenny Rogers will more than likely be booed again with his second start back since his suspension was cut short to 13 games, from 20. For once I agreed with Bud Selig, thinking he definitely should not have had his suspension cut short. This is where the arbitrator should be booed. It wasn't within Kenny Rogers' control that his suspension was cut short, that I know of, maybe his agent had a say. All of the slow appealing may have helped too. Anyway, regardless of serving only 13 games, I am sure he still would have been booed if his suspension was not cut short. So his second start back will be in Cleveland, versus C.C. Sabathia. It would have been interesting if he made a start in New York. Then Boston and NY fans could have agreed on booing him! Should also be interesting to see if Cleveland's booing affects his pitching. Or maybe if he just plain doesn't pitch well like his Boston start.

Speaking of baseball players with the same name as singers (how's that for a segue way!), Corey Hart hit his first major league hit today in Milwaukee against the Reds, and it happened to be a home run at that! Check out his player page. And eventually when they post it, said homer will be viewable. He started in center field, and went 1 for 4. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on the 13th.

Now, as far as some plays go, Placido Polanco, the former Philly, turned a nice double play. A high chopper that right after its second hop ricocheted perfectly off of former Blue Jay John McDonald to Polanco, where he caught it just as he got on the bag, and threw to first. Since it hit McDonald, it went 6 to 4 to 3. Had McDonald been able to field it, they may have only got the out at second, since in between hops can be hard to field properly. Here is Placido Polanco's media page, where the play should be posted, if not, here is the Detroit Multimedia Guide, and just get to the top plays for August 14th.

Jose Vidro had a nice juggling catch, the kind where a player loses it, and still manages to catch it.

Former Montreal Expo Kirk Rueter was activated from the 15 day DL and designated for assignment by San Francisco. He got his start in Montreal, playing from July 7th, 1993 until July 15th, 1996, and was traded to San Francisco July 30th, 1996 for Mark
Leiter. SF also received Tim Scott in the deal.

That is all for now!

Pedro's near no hitter.

So, in his first trip back to Dodger Stadium in eight years, last time being as an Expos, Pedro almost had a no hitter.

In the bottom of the eighth, after retiring Ricky Ledee, Antonio Perez tripled to break up the no hitter. Gerald Williams could not make the catch, but he isn't to blame, as it would have been very hard to get, as it hit off the wall about halfway up. Had he caught it, it would have been a highlight reel catch. Next batter, Jayson Werth homered. So Pedro got stuck with the loss despite allowing a mere two hits, and one walk. So his pitching line ended as follows: Martinez (L, 12-5) 8.0 IP 2H 2R 2ER 1BB 5SO 1HR 2.96ERA. With eight innings pitched on the losing side, he gets a complete game, his third of 2005.

On the other side, Brad Penny had a good game of his own, only allowing one earned run, and allowing ten hits, and no walks. That is how baseball is!

To take a trip down memory lane, Pedro almost had the first extra innings perfect game in history, on June 3rd, 1995. In San Diego, Pedro retired the first 27 batters, and then gave up a double to the 28th, Bip Roberts. Once again, this was Pedro as a Montreal Expo. Check out the box score from that game here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

3 Grand Slams.

There were three grand slams today in MLB play, probably not even too close to any records, but worth noting.
First one, Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia, with no outs, in the bottom of the first, Bobby Abreu hit it out! The guy can slug!
Second one, Kansas City Royals at Boston, with two outs, and his second plate appearance, in the bottom of the fourth, Jason Varitek went deep. He started the inning off with a walk, and later scored. The Red Sox scored 8 in that inning, and had 11 men come to the plate.
Third one, Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington, with two outs, in the bottom of the eighth, former Expo, Brad Wilkerson got all of it. I didn't see his AB before that, but I did see his AB in the fifth, and I don't know if he thought he had hit it out, but he probably at least thought he hit it hard enough to get over Jose Valentin's head, but he made a nice over the head catch.

Of note in the Washington game, John Patterson pitched a complete game shutout allowing only 4 hits, and striking out 13! With the win he earned his 5th win of the season, now 5-3. That is only his 8th decision out of 20 starts! Receiving a decision only 40% of the time at this point! Last year with the Expos he had a 58% decision rate, lifetime 50% (only since 2002, with 52 GS). Indeed baseball can generate some weird stats! So despite pitching well, he obviously didn't get sufficient run support.

Oh, and go here for grand slam team records.

The hottest teams.

No surprises that Boston has now won 8 straight ballgames, making them the hottest team in baseball right now. It was however a surprise that the second hottest team was the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I say was because (whew, that doesn't sound right!) I was planning on writing this sooner, while they were still streaking, but they have since lost. Prior to tonight's loss, they had won 6 straight! Now, yes after tonight's loss, with a record of 14-6 since the All Star Break! They also had won 3 straight, and then 4 straight before this 6 game streak came to a close. 7-3 for their last 10. Sounds like the streaking Yankees from the first half! Only 19.5 games behind for the AL wildcard, I say only, although in the AL East that is still a huge number, especially when you are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays! But two full months till the season is over, chipping away, it would be possible. I sound like a Devil Rays fan. Truth is I am not, although I do root for underdogs, however I am only pointing this out, since I thought it was worth pointing out being that they were the second hottest team in baseball. Like when fans say "how about them 'insert some team that normally isn't good that is doing well now here'"! So if any Devil Rays fans read this, ones that remain positive, I am sure they'll be happy to read it! Alright, enough rambling, I think that is my first case of blog rambling, but I am guessing in the blog world it happens a lot!

To end this post with a Simpsons reference, from a recent episode, "Future Drama", Professor John Frink: "Astrology used to be the Tampa Bay Devil Rays of all sciences. Not so very good". Said only the way he could!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

4 of 9

Okay, so a lot more can be said about the long Blue Jays game, such as length of time position players played for, the home plate umpire calling an awful lot of pitches, but now that a fair amount of time has passed I'll leave it at that, and go a little further back in time! Notice how I said Blue Jays, and not just Jays, as that is how they are more commonly referred to now, in their second season of the new uniform style, and logo.

So, going back to July 26th, the first game the Los Angeles Angels played in Toronto, in that lineup, four of nine starters were former Expos in the last two years! Three as of last year! Superstar Vladimir Guerrero being the one that goes back two years. The other three former Expos as of last year were, in order that L.A. received them, Juan Rivera and Maicer Izturis (same deal which sent Jose Guillen to Montreal/Washington, more later...), and Orlando Cabrera. I say Montreal/Washington, because it was official that they were heading to DC, there was a period of time when they ceased DC operations of the team, although I definitely could not have seen Bud letting Montreal have them again! Orlando Cabrera was signed as a free agent, as was Vlad, almost a year earlier.

Unregardless (as Homer said in "Weekend At Burnsies"), Vlad was batting third, in RF of course, Juan Rivera was batting sixth, in LF, both with cannons for arms, Orlando Cabrera was batting seventh, and Maicer Izturis was batting ninth, SS, and 3B respectively. Orlando Cabrera being a great shortstop, as is Maicer, although he has been mostly playing third, but almost the same amount of games played at short. Although he has started more games, as of this typing, at short. Orlando Cabrera has the second best fielding percentage in the majors (as of right now as well)! Second to Omar Vizquel.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Some kinda ballgame.

In a game that lasted 10 minutes shy of 5 hours, it is the longest game, innings wise, for the Toronto Blue Jays. The third longest game in Angels history, this from, they also say the longest for the Blue Jays, so they must be sticking to innings wise.

There is lots of things that can be said about that game. First off, I only started watching in the 5th, and at that point the game was only an hour old! The score was still 0-0, and would remain so until the ninth. A pitchers duel was going on, between John Lackey, and Dave Bush, a couple of unlikely candidates, by name only anyway! This fact probably helped the game go on longer, since neither team had to go to the bullpen early. If the bullpen had been used earlier, it is hard to say if strategy would have changed, both teams still would have only used the appropriate pitcher for a certain amount of time. Assuming more pitchers would have been used, then, at the very least, as the game dragged on, managers would have to start using their second to last, or last pitchers for the long haul, or longer haul. Lackey pitched 8, and Bush pitched 8.1. Before Anaheim, rather, Los Angeles (still getting used to LA Angels!) scored one in the top of the ninth, I was thinking how if both starting pitchers went into extra innings, that would have been interesting! Not sure how often that has happened, but can't have been that many times.

With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, and one out, Los Angeles went to a five man infield, bringing Chone Figgins in from left, to stop anything from getting into the outfield. Definitely interesting to see that defensive lineup! Chone Figgings had to run over to the dugout to get an infield glove! Aaron Hill, and Gregg Zaun both struck out to end the threat.

Three of four former Expos started the game, Orlando Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, and Juan Rivera, at SS, 3B, and RF, respectively, and Vladimir Guerrero pinch hit, but he was then intentionally walked. Juan Rivera came out of the game after he hit his triple in the ninth, and Jeff DaVanon pinch ran. He then took over in RF.

Had Toronto not tied the game, and L.A. won 1-0, the game would have lasted in the area of two hours! Which makes sense for a pitchers duel.

The official box score can be found here. If anyone reads this, and knows of a good way of copying and pasting, or somehow inserting MLB boxscores, leave a comment saying so! It would be appreciated! Probably rare that I'd actually want to insert it into a blog entry, but still.

Here is a link for game length records.

I may add more later, when it comes to me, as it is late now, and I must sleep! Just what the Angels are probably doing now in the plane, if not already landed in New York, on their ways to a proper hotel sleep!

Monday, June 06, 2005

AL at NL interleague play!

Lots of great games to watch as interleague play starts up again! Always fun watching pitchers bat, especially American League ones! Being here in Canada, There's always plenty of Blue Jays games, provided one has the channel owned by the same owner of the Blue Jays, or the other national sports network, although they have considerably less games. Regardless. Here's what I have to look forward to:
Tonight: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago Cubs 7:05PM CDT
Tomorrow: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago Cubs 7:05PM CDT
Wednesday: Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago Cubs 1:20PM CDT &
Boston Red Sox at St. Louis Cardinals 6:10PM CDT
Thursday: Houston Astros at New York Mets 7:10PM EDT
Friday: Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs 1:20 CDT &
Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros 7:05PM CDT
Saturday: Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs 2:15 CDT &
Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros 6:05 CDT
Sunday: Boston Red Sox at Chicago Cubs 7:05 CDT

Thursday, a regular NL game, how boring! Just kidding! Will be interesting to see David Ortiz back at first. I imagine he'll have an off day or two in there, with 6 games in NL parks in 7 days. I wouldn't mind seeing Wakefield versus Morris tonight, but the Blus Jays at Wrigley will still be good! I'd also rather watch the Cubs than a Cards game, but it is all good anyway. Seeing all these Cubs games means I'll get to see ex Expo Michael Barrett in action again. Who of course got his start in Montreal! And for a trivia tidbit, before he was a Cub, he was an Athletic, for a mere one day, before being traded for Damian Miller!

Sunday, June 05, 2005


So I watched most of yesterday's game, on FOX. Anyway, when Orlando Cabrera came up the first time there was a decent amount of clapping, and slowly it grew to more, and many standing, but not all. So still a nice welcome back applause, but not quite as his first AB back.

Johnny Damon made a nice catch in the fourth, diving to catch Orlado Cabrera's line drive to left center. Diving right into the warning track! I think Johnny wasn't completely sure if it was the second or third out, as he looked like he was signaling to find out, then threw the ball into the green monsters seats since it was the third out. I don't mean anything by it, if that was even the case, he remains my favourite Red Sox player!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The first post.

Firstly, I am not a 'blog' fan, in fact I really don't care for them much at all, so why am I starting one? Well I figured I'd like to spill my thoughts, and if I were to do so on my webpage, which receives little to no hits because I rarely do anything with it (and have advertised it next to nada), no one would read what I wrote. So I thought I'd start a 'blog' or web log, where people may actually read said spilled thoughts.

So what is this web log or blog going to be about? Baseball! Reason being it is one of my passions, other being music, and if I were to have a general blog, it probably wouldn't do too well, and baseball fans would not be that interested. Baseball fans, and anyone else into baseball, being the people I imagine would be most interested in reading about baseball! Aside from spilling my thoughts on the subject I thought I'd like to collect them as well, that is to say if I think of something or other, I may want to reminisce about it in the future, and without it written down anywhere, it may just end up going back out the other ear.

So with that said, I think I shall begin. And see where this ends up!

So to clarify, I will mostly talk about major league baseball (MLB), but still may go into minor league baseball, and baseball in general. On with the show.

Alright, so today the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, formerly the Anaheim Angels, formerly the California Angels, and formerly the Los Angeles Angels, were back in Boston for the first time this season since being there in the post season last year. I'll avoid going into depth about my favourite team(s)/teams I like or dislike, and why, because that will come eventually. So with that said, as an Expo fan (still am, although now it is historically based), seeing the Angels play is worth it for the former Expos there now, and obviously as a baseball fan in general. In the 2003 post season I was rooting for the Red Sox, as I was in 2004.

So going back in time for a moment, with Orlando Cabrera a free agent at the end of the 2004 season, he was dealt to Boston in a four way deal (at the trade deadline) that saw the Red Sox give Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs, Boston also acquired Doug Mientkiewicz from Minnesota, and Montreal acquired SS Alex Gonzalez, RHP Francis Beltran, and 3B Brendan Harris (played both 3B and 2B in Montreal, and is still young and doesn't have tons of MLB experience so safe to say he's an infielder, but only played 3B with the Cubs). The other two players involved that were obviously far from the center of attention were LHP Justin Jones, who went from the Cubs to the Twins, and OF Matt Murton who went from the Red Sox to the Cubs. Okay, so I put that in even though I really did not have to. Reason I did so was it falls under my second reason to start a blog, collecting my thoughts, and I like to be complete. With that said, the point was that Orlando Cabrera was returning to Boston as an Angel after having spent a fair chunk of time in Boston as their shortstop.

I should add, that Orlando Cabrera was a loyal Expo, he had nothing but good things to say about Montreal.

Of course Orlando is not the only former Expo on the Angels roster. Former Expos superstar Vladimir Guerrero was signed as a free agent by Anaheim (still Anaheim Angels then!) prior to the 2004 season. Also prior to the 2004 season, Jose Guillen was sent to the then official Washington team (not sure if the name was announced yet), in exchange for Juan Rivera, and Maicer Izturis. Rivera played in 134 games with Montreal, and Izturis in 33, he spent most of his time with triple A Edmonton. Bartolo Colon also spent some time with Montreal, in 2002.

So I realise that blog entries aren't normally this long, but since this is the first...

Both Vladimir Guerrero and Maicer Izturis are currently on the 15 day DL.

In the game however Orlando Cabrera was batting eighth, while Juan Rivera was batting seventh, as the DH.

So all in all it was a good game, Boston won 7-4!

It was a good game, but that one sentence isn't all that I wanted to write! I watched the vast majority of the game, and it was the NESN broadcast I was watching, up here in Canada. Since Vlad wasn't playing, I was most interested in seeing Orlando's first at bat back at Fenway after winning the World Series with Boston last year in St. Louis. Also to see Juan Rivera too. And again as a fan of baseball in general!

So first up in the top of the third, was Orlando Cabrera. He didn't get a chance at bat in the second because Juan Rivera grounded into a douple play. Anyway, as soon as his name was announced, everyone started clapping loudly, and right before that NESN filmed a sign that said Thank You Orlando, and they commented how there were many similar. The clapping almost right away turned into a standing ovation. So it was nice to see the former Expo get such warm applause. NESN commented how he was in Fenway yesterday, and that fellow ex Red Sox teammates missed him. They had a brief interview, and Orlando said how he loved his time in Boston, and will always remember it.

Orlando's first at bat was a ground out to his replacement, Edgar Renteria, who lost the World Series last year, Renteria did a 180 on his feet, and threw to first. His next at bat was a double, which was a few feet shy of a home run, hitting high off the green monster. At 3-2 Orlando was off, and Adam Kennedy hit a flare to left center, falling in front of Johnny Damon. Orlando made a nice base running play to check the pop up, and then keep running, and get home safely for the Angels go ahead run. Although NESN said how he was too far off second to get back in time if it was caught, which is true, so he may as well have kept going anyway. Still, if it were caught by Renteria with his back to second, then he possibly could have returned in time. Juan Rivera went 0-4 on the day.

I also watched about a third of he Blue Jays game, but am too tired to write anything about it. There wasn't anything much to write, or that I can recall. I am going to get some sleep, and get up for game two of The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Boston, on FOX. I am also too tired to proof read all of that!