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!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Finally, Vlad Guerrero is back in the Home Run Derby!

Finally, Vladimir Guerrero is back in the Home Run Derby! He participated in 2000, only hitting two homers in the first round, therefore not getting past said round. He was obviously there for a reason, having hit 38 and 42 home runs respectively in 1998 and 1999. In 2000, he went on to hit his career high of 44. And since then he has been very close to 40 every year, except for 2003 when he hit only 25, as he was out for a good portion of the season with a bad back. Had he been healthy, one can only imagine where the Expos would have ended up that year, even with the San Juan business! The road that year was the Expos enemy. I recall thinking had the Expos gone 500 on the road they'd would have definitely got the wildcard. Upon checking, they were 31-50, with that they ended only 8 GB for the wildcard. Reverse the numbers, and we (I do like referring myself as part of the team! As I am sure many sports fans address their teams as such, "we have to win this one"!) would have given Atlanta a run for their money! But of course with Vlad being out for as long as he was (he missed 50 games), and the crazy San Juan travel, it was our year to be that wasn't. Not really the same at all, but I am reminded of the "Next Year is Now" Mets, when Omar Minaya returned.

So anyway, once Vlad became an Angel, all of a sudden people 'discovered' him. No thanks to Bud Selig, et. al.!

Again I return to 2003. If you had the chance to see Vlad in a four game set against the Phillies, in late August, when we swept them, and tied for the wildcard, that is when you truly knew he was a superstar! He homered in 3 of those 4 games, and every at bat he received a standing ovation to cheer him on! One or two of those games were afternoon games, and drew some 20,000, and some Phillies players commented on it being louder than a stadium with twice as many people! Ah those were the days! I don't really miss the Expos per se, however it was a shame they had to go. I won't get into any details, but I'll say Expos fans past and present (present as far as history goes), will tell you how much unfond they are of Bud Selig, along with Jeffrey Loria, and David Samson (among others). Even many baseball fans in general do like care for Bud! Had they not messed up a good thing, we could have had a downtown stadium, where Vlad could have been hitting homers. It would have been only a couple blocks down from the Bell Centre (where our hockey team plays), with the downtown buildings visible past the outfield. Get a bit more about it here.

In 2002 he should have reached the 40-40 plateau, with 40 stolen bases, and 40 home runs. I was at the game where he homered (second to last of the season) at the Big O, and it went of the top of the wall. It was ruled a double, I'd have to see the replay again (I have it on tape somewhere!), however it definitely could have gone either way, at the discretion of the umpire.

So, anyway, it will be nice to see Vlad in the Home Run Derby. He definitely has the potential to win it. If you are familiar with him, he has amazing range at the plate, he can hit the ball out of the park on almost any pitch location, from his shoes to his neck. I think it was the second game of the Angels at Yankees yesterday, where I believe he was jammed inside, and still managed to get the ball practically out of the park! I believe with his swing he could manage to be up there with Bobby Abreu from 2005! Abreu was on fire! He too certainly has a nice swing! I wonder if Joe Morgan will blurt any anti-Expos stuff out this time around! Well, if so, hopefully Chris Berman will be pro Montreal again! I've mentioned it before, how he ultimately should be praising Montreal, at the very least since Montreal was a big part in breaking the colour barrier in baseball, when Jackie Robinson was playing with the Montreal Royals, before heading to Brooklyn the next year.

Anyway, much more could be added to that, and in regards to Vlad. However it is about Vlad right now in the Home Run Derby, and the All-Star Game itself. For those interested, Angels third base coach, Dino Ebel will be pitching to Vlad in the Derby.

Finally, Vlad is definitely a future hall of famer, to end with a statistic of note, He is on his way to his 10th consecutive year with at least a .300 batting average, and 25 home runs! Only Lou Gehrig has more, with 11. Below him with 8 are Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams, although Ted Williams did not play from 1943-1945 when he was serving with the United States Marine Corps. So I dare say, Vlad is in good company!

So, here's hoping to see a great performance from Vlad Monday and Tuesday! Go Vlad! (Oh, and as a Canadian, the same applies to Justin Morneau!)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another day in baseball

Every sport has its fair share of weird things that can happen, however, possibly baseball is the best example, at least from North American sports.

First off, I watched the Angels at Yankees. The second game of the season for the Angels at Yankee Stadium. Both John Lackey and Roger Clemens were pitching great a great game. Clemens was coming off a win in Minnesota where he retired the last 15 batters he faced. In the end, both Lackey and Clemens went 8 giving up five hits and one run each. However Lackey struck out 11, tying a career high.

Two former Montreal Expos started in the lineup for the Angels, Orlando Cabrera, and Vladimir Guerrero. Maicer Izturis, brother of Cesar, came into the game, pinch hitting for catcher Jeff Mathis. The fourth and final former Expo, Juan Rivera is still on the 60 day DL with a broken left lower leg that he broke playing winter ball in Venezuela.

The game went on to extra innings, where the Angels won it by getting a run in in the top of the 13th. Howie Kendrick doubled, and the next batter, Jose Molina reached on fielding and throwing errors by Miguel Cairo. The latter caused by the former. The throwing error is what enabled Kendrick to get the go ahead run. With batters on first and third in the bottom of the 13th, the Yankees could not capitalise. Miguel Cairo made up for his errors, by getting his second hit of the day, and then his second stolen base. However, as I believe Joe Girardi put it, it is a team game, the Yankees had other chances to score, and did not. Derek Jeter ended the game by grounding into a force out up the middle, which Orlando Cabrera fielded, and made the force out on his own.

So all in all a good game. I raise the point about how weird plays or occurences happen in baseball, as it was a very well pitched game by the starters, and then it goes to extra innings, and an unearned run is the difference. Also in the bottom of the 7th, Jorge Posada was picked off at second, as he had a fairly large lead, probably eager to score on a base hit. The pickoff was 1-6, Lackey to Cabrera. Surprisingly also the first pickoff for the Angels this year. For the stat nuts, the Diamondbacks, and Tigers are tied with 10 pickoffs this season.

Elsewhere, I watched some of the Giants at St.Louis game, and tuned in in the seventh when it was tied 3-3. With one out I saw Mark Sweeney reach on a throwing error by Aaron Miles, that he should have had, as he had time, but his throw to first was too high. Aaron went on to make two more errors in that half of the inning, making three errors for him. On the first error the Giants went ahead 4-3. Although that would have only been the second out, so the run would have scored anyway (from third). With two out, Miles was credited with a fielding error as the ball hit by Randy Winn got past him when he should have fielded it. That caused two runs to come in, making it 6-3. Dave Roberts was the second out, sac bunting Mark Sweeney to second. On the play, which could have been a safety squeeze, Guillermo Rodriguez who was at third should have scored, but did not. The baserunning was reminiscent of Jeff Suppan in game three of the World Series as one announcer noted, when Suppan got hung up at third and got out in the process when David Ortiz threw from first. Although Rodriguez didn't cause an out. Miles' final error was another throwing one, where the ball kind of just dropped off, so Pujols' could not catch it cleanly. Randy Winn scored on that error, making it 7-4. As I started watching I was thinking I may be in for another extra inning game, but instead the Giants scored four runs, three of which were unearned. So I stopped watching, but the Cardinals ended up making a game of it, scoring three times in the bottom of the 8th. That was as close as they'd get though, losing by a final score of 7-6.

In the Yankees game, Melky Cabrera struck out 5 times, which has only ever been done four other times, from what I understand, in Yankees history. I am not criticizing Cabrera, or Miles, just commenting on how it wasn't exactly a great game for either.

So, just another day in Major League Baseball in the books. With some things out of the ordinary happening. Nothing too exceptional or noteworthy, as I said, just another day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Milestone day (June 28, 2007)!

Frank Thomas hit career home run number 500.

Craig Biggio reached 3000 hits.

Frank Thomas hit the fourth pitch of his first AB, with a 1-2 count, as a three run home run which happened to be number five hundred for him. He became the 21st player to join the 500 home run club. He is only the fourth active player to be on the list. Toronto were visiting Minnesota for a four game series, and it was Carlos Silva who gave up Frank Thomas' 500th home run. Unfortunately for the Jays, they lost the game by a score of 8-5.

Craig Biggio hit the third pitch of his fourth AB, with a 2-0 count, to center fielder Willy Taveras, his 3000th. He singled, but was sprinting from the start right around first, and was out at second base. Just seeing the replay one can see why he is the leadoff man. He is the only active player with 3000 or more hits. He was three hits shy going into the game, and ended the night with 3002, as he went 5-6. To top it off, Carlos Lee hit a walk off grand slam home run to win the game for the Astros in the 11th. The Colorado Rockies were the visiting team. Willy Taveras, who got Biggio out at second on the outfield assist, was a former Houston Astro, therefore obviously a former teammate of Biggio's. Also to note, Willy Taveras is the leadoff hitter for Colorado. Finally, Aaron Cook was the pitcher who gave up hit 3000 to Biggio.

Further reading:
Thomas launches No. 500 at Metrodome
Biggio reaches 3,000-hit milestone

Pair of milestones make for historic day

National Baseball Hall of Fame - The 3,000 Hit Club
500 Home Runs Club by Baseball Almanac

Saturday, June 16, 2007

1 win away from sweeping the ex Expos

So the Toronto Blue Jays are one win away from sweeping the ex Expos, oh, the Washington Nationals, in Toronto. It is a three game set, and the only three they are playing together, as now the Orioles are the interleague rival for the Nationals. When the Expos played the Blue Jays, in the past, the winner of the interleague games won the Pearson Cup. The last two years, 2003 and 2004 resulted in a 3-3 tie.

When the Expos first moved I definitely rooted against the Nationals, but now I don't care as much, however it will be nice to see them swept by the Jays! The odds of them winning the World Series anytime too soon isn't very likely. Also it seems they have inherited the same injury trouble the Expos had, and even worse. In 2003 as the Expos they lost 869 man games to injury, in 2004, 825. in 2005 in Washington now, they lost 1434 man games to injury, and in 2006, 1615! Currently now they already have 519! So looks like they won't exceed 1625, but will probably end around 1200!

Slowly I am moving towards getting into the Jays again. I liked them around the late nineties, when they had Shannon Stewart, Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, and Tony Batista.

No baseball/ballpark here!It would be nice to see baseball in Montreal again, maybe once Bud Selig is out of the picture. It definitely would have been something to have had a downtown ballpark, just down the street from where the Canadiens play now, with the Montreal buildings as a backdrop over center field. Here is what it potentially could have looked like. The image above shows where it would have been had all gone well, instead condominiums are going up, if not already, as that image is circa summer 2005. And had that happened, Vlad would have been hitting homers there. Also the thought of a ballpark somewhere along the water would have been nice, in latter years, a la San Francisco. Again, maybe once Selig is gone.

In the meantime, Go Jays!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Watch "The Rocket" Roger Clemens free tonight on

Roger Clemens is making his second minor league start tonight, and probably his last, this time for the Yankee's Double A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. The Thunder will host the Portland Sea Dogs. The game will be streamed free online at and, and more specifically, as far as the minor league site goes. The Sea Dogs are a Boston Red Sox affiliate, so although not nearly as fierce as the MLB rivalry between their respective teams, I'm sure there still is somewhat of a rivalry, at the very least at the fan level for sure.

His first minor league start this year was May 18th for the Class A Advanced Tampa Yankees. In that game he pitched a solid four innings, he did not get the win officially as he only pitched the four innings, despite leaving the game with the lead which Tampa went on to win by. The Tampa Yankees hosted the Fort Myers Miracle, who are a Minnesota Twins affiliate.

Roger Clemens pitching for the Yankees attracted a Florida State League record attendance of 10,275, when the previous game between the same two teams attracted 1108 fans. A large crowd is expected tonight in Trenton.

They've been saying he may be the best pitcher ever. I won't go into numbers, but at best it would only be arguable, as there's plenty of other great pitchers to choose from. Anyway, if anyone wants to catch the game, and cannot see it in person, or on ESPN2, it can be seen (yes I am repeating myself) on, and

Monday, April 16, 2007

Alive and Well!

It's been a long time. 2006 was the year I least followed baseball in quite a while, although I did enjoy watching the postseason. Reason being I was back into hockey after the lockout. Anyway, another year, more former Expos leave D.C.

The biggest deal being 2B Jose Vidro leaving for Seattle. He was traded for OF Chris Snelling and RHP Emiliano Fruto. Cash considerations also went to Seattle. This deal happened December 18th, 2006. Another deal worth noting is RHP Livan Hernandez going to Arizona in exchange for RHP Garrett Mock and LHP Matt Chico on August 7, 2006.

On October 3, 2006, RHP Zach Day, and LHP Joey Eischen were released. Zach Day signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals on December 20, 2006. Joey Eischen also signed a minor league deal, however with the Detroit Tigers on January 25. Both were then assigned to minor league camp, March 28 and March 19 respectively.

On February 14, Tony Batista was invited to spring training, and signed a minor league deal, so he finds his way back to what used to be the Expos organisation. He was designated for assignment by the Twins not even halfway through the season last year, on June 14, and released on the 19th.

So far with the Omaha Royals, Zach day has started twice, pitching 1.2 innings, then 3. Both times walking 3 batters, and allowing one run each start. The one hit in his first start was a triple, he also got a strikeout in that start. In his second start he gave up 2 hits. Joey Eischen is on the disabled list (DL) with the Toledo Mud Hens, so he has not played yet.

Players that remain with the organisation, on the 40-Man roster, that were with the Expos include RHP Luis Ayala, RHP Chad Cordero, RHP Shawn Hill, RHP John Patterson, RHP Jon Rauch, C Brian Schneider, 1B Larry Broadway (only in the minors), 1B Nick Johnson, and OF (RF to be specific) Ryan Church.

So stay tuned to this blog, as I plan on posting a little more frequently than twice a year! Feel free to add this blog to your RSS reader!