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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Former Expo Michael Barrett signs Minor League Contract with Jays

As the title suggests, Michael Barrett, the former Expo (Cub and Padre), has been signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to a minor league contract, which includes an invite to Blue Jays Spring Training.

The last two seasons, especially last year he has missed many games due to being on the disabled list.

He had five complete seasons with the Expos, 1999 - 2003. His MLB debut came September 19, 1998. He then had three full seasons with the Cubs 2004 - 2006. He played in 57 games, starting 52, in 2007 with the Cubs before being traded to San Diego along with cash considerations for Rob Bowen and Kyler Burke. He then played in 44 games with the Padres, starting 31 to finish 2007.

Last year he managed to play in only 30 games, due to an elbow injury (missed 42 games), and broken nose (missed the last 76 games).

He is a fairly respectable catcher, I preferred him over Brian Schneider, when they were together as Expos teammates, not based on stats, just generally. He can put up respectable numbers as a catcher too, both offensively and defensively. MLB doesn't seem to have a percentage for runners he caught stealing (just the SB and CS), but I believe he is alright in that category. The scouting report says he is typically slow for a catcher. He put up some good RBI numbers with the Cubs, as it states in the same scouting report he is a proven run producer. The most games he started as a catcher came in 2001 with the Expos starting 129, then 119 in 2004, and 114 in 2005 both with the Cubs.

I believe if he has a good spring he'll definitely be competing with Rod Barajas for the number one catching position for the Jays. Rod Barajas had a really good year after taking over the number one job from Gregg Zaun who missed 55 games due to injury (fractured right thumb, 39, and right elbow inflammation 16). Zaun was unhappy how he wasn't even told he lost the number one catcher job, and the Blue Jays have no intention of resigning him, as he is a free agent.

Meanwhile, Brad Wilkerson remains a free agent.

I have probably mentioned this before, but Gregg Zaun was a Montreal Expo during Spring Training 2004. (January 13, 2004, Expos signed him to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. April 4, Montreal reassigned him to minor league camp. On April 8 he declined and opted for free agency. April 9 the Blue Jays signed him to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Syracuse. April 27 the Blue Jays purchased his contract from Triple-A Syracuse. During that time with Syracuse he played in 7 games, and had 23 ABs (he went 7 for 23 with 2BB).)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


A.J. Burnett five years worth a reported $82.5 million.

Mark Teixeira eight years worth a reported $180 million.

I think I should just go pay all my attention to minor league baseball. That, and await a Selig free MLB. The Blue Jays seemed like they had a chance last year, with the Yankees not signing Johan Santana, and they probably would have done much better if they had more consistent offense. Anyway, not that they don't now, but it won't exactly be easy.

Read more: Yankee Signings of Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett Move Salary Figures to Cartoonish Levels, and The Anatomy of a Yankees Spending Spree.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Classic 2009 at Wrigley Field

There is plenty going on this baseball offseason, but the baseball news I am most looking forward to at this moment is the second NHL Winter Classic, taking place New Year's Day at Wrigley Field!

It is the second regular season NHL game to be played outside in the US, and third overall. The first was Montreal at Edmonton in 2003, it was dubbed the Heritage Classic. It will face the Detroit Red Wings against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Both teams are part of the Original Six. (From Wikipedia: The Original Six is a well-known term for the group of six teams that composed the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 25 seasons between the 1942-43 season and the 1967 NHL Expansion.) And as Wikipedia states, there were other teams prior, and during that time, however those are the ones still around. The Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks were both founded in 1926. The Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) folded, and the Portland Rosebuds became the Chicago Black Hawks (They were known as the Black Hawks from 1926 until 1986), and the Victoria Cougars became the Detroit Red Wings. The Portland Rosebuds, of Portland Oregon were originally the Regina Capitals for the short time the WCHL existed, but moved to Oregon for what would end up being their final season. The Victoria Cougars were from Victoria, British Columbia.

As last years Winter Classic (Pittsburgh Penguins at Buffalo Sabres), they'll be wearing vintage jerseys. Chicago's dates back to 1937 (till 1955), and Detroit's dates back to 1926, as an alternate logo. They were know as the Detroit Cougars from 1926 to 1930, and the Detroit Falcons from 1930 to 1932. Thus being the Red Wings from 1932 to the present.

I wouldn't normally post videos in this blog but this is worth it. The sweet commercial for the Winter Classic, using "Take Me Out to the Ball" Game as background music. See the game on NBC in the US, CBC or RDS in Canada January 1st at 1PM EST. (NHL Send me a Winter Classic jersey for the plug!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yankees and Mets continue spending spree

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia 7 year $161 million = $23 million per year.

New York Mets, Francisco Rodriguez 3 year $37 million = $12.33 million per year.

2008 payroll:

New York Yankees, $209,081,579
New York Mets, $138,293,378

2007 payroll:

New York Yankees, $195,229,045
New York Mets, $117,915,819

2006 payroll:

New York Yankees, $198,662,180
New York Mets, $100,901,085

2005 payroll:

New York Yankees, $208,306,817
New York Mets, $101,305,821

2004 payroll:

New York Yankees, $182,835,513
New York Mets, $100,629,303

2003 payroll:

New York Yankees, $180,322,403
New York Mets, $116,253,927

2002 payroll:

New York Yankees, $138,423,649
New York Mets, $102,863,303

2001 payroll:

New York Yankees, $114,457,768
New York Mets, $93,125,240

2000 payroll:

New York Yankees, $95,285,187
New York Mets, $82,246,383

I think Phil Rizzuto sums it up well, holy cow!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Atlanta Braves Acquire Javier Vazquez

Javier Vazquez has returned to the NL East after five seasons outside the NL East. He played six full seasons with the Montreal Expos. Then 2004 with the Yankees, 2005 with the Diamondbacks, and 2006 to 2008 with the White Sox. He has still played more games with the Expos (192) than outside the NL East (163).

Bobby Cox gained an appreciation for him while being the manager of the All-Star team that toured Japan in 2000. Read the full article here. Not surprisingly, the article has no mention of the Montreal Expos. They do make reference to another former Expo though:

Since the start of the 2000 season, Livan Hernandez is the only Major League pitcher to have thrown more innings than Vazquez, whose 208 1/3 innings this past season were 20 more than any Braves pitcher completed.

The Braves also acquired LHP Boone Logan (sounds like his name should be reversed as Logan Boone!).

Here is the official transaction from the Braves perspective:

Acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for C Tyler Flowers, INFs Jonathan Gilmore and Brent Lillibridge and LHP Santos Rodriguez.

Based solely on his win loss record, looks like 2007 was his best year to date. Then looking at his ERA, it would look like it would be 2003 then 2001 and 2007. I recall he was pitching well in 2003, surely much better than his record would show. And of course if the Expos didn't have to travel to San Juan for 22 games... well, that is another story.

Looks like he'll be in the middle of the Braves rotation.

In other Braves news, Braves make offer to Burnett.

Also I'll try to post more with the 2008 Baseball Winter Meetings coming up December 8th through to the 11th.