Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Day The Majors Died

It was 15 years ago today that marked not only end of the 1994 Baseball Season but it was the beginning of the end of the Expos as a franchise. The Montreal Expos finished the season with the best record in the Majors with a 74-40 record . The ‘94 Strike was the eighth work stoppage in baseball history, as well as the fourth in-season work stoppage in 23 years. It lasted 232-days and lasted until April 2, 1995 - Wiping out the World Series for the first time since 1904.

This not only affected the Expos, who at the time had the second lowest payroll in baseball, and their attempt to bring a championship to Montreal but would have put an early halt to the Atlanta Braves record run of consecutive division titles. I guess on a personal note it was a good thing for my Braves but bad for me as now I can’t go see them play anymore because the Montreal team is gone.

Had the Expos either won or at least made a good run there would have been a great chance that they may have been a better chance to get a downtown stadium built and kept the team in the city. After the strike there were a lot of fans that were so upset with baseball that they just turned their back to the game and it showed not only in the ratings but more importantly in Montreal, at the ticket gate. Dwindling attendance and ownership that either didn’t want to spend, didn’t know what they were doing or just flat out wanted to move alienated fans and political officials alike.

Today is a sad reminder of what could have been and that if things could have played out differently there could still be baseball being played somewhere in the city of Montreal to this day. It would probably be in a nice state of the art stadium too.

Here is the Roster of the Expos that could have changed the landscape of baseball before the fire sales that eventually happened:

Pitchers: Jeff Fassero, Rod Henderson, Butch Henry, Jeff Shaw, Brian Looney, Pedro Martínez, Heath Haynes, Denis Boucher, Kirk Reuter, Ken Hill, Gabe White, Joey Eischen, Mel Rojas, Tim Scott, John Wetteland
Catchers: Tim Spehr, Darrin Fletcher, Lenny Webster
Infielders: Mike Lansing, Jeff Gardner, Sean Berry, Wil Cordero Freddie Benavides Juan Bell, Cliff Floyd, Randy Milligan
Outfielders: Lou Frazier,Marquis Grissom, Moisés Alou, Rondell White, Larry Walker
Manager: Felipe Alou

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