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itsnotrequired
09-04-2007, 07:44 AM
The Ottawa Lynx played their final game Monday, joining in the funereal footsteps of ballclubs that once played in Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Edmonton.

There was no ceremony on the field to draw attention to the somber event. Because it hasn't been officially announced yet, Ottawa baseball fans were left to mourn on their own.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-lynx-finalgame&prov=ap&type=lgns

The Toronto Blue Jays are now the only team left in Canada playing above A ball.

ChiSoxRowand
09-04-2007, 09:33 AM
Who knows what could have been if not for 1994.

Fenway
09-04-2007, 09:36 AM
Who knows what could have been if not for 1994.

The strike killed baseball in most of Canada and even the Jays have never come close to filling Skydome again

Big problem was there was no parking ( only 600 spots ) To build an 11,000 seat stadium with no parking lot was a diaster.


The last Ottawa Lynx game was bittersweet as fans stood in long ticket lines to say farewell to a team that suffered from too few lineups. (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=db939669-6304-4eee-a43c-3aba7bafd27b&k=48158)

Nobody warned me when I signed on for this gig 20 years ago: Along with covering the games, I'd have to bury the dead.

StillMissOzzie
09-04-2007, 11:39 PM
The White Sox had the AAA Vancouver Canadian for a few years back in the late '80's or so. I went to a game there once, and saw the immortal Billy Joe Robideux hit 2 HRs, although the Canadians lost 5-2.

SMO
:gulp:

TDog
09-05-2007, 12:45 AM
The White Sox had the AAA Vancouver Canadian for a few years back in the late '80's or so. I went to a game there once, and saw the immortal Billy Joe Robideux hit 2 HRs, although the Canadians lost 5-2.

SMO
:gulp:

I saw a Canadians game on the Mexican border. The Colorado Springs Sky Sox had to open their season in Yuma, Arizona, because their stadium wasn't completed yet. I talked to Ron Karkovice after I took pitcher Jack Hardy and outfielder Mike Yastrzemski out for beers when one of their games got rained out. Before Vancouver, the Sox had a triple-A team in Edmonton, a city that supported the Trappers, but the owner of the local football team moved the franchise. Ron Kittle is still remembered there for his 50-home run 1982 season.

chaerulez
09-05-2007, 05:59 AM
Who knows what could have been if not for 1994.

The Blue Jays were the first MLB team to pass the 3 million attendance mark for a season. The greed of MLB then destroyed the fan support Toronto had earned.

TDog
09-05-2007, 11:18 AM
The Blue Jays were the first MLB team to pass the 3 million attendance mark for a season. The greed of MLB then destroyed the fan support Toronto had earned.

People I've talked with consider it American greed and selfishness that was not limited to baseball. Not long after the baseball strike (and I was on an island in the Indian Ocean when it happened) American government shut down because politicians, like baseball players and owners, refused to compromise. Then you had the NBA lockout and NHL strike. America ruined Canada's favorite sport.

America could use another NFL strike, a good, long one, to get its priorities back in order. The problem is, as inequitable as the labor agreement is in the sport, most football players' careers are anonymous and brief, and replacements are abundant from the college ranks. The owners would field replacement teams, and the fans would accept it.

Fenway
09-05-2007, 12:23 PM
My friend Karen was a Expos season ticket holder and she said it was the strike and then the fire sale that broke the hearts of the Expo fans.

Problems started for the Expos in the late 70's when voters furious about the taxes over the doomed Montreal Olympics put the Parti Quebecois into power and the first thing they did was outlaw the English language. At the time Montreal was the financial center of Canada and every bank and insurance company packed their bags and headed up the 401 to Toronto. This hurt the teams corporate support. Plus they were forced to move into Stade Olympique which was horrific for baseball.

The Anglophone flight to Ontario seriously eroded the team fanbase as the Expos had never really marketed the French population.

By 1994 Charles Bronfman had sold the team to a group of local investors headed by Claude Brochu who figured out they could slash the payroll but make money if the team drew only 10,000 a game. Brochu was finally forced out by the other investors and they turned to Selig for help.

Selig sent them Jeffrey Loria and stepson David Samson.

Samson got off on the right foot by calling team investor Jean Coutu "a frog" :o:

Coutu is the Charles Walgreen of Quebec and his store used to sell thousands of discounted tickets to the Expos. Coutu also blackballed Loria and Samson in the French business community. He also owns Rite-Aid in the US.

http://www.jeancoutu.com/english/ (http://www.jeancoutu.com/english/)

Meanwhile Samson refused to put the games on CJAD Radio when CIQC-600 went out of business in 1999 because CJAD would not give the Expos priority over the Canadiens hockey team. The team wound up on internet radio for most of the 99 season.

The team was on a death watch the final 10 years as it was well know both Brochu and Loria wanted to move the team to the Meadowlands.

Montreal is still a far better baseball city than Miami or Tampa.

FloridaTigers
09-05-2007, 10:59 PM
Miami? Thats not fair. They have a terrible stadium for baseball, and located far far from the city of Miami itself. Traffic to the stadium (I refuse to call it a ballpark) is a pain, especially before a game, which is right in the middle of rush hour.

And why drive to see a team who fields an AAA team? You never get to follow a player's career because they are immediately traded. I will guarentee that Cabrera and Willis will be traded within three years.

Fenway
09-06-2007, 09:27 AM
Miami? Thats not fair. They have a terrible stadium for baseball, and located far far from the city of Miami itself. Traffic to the stadium (I refuse to call it a ballpark) is a pain, especially before a game, which is right in the middle of rush hour.

And why drive to see a team who fields an AAA team? You never get to follow a player's career because they are immediately traded. I will guarentee that Cabrera and Willis will be traded within three years.

You look at the Expos attendance and you can see they had fan support. Miami shows no evidence of this.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/montattn.shtml

The Expos stopped drawing after the strike and the fire sale. Losing Pedro was the final straw.

I miss the Expos very much. I was at the last game 3 years ago and when the crowd starting singing the Happy Wanderer one last time I lost it.

RIP Nos Amours! ... 1969-2004

http://gallery.bostonradio.org/2002-09/montreal/100-00753-med.jpg (http://gallery.bostonradio.org/2002-09/montreal/100-00753-lrg.html)

jortafan
09-06-2007, 01:39 PM
I miss the Expos very much.

I'm glad to read that. I was starting to think I was about the only person here who felt that way. I will always believe that it was disgusting the way Major League Baseball dumped on Montreal. While I realize there were some unique circumstances with the Expos, I also remember when the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners were also joke franchises that were presumed to be unsalvagable.

I honestly believe that if the Indians could turn things around, anyone could provided they were sincerely dedicated to improvement. Instead, the Expos got Claude Brochu, Jeff Loria and Bud Selig. Allowing Loria to get back into baseball with the Marlins after what he did with the Expos is still one of baseball's low points this decade, as far as I'm concerned.

Thinking about the Expos also reminds me of the last time I saw them play. It was in 2004 and they made what turned out to be their last trip to Chicago for a three-game series against the Cubs. I went to one of the games and saw Vladimir Guerrero hit a home run over the left field bleachers and out onto Waveland Avenue.

Of course, those clowns with nothing better to do on a weekday afternoon than stand outside the stadium with their fielder's gloves got to the ball. One of them tried to follow in the Cubs "tradition" and throw the ball back onto the playing field.

The only problem is that whoever got the ball had a lame arm. He couldn't get the ball over the wire screen behind the bleachers. From my seat down the left field line, I could see that it took three of these clowns to try throwing the ball before one of them could throw it hard enough to get it over the screen and bleachers and onto the playing field.

All in all, a pathetic showing by their fans. Not that the ballclub did much better. I seem to recall the Expos winning that game 7-1, but I can't find the scorecard I kept that day and I'm too lazy right now to try to look up a boxscore of the game on the Internet.

Fenway
09-06-2007, 01:58 PM
I'm glad to read that. I was starting to think I was about the only person here who felt that way. I will always believe that it was disgusting the way Major League Baseball dumped on Montreal. While I realize there were some unique circumstances with the Expos, I also remember when the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners were also joke franchises that were presumed to be unsalvagable.

I honestly believe that if the Indians could turn things around, anyone could provided they were sincerely dedicated to improvement. Instead, the Expos got Claude Brochu, Jeff Loria and Bud Selig. Allowing Loria to get back into baseball with the Marlins after what he did with the Expos is still one of baseball's low points this decade, as far as I'm concerned.



Selig hated Montreal as they won the 1969 expansion slot that he wanted for Milwaukee.

This moment was so sad as 30,000 people singing Take Me Out To The Ballgame one last time :whiner: and crying

http://www.ebaseballparks.com/olympique7th.html

A look back at that final game
http://www.ebaseballparks.com/olympique.html