By David Luchuk

The 2001-2002 offseason was once a tumultuous one for significant League Baseball. The commissioner's flow to agreement groups, voted on and licensed by way of league proprietors in a 28-2 vote, left fanatics in numerous towns fearing for the way forward for their groups. The Montreal Expos, with a up to date background of negative play or even poorer attendance, appeared an visible selection. Canada's purely different colossal league franchise, the Toronto Blue Jays, had voted in prefer of the commissioner's notion yet appeared as most likely a candidate as both of the groups detailed via proprietors. This booklet examines the 2002 season of the Expos and the Blue Jays, environment occasions opposed to the backdrop of a long-nurtured city contention among Montreal and Toronto. Chapters conceal the summer season of 2002 month-by-month, supplementing on- and off-field occasions with a wealth of historic history and displaying how festival positioned the Expos and Blue Jays in addition to their host towns on completely divergent paths.

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Additional resources for Blue Jays 1, Expos 0: The Urban Rivalry That Killed Major League Baseball in Montreal

Sample text

On another occasion, he was justly accused of sneaking a peek back at the catcher’s position or sign prior to drilling a home run. At Olympic Stadium, Rodriguez’s position was, and often is, littered with Oh Henry! chocolate bars. Fans still have a soft spot for the memory of that remarkable spring. “I love playing for the Expos. ” —Houston mayor Bob Lanier, 1996 Compared to the threat of relocation, the threat of contraction is new. Until this summer, contraction was dismissed as a misguided and ineffective response to problems shared by many teams.

Though many locals characterized his retractable-roof concept as too flimsy to handle Montreal’s blustery winter, Taillibert’s design was never truly realized. Unfinished venues were hastily thrown together as the Olympics began, and the massive tower from which his roof was to extend would not be completed for almost a decade. It is unclear whether Olympic Stadium would have turned into the financial sinkhole it eventually became if Taillibert’s concept had been delivered. What is clear is that his design was never meant to accommodate the Montreal Expos.

This was the first step in the realization of Howe’s dark prediction. Maritime trade dropped 40 percent while trade in Ontario and Quebec jumped 100 percent. Canada had been a gamble and Nova Scotia had been wise in its reluctance to anteup. Illusions that greater autonomy might be promoted in the new country were also vividly dispelled in Ontario and Quebec. Expansion was the order of the day. Federal leaders in Ottawa drooled over the great, untapped frontier to the west while pitting financiers struggling through international depression against one another in Toronto and Montreal.

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