Can old be new again? Expos ready for rebirth

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Matt’s Take:

If first you don’t succeed, try and try again. That’s the saying, right?

Well, it appears that’s exactly what might be taking place later this month when the mayor of Montreal, Dennis Coderre, plans to meet with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Could a rebirth of the Expos be in the works? Let’s hope so.

It’s been 11 years since the Expos left the city they called home north of the border to become the Washington Nationals. I’m sure the fans in Montreal are aching for baseball.

The Expos has some talented teams and could have been special. Heck, with the likes of Larry Walker, Moises Alou, Marquis Grisson, Rondell White and Pedro Martinez on the bench, they had baseball’s best record, 74-40, in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Unfortunately mismanagement was the downfall of this organization. Why not put someone capable of running a team in charge and let the fans flock back to a new stadium.

We’ve seen the Toronto Blue Jays use the old Expos stadium for exhibition games and results proved to be solid. Sure, that’s not going to be an every night kind of occurrence, but let the city and the fans decide.

I mean, come on now, who wouldn’t want to sit in the stands, drink a cold one and shove some gravy and cheese covered fries in their mouths?

I’m sure we can agree about that.

It’s doubtful MLB revisits Montreal as a permanent home, but worse things have happened.

Andrew’s Take:

Poutine might be the perfect ballpark snack, but it’s going to take more than fries and gravy to bring the Montreal Expos back.

I support Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre’s push for baseball’s return to The City of Saints, but not for the reasons you might imagine.

Major League Baseball is making more money now than ever before. The League is issuing an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” memo as I write. So I can’t imagine the League would re-gift a franchise to a region that barely showed support for 35 years.

The lobbying of a new market offers tremendous leverage back home, and the MLB currently has the appropriate numbers and placement for their teams.

Two stand out as “insecure” in their current setting, though, the Oakland Athletics and the Tampa Bay Rays both need new stadiums.

The Athletics have been trying to move to San Jose, Calif. (basically the same market) for about seven years. Their tallest hurdle, by far, has been the inactivity of Bud Selig. But he finally retired, and I imagine that Rob Manfred won’t ignore the dollar signs from Silicon Valley.

That leaves Tampa. The Rays have been trying to build a new home since their inaugural season in 1998. But Florida taxpayers are so spoiled that they’re not willing to see the big picture. Central Florida is the hot bed of American baseball. If the Rays had even a minor league park, the team would see attendance success.

Now, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has the threat he needs. The transition to Montreal would be seamless as far as divisional alignment goes, and tax dollars are easier to generate in Canada.

But the Montreal Expos are a thing of the past, and it needs to stay that way; relegated to documentaries.

Whatever amount of money offered to support the Expos should be redirected to a new civil engineering project that walls off Quebec from the rest of the world, since both sides would prefer separation.

All I want to know is how much is Sternberg paying Coderre?