Baseball

This is the Expos heart and soul cluster about 1982. Gary Carter is #8, and behind him are Andre Dawson, Steve Rogers, Tim Raines and Al Oliver who came over from Texas in order to supply a lefty bat and show just how many runs it costs when your first baseman can’t throw.

At all.

I don’t follow baseball anymore, but this World Baseball Classic is all kinds of fun for a guy like me. I’ve seen Pedro throw in the low 90s, the Netherlands do stuff and entire countries of Rod Carew’s hit the daylights out of major league pitching. Fun stuff.

I have a few observations.

  1. If Eric Gagne was in any way known to me, I’d tell him to take the year off. Rest that moneymaker. Hell take two years if you need it. Then come back, see how things are.
  2. There’s a kid with the first name of Yonder we’re all going to know about soon.
  3. I used to be pretty good at rotoball, and one of the first things I look for in pitchers is their k/w ratio and then k/w per 9 and then finally their whip. Based on a quick glance, the Washington Nationals have no good pitchers.
  4. If Moneyball means that teams should search for players who are not valued, then it is time for Whitey Herzog-style baseball to return.
  5. If true, a smart GM whose team plays in a big ballpark should pick up a pitcher named Brad Kilby, and there’s a speed burner named Elvis Andrus who might be fun. Stay away from tarps, Elvis.

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49 Responses to "Baseball"

  1. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Used to be a huge Expo fan myself LT.

    Just haven’t been able to figure out the date of the day the music died.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Well I followed Raines until the end, and Jose Vidro and Chad Cordero were Expos so fall 2004 I still knew some names.

    But now I’m more likely to talk about Boots Day than Zach Day. If you could solve my baseball orphan journeyman blah’s I’d be your friend forever.

    But those powder blues are long gone.

  3. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Somehow, the move from Jarry Park to the Big Owe seems to have been the beginning but then, I’m getting very old.

  4. Lowetide says:

    Firing Dick Williams and replacing him with Jim Fanning was also a curious item.

  5. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    I think it may have been Rusty leaving.

    Le Grande Orange should have always been an Expo.

    Ryan Smyth redux in the current era.

  6. Dennis says:

    LT: they traded Milton Bradley for Zach Day. Funny you should mention Gagne because a deal was on the table to move Bradley for Gagner just before he blew up but then Dodgers GM and former Expos GM Kevin Malone put on the breaks just in time.

    I’d like to have a team to follow as well but I can’t feel the joy and pain for anyone else other than the Expos.

    I just can’t.

    I did buy The Sporting News 2009 Yearbook today, though. Dropped into the grocery store on to the way to a family supper at the sister’s place and passed along by the magazine rack and saw it and felt like I should pick it up. It’s the first one I bought since 2006.

    Bowden’s gone from the Nats now – I’m sure you don’t know about the scandal that drove him out or otherwise you’d have blurbed about it – and that would make it easier to follow them. But I’ve sorta lost touch with them and I’m thinking I’ll play a couple of fantasy leagues just to give me an excuse to keep up.

    I once knew 25 man rosters and organizational depth like nobody’s business and I’ve never filled the summer hole that the loss of the Expos and subsequent abandoning of the Nationals left me with.

    There was a time when it would be as hot as fuck outside and I’d be huddled down listing to a sub .500 Expos club playing in Milwaukee.

    I miss it more than I can express.

  7. looooob says:

    that would be the 1982 allstar game, with the 5 expos represented…I was there, good times.

    gawd I miss the Expos

  8. bookie says:

    What is this baseball you talk about?

    It looks very strange to me, the ice is all covered in grass and they throw the puck, which is strangely roundish as opposed to ‘disk-like’. Everyone appears to be wearing a 1940′s goalie glove.

    The goalie position seems to be split between two guys – one guy has a short hockey stick with no blade on the end and the other one is wearing the rest of the goalie equipment. Strangly, the goal appears to be a third individual who stands behind the goalies. Weird.

    Everytime the first goalie makes a save by knocking the puck back with his stick, everybody runs around and throws the ball around, but then they give it to the shooter again (who throws the ball instead of using a stick). It seems to be something like a perpetual shoot out with each teams shooter taking a series of shots and then the other teams shooter goes.

    It all seems strange to me. I think I will stick with traditional ice hockey for now and then maybe later I can watch this baseball version.

  9. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    bookie said…
    What is this baseball you talk about?

    A wild loss and a diet consisting of wings, duck, shark and blubber, flambeed twice and crowned with a side of rover might give one pause about the boys of summer.

  10. Black Gold says:

    It’s just a Bettman prototype, bookie.
    They’re trying some of that in the AHL next year.

  11. Coach pb9617 says:

    # If Moneyball means that teams should search for players who are not valued, then it is time for Whitey Herzog-style baseball to return.

    You set my heart aflutter.

    I’ve been pushing this point of view for about six years now. It might make me watch baseball again.

  12. mc79hockey says:

    I think that I’m finally on to FCM and his Eeyore style reverse jinx.

    Well played sir. Well played.

  13. Mr DeBakey says:

    Al Oliver who came over from Texas in order to supply a lefty bat

    I remember how enthused I was when the Expos got Oliver. I thought he was just the ticket.
    I also remember how unenthused I was by the result. Right ticket, wrong day.

    For me, a major milestone in the death of the Expos was when I couldn’t find Expos games on TV amongst all the Blue Jays clutter. Dave & Duke were, all of a sudden, very hard to find.

    In a remotely related event, La Presse says the Canadiens are for sale

  14. pboy says:

    Sorry about the length of the post:
    Dad watched a lot of Blue Jay’s games but I couldn’t stand the Jays and I was looking for something else. The first World Series I ever watched from Opening Game to the end of the series was 1986. Dad explained about how great the Mets were especially two kids they had, Gooden and Strawberry. Of course, I picked the Red Sox and even though Dad explained they hadn’t won in nearly 70 years, I was pretty confident that any team I was cheering for was going to win (remember that the Oilers were basically unstoppable at this time). Everyone knows what happens next……
    After 1986, I got really into following the Sox and those late 80’s, early 90’s teams were unreal to watch. Tons of really, really good players but just shitty teams who couldn’t get out of their own way. The late 80’s Athletics and early 90’s Blue Jays didn’t help either. Mike Greenwell was an underrated player but he could play the Wall beautifully and was a hell of a hitter. Ellis Burks had great pre-steroid power and he was a smooth looking brother in centerfield. Clemens was close to unhittable and you never knew when he could go for 15+ strikeouts. My favorite player was Wade Boggs though. Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs hit for average like no players I’ve ever seen before or since. It seemed like he would wait to get two strikes against him and then he would foul off pitch after pitch until the pitcher would finally give in and throw a grapefruit that Boggs would slam off of the Monster.
    1988 – Make the playoffs for first time since being devastated by the Mets. Get swept by the Athletics and look like little leaguers.
    1990 – Make the playoffs but get swept, again, but the Athletics. Clemens flips out in the 4th game and gets ejected in the 1st inning. Dave Stewart owned Roger Clemens back then. Fuck I hated Dave Stewart.
    1995 – Make the ALDS, get swept by Cleveland. Kevin Kennedy was managing the Sox and might be one of the worst managers I’ve ever seen.
    1998 – Make the ALDS, lose 3-1 to Cleveland. The Indian’s had some powerhouse teams and the Sox couldn’t keep up. Jimy Williams is now the manager and he set the bar for having the worst press relations of a coach in any professional sport ever.
    1999 – Beat Cleveland in the ALDS, thanks to Pedro. Pedro is in his absolute prime (sorry Expo’s fans) and would go weeks being absolutely unhittable. Get destroyed by a great Yankees team in the ALCS. Joe Torre seen laughing in the dugout anytime Jimy Williams would make a decision.
    2003 – Grady Little leaves Pedro to finish up……
    2004 – A combination of the greatest comeback and the worst choke of all-time. Sox destroy the Cardinals in the Series.
    I love watching and following hockey but there still isn’t anything like baseball.

  15. rickibear says:

    Baseball playoffs: The best part.

    I enjoy watching teams false diplay of superiority crushed.

  16. Dennis says:

    The Expos on TV probably deserves it’s own book. I think Bruce and LT will fill in any blanks I leave but when I was growing up it was the Expos on Wed and Sat nights.

    The first memory I have of Anything at all was watching the Expos play at a snowy Wrigley when I was four years old. I never did check the forecast for those days but when I was older I checked out Retrosheet and sure enough the Expos played a series in Chi in April of ’79

    http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1979/VMON01979.htm

    Now, I’m not sure if I just remember watching highlights of where it was snowy or if I actually watched the game – it would probably have to be on the weekend for CBC to show a day game in April from Wrigley – but I hope my memory’s correct because it’s been something I’ve always considered kinda cool.

    Note: I just looked it up online and the first game of that series was a Friday so my memory’s probably legit;)

    Anyway, I’m sure lots of guys had CBC-French but we didn’t back home so all I got was the CBC games. I’m not sure when CBC stopped showing the games but I’d bet money they weren’t on CBC by say ’88. I know ’87 was the first year we had any channels outside of the local CBC and a local channel called NTV. We called it “cable” at the time and it was basically MuchMusic, all four at-the-time US networks, CHCH, TSN and a couple of others that I don’t remember right now. I think we picked up 11 channels because it seems to me I ultimately had 13 to choose from.

    Anyway, I was playing in a 12-and -under softball tourney on the Sat that we officially “got cable” and the games were in a neighbouring community and I couldn’t wait to get the fuck home.

    So, come ’87, Jim Hughson and Ken Singleton were calling games on TSN and I’m not sure if there were games on CTV by then or not. I know that by ’89 we had games on TSN and games on ASN as well. I’m not sure who ASN was picking them off, though. And we didn’t have a CTV affliate as part of our local cable but I remember seeing highlights on TSN and they were courtesy of CFCF/Mtl and later on I knew that was a CTV station.

    When did RDS come into effect and how much Expos coverage did they have? I started post-secondary in ’93 and I was in fucking hog heaven with RDS and all the Expos coverage.

    So, I’d be interested to see how it all went wrong for the Expos TV wise and how it used to be so right. I read Reggie Jackson’s book and he said the Expos offered him the most money the winter before he signed with the Yanks. Later on I learned they had a lot of cash because up until 1980, the Expos were making the most TV revenue of ANY team in baseball.

    For those of us who suffered to the end, just think of that fact for a second.

    I remember at the start that TSN would have 40 Expos games and 40 Jays games and I’d get the sked with one of the cable bills and I basically planned my summers around it. Girls would come a little bit later and there was honestly only one that ever came Before the expos on TV:)

    But the coverage dwindled as the years went past and by ’96 I think the Expos only had something like 25 games a year on TSN.

    Bruce, LT, etc all: anyone else able to fill in these blanks?

    Finally, I never did like the Jays even though they weren’t a hinderence to be watching Les Expos because they were on something called the Baton Broadcasting System and their games were on NTV here in NF. But I believe old Expos owner Charles Bronfman basically buggered himself back in the early 90′s and asked for too much money and that’s why the Jays stepped in to be Canada’s most broadcast team.

    In any case, the jays sucked in ’96 and the Expos were in the Ken Cammanetti – RIP – wildcard race so TSN decided to show their last 10 or 11 games and shelve the remaining Jays games in the process. The Jays org let TSN know that if they did that, they’d shop the rights elsewhere for the next season.

    Now, the jays were well within their right to use their leverage but if we can say I hated them Before they did that, let’s just say I wanted them to lose 163 games a year After they did that.

  17. Traktor says:

    Will the Jays to win more than 79.5 games?

  18. Dennis says:

    Trak: I would take the under on that and I’d pound it.

  19. Traktor says:

    Consider it pounded.

  20. John says:

    2 most breathtaking skills I ever saw from Expo players were:

    Ellis Valentine (speaking of wasted talent) throwing from the right field corner to Larry Parrish at third base……frighteningly hard and accurate! and Al Oliver hitting line drives deep down each foul line. Saw him against PITTSBURGH hit line drive within 5 feet of right field line….next time up outfielders shift 15 ft towards right field and Oliver hits ball within 3 feet of left field line

    Next set of outstanding skill sets was Raines on first and you knew in 3 pitches he would be standing on second after a steal, Dawson was the epitome of range factor and Al Oliver was the absolute worse 1st baseman I ever saw….. not in the majors….EVER

    Oliver actually had a gold chain necklace that said “SCOOP” on it ….misnomer of all time

  21. terry francona says:

    First time particpant. Love the blog Lowetide. expos/oilers – that was my life during the 80s.

    Dennis – best post ever. Fellow Newf. Oh how i despised those Jays for stealing TV time from the Expos. And steal they did – no doubting that.

    And by the way, I’m no Sox fan now. Francona was simply my fave player in the early 80s on what should have been the best baseball team of that era. Weak armed, slow of foot, largely puchless outfielder, but he was the best of the bunch to my then 8 year old eyes. Kid could hit a single witht he best of them.

  22. terry francona says:

    My first post and i make at least two spelling mistakes! Forgive me gents. I’ll get better at this.

  23. mc79hockey says:

    Much like Alberta, Lowetide’s blog has a significant population of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

    (We’re allowed to call them that, right?)

  24. pboy says:

    Unless the Jays pull a TB this season, I can’t see any way they win 80+ games. After Halliday, they don’t have much for starters, weak bullpen and their better hitters are all injury prone. Besides that……

  25. Icecastles says:

    Yay baseketball.

    Eberle signed to an entry-level contract today! I bet he plays first unit PP against Detroit. Next game he’ll play third line centre betwee Moreau and, let’s say… Pouliot. Game after that they’ll try him on defense with Staois. Then, to make sure that leaves feeling defeated as well as confused, he’ll be ripped apart in the post-game interview with MacT. We’ll next see him in an Oilers Jersey in February… 2011.

    None of this is because I don’t like Eberle – I think he’s awesome. But awesomeness is not a rewarded trait on this team. Here, a successful rookie has to have little to no real skill, but play to their maximum potential whenever they are on the ice. If you are capable of two goals in a year and get two goals, right on – you’re a MacT kinda guy. But if you are capable of being a 50-goal scorer and only get 49, well screw you, hippy. There’s no room for passengers on this sinking ship. :P

  26. quain says:

    Here, a successful rookie has to have little to no real skill

    Ladies and gentlemen! Ales Hemsky and Sam Gagner!

  27. doritogrande says:

    Icecastles:

    He won’t see NHL time this year, unless the Oilers tank the next half-dozen games.

    He’s Springfield-bound, and that scares me. Keep Rob Schremp the hell away from him.

  28. Icecastles says:

    Quain – exceptions to the rule do not disprove the rule.

  29. Icecastles says:

    Plus, when you look at what Hemsky should be capable of, I would argue that he has not reached, nor is he likely to reach, his potential.

    Hemsky is supposed to have the best hands of anyone in the NHL and be arguably the best in the league when he’s got the puck (and a long string of players, coaches and scouts have said so), yet where is he in goals? 75th. He is nowhere near his potential output.

  30. goldenchild says:

    Dennis – Big Love season finale what did you think? I was a little disappointed throughout as it seemed predicatable untill the final 5 mins where things took a turn.

    And just to stay on topic, shout out to Oil Can Boyd!

  31. Lowetide says:

    I remember watching Expos games in the 60s, they used to make a big deal about Claude Raymond. I thought he was God. CLAUDE RAY-MOW! they’d say, and then JOHN BOCCCC-AA-BELLLLLLLLLLAAAAAA!

    Good times.

    The Expos used to be on every Wednesday night with Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider and they taught all kinds of things to Canadian kids.

    Van Horne also did radio and if the pennant races were close, the local stations in AB and SK would pick up mid-week radio games and Van Horne did those too.

    Then of course there would be weekend games, most often SAT night. The most melancholy moments of my childhood were SAT night games where they’d run the intro and DVH would tell us the game was rained out.

    Devastating.

    I have a bunch of the TSN games on VHS, probaby 50. They’d likely fall apart if you played them, but there’s early Randy Johnson and lots of Tim Raines and such.

    Tim Raines is my favorite alltime player. Did everything well, the only minus was a little below average arm but he always threw to the right base and first to third was automatic on anything out of the infield.

  32. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    I threw a no hitter for the Expos in their ninth game as a franchise and my fifth major league start.

    Who am I?

  33. Lowetide says:

    Bill Stoneman.

  34. Bruce says:

    MC: Newfoundlanders for sure. Dennis, aren’t the mainlanders called Labradorites? :)

    Terry Francona: Nice post. Nice moniker. Kid could hit. And, it turned out, manage.

    Dennis: I watched the first Expo game ever, on CBC in good old black-and-white TV, a wild 11-10 win in Shea Stadium over the Mets, who would go on to win the World Series that season. A relief pitcher named Dan McGinn hit the first homer, and the Expos almost blew an 11-6 lead in the bottom of the 9th but hung on grimly for la victoire.

    More memorable still was the first home game a few days later, a game against the two-time defending NL champs, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards were my team but on this day I did root for the Expos to win the first major league game ever played outside of the United States. And win they did, 8-7 in anotherwild affair. For starters they had to shovel out Jarry Park in order to play. Mack Jones hit a 3-run homer in the first and a 2-run triple in the second, and immediately became Mayor of “Jonesville”, the LF bleachers. (Jones played LF but, being a LH slugger, hit most of his dingers to right).

    The Expos built a 6-0 lead but blew it all in one inning, the fourth, when the Cards rallied for 7 runs on 5 hits and 5 (five) errors. Not sure if that’s the major league records for misplays in a single inning, but it’s gotta be close. For sure it’s the most I’ve ever seen. There was a balk thrown in there too, as well as a grand slam by the Redbirds’ notoriously light-hitting shortstop Dal Maxvill. Any questions about the Expos being an expansion team were dispelled in that horrid half hour or so. (See the play-by-play to confirm the gory details.)

    Anyway the lefty long reliever McGinn came in to put out the fire and proceeded to pitch 5 1/3 scoreless innings, also knocing in the game-winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the 7th. Astonishing that Mauch let him hit after already going 3 1/3 strong, but it turned out to be the right hunch. McGinn and Jones were the most famous men in Canada that week.

    A little clip from CBC archives touching on both occasions can be found at http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/baseball/clips/3319/ (You’ll have to copy and paste; I can’t get the hyperlink to work)

    That was the most interesting and charismatic expansion team I have ever seen in any sport. Beauty players on the 1969 Expos included:

    – Bill Stoneman, who later that week, on April 17, 1969, pitched a no-hit, no-run game for the 10-day-old franchise.

    – The opening day starter was Jim “Mudcat” Grant who had won 21 games with the AL champ Twins in 1965, and had one of the great nicknames in baseball.

    – The home starter was Larry Jaster, pitching against his old mates in St.Louis after helping them win the pennant the previous two seasons. Jaster had two claims to fame, one bad, one good: he posted an ERA of “Infinity” in the 1968 World Series and a career post season ERA of 81.00 (3 ER in 1/3 of an inning); and in 1966 the 22-year-old rookie pitched 5 consecutive shutouts against the same team, no less than the NL champion LA Dodgers, a feat which was announced at the time as tying a record set by Grover Cleveland Alexander and which I’m almost certain has never been matched since. Jaster ended his 7-year career with 7 shutouts. (Think: Brian Boucher, but all against the same club.)

    – Rusty Staub, “Le Grand Orange”, who hit for average (.302), power (29 HR) with a superb batting eye (110walks, .426 OBP) and was everything for the Expos offence that season. Staub used to hit the odd homer into the swimming pool in right field in Jarry Park, did it on the Wednesday game of the week more than once.

    – Maury Wills, a three-time World Series champion with the Dodgers, who won the NL MVP in 1962 when he stole an unprecedented 104 bases.

    – Ron Fairly, also a three-time WS champion with the Dodgers who was as good a first baseman as Al Oliver was a bad one (a rare “6″ according to APBA Baseball), somehow miscast as a utility outfielder.

    – Donn Clendenon, buried on the depth chart behind Bob Bailey and at first with Fairly in reserve, who was traded to the Miracle Mets and went on to be a World Series hero that very 1969 season with 3 dingers.

    – Claude Raymond, a Quebec native who was acquired from the Astros before season’s end and for one glorious summer (1970) was the Expos’ closer, and a damend effective one.

    – Dick “The Monster” Radatz, also acquired midseason and playing out the string. One of the early relief specialists, the 6’7″ Radatz was a workhorse closer with a fearsome fastball who fanned more than one batter per inning over his career.

    – Elroy Face, another early relief ace who posted an amazing 18-1 record coming out of the bullpen in 1959, and who saved 3 games for the Pirates in their famous 1960 upset over the Yankees despite an ERA of 5.23.

    Enough already, I’ll leave it to LT to tell you about Coco Laboy and John Bocc-a-belllll-a and Manny Mota and Bobby Wine and Carl Morton and Steve Renko and Gene Mauch. My goodness that was a fun club.

    Late edit: In preview mode I see LT has already talked about Bocc-a-bellll-a, and Stoneman and Raymond besides. Ah well, I’ll just leave the above reminiscence intact with apologies for the length. That said, if you don’t like baseball, why the hell are you reading this thread?

  35. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Thanks Bruce. Many fond memories.

    Currently trying to track down a copy of Spaceman in Cuba from a later era.

    “No Guns…No Butter…both can kill”

  36. mc79hockey says:

    Oh and as long as we’re reminscing about the Expos, I went to their final game at Shea Stadium. Gorgeous day to sit in the sun. The Expos got spanked 8-1 and Brendan Harris made one of the more hideous throwing errors I’ve ever seen.

    Lots of Canadians there. Really disappointing after the game that none of the Expos gave the crowd a little salute (or a little “salut”) but I guess they were pretty soured on the whole thing.

  37. Dennis says:

    Ty: I never knew you went to their final game. What prompted it?

    LT: Yes, that’s the kind of thing I was looking for:) Do you remember the last year they were on CBC? And the whole thing about rainouts flashed me back to one summer night in my youth on a night when the local TV guide said the Expos were gonna be on CBC.

    So, I head to the local shop – which is what we called a store:) – to pick up what the Newfoundlanders call a “lunch.” Basically, you’d have something in the night time and the older people would call it a “mug up.”

    I hope Bruce is following me here and maybe Francona as well:D

    Anyway, I go down and get a bag of chips and a bottle of Pepsi and I’m all set. Turn on the TV to watch the Expos and the Bucs and instead it’s the fucking movie Dracula.

    The one with Frank Langella.

    I’ve hated that fucker ever since.

    Actually, the local TV guide used to fool me all the time. Every spring they’d say that NTV would be showing the Pearson Cup – that was the spring game between the Expos and the hated Blue Jays. But ,for some reason, it never aired but I’d be there every spring waiting for it like Charlie Brown and the football.

    I’m envious of your tape collection because just last night I was on youtube looking for old Expos stuff and it’s shocking just how little of it’s been posted. My birthday’s April 4th and I always thought it was cool how it coincided with the beginning of the baseball season and on a few occasions the Expos would play their home opener or season opener on that date.

    It was an awesome time because the NHL season was winding down, you had the NCAA championship game and my favourite sport was about to kick off.

    I gotta admit I get a bit of melancholia running through me around those times these days. You knew in your heart that Peter Bergeron wasn’t anything great but damned if you didn’t root for him when he was your leadoff hitter and CFer.

    GC: I actually liked the season finale. You can see Bill Henrickson’s moves two steps ahead but it was nice to see that Selma was actually a real person and Bill takes another child into his flock and doesn’t bat an eyelash. And Margine finally catches a break.

  38. Smarmy Boss says:

    That Rock Raines guy was a hell of a player.

    My fave Expos moment was watching El’ Presidente’s perfect game. I think the game before that Mark Gardiner took a no hitter into the 10th inning.

    I used to try to get Dennis to love the Blue Jays but its just not gonna happen.

  39. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Okay, so who is writing the book about the Expos as a popular culture icon for the Viagra set?

    LT, Pat, Bruce, Dennis?

  40. Lowetide says:

    El Perfecto was a beauty game. Also, Raines coming back May 1 at Shea and won it in extra’s with a rip right down the RF line.

    But it’s the other things too. Jeff Huson getting caught off base at Shea deep into the fall when a W was a must, Jeff Reed’s seeing eye single killing Whitey’s Cards down the stretch, Mike Jorgensen throwing home to complete the triple play.

    And Ray Burris pitching out of his mind against the Dodgers, fall 1981.

  41. Bruce says:

    FCM: Oh, not me. Like I said way up top, they weren’t even my team. :)

    SB: I believe Gardner threw his quasi-pseudo-semi-no-no on a Friday night in the series opener, and Martinez’s gem was on a Sunday afternoon. I still remember Dave Van Horne’s (perfect) call on the final out: “El Presidente, El Perfecto!” Have heard that call more than once since on the highlight reels of course, but the electric thrill of The moment cannot quite be recreated. Perfect games are so incredibly rare I feel fortunate to have watched even one.

  42. Mr DeBakey says:

    Ron Fairly, also a three-time WS champion with the Dodgers

    Of course, Fairly had previously played for the Edmonton Eskimos

    “Outfielder Ron Fairly, Edmonton, pounded a homer in his first game in the WCBL and went on to an All-Star season. He was in the majors a year later.”

    http://www.attheplate.com/wcbl/1957_1.htm

  43. Bruce says:

    Mr. dB: Right you are. By the time I saw the Eskimos as a youngster in 1964, Fairly was long-since graduated to the bigs, but he was still “fairly” well known in this town.

    That was a pretty decent brand of ball.

  44. Dennis says:

    Bruce: Yeah, the Gardiner game was on a Friday night and that one was on TSN as well. Gardiner had a sweet breaker – curveball – but when it went flat, you’d better take cover in the bleachers.

    Fuck, though, I hated watching games from LA because it seemed like the Expos had so little success out there and on the West Coast in general when you think about it.

    I remember a Sat night game on CTV when Kirk Gibson scored all the way from second base on a wild pitch and I swore so loudly that I woke my grandfather;) I also remember a game from ’96 when Dave Veres blew a save and I absolute seethed.

    The Martinez perfect game happened on a Sunday evening when it was absolutely blazing hot in my neck of the woods. Me and my buddy were supposed to drive to a neighhouring community to look for girls and I called him after the 6th inning and told him he could wait for me or go without me because there was no way I was getting away from the TV.

    Chris Gwynn with a deep fly to Grip.

    Thinking about the Expos on the West Coast makes me think back to Mark Langston’s first start with the club. It happened on a Sunday afternoon in SD and TSN had the cast. I can still remember the opening and TSN throwing it to Van Horne and Singleton and both sporting matching gaudy Hawaiian shirts and shit-eating grins. Bip Roberts was an absolute Expos killer at the time and Langston whiffed him four times and the Expos won in a route.

    http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1989/B05280SDN1989.htm

    Four days later he makes his second start at Veterans Stadium and in the eight inning the Phils have the bases loaded with no one out.

    Langston then proceeds to strike out the fucking side.

    I am 14 years old and nothing else matters.

    Note: the only thing that could’ve been better was if one of the stations showed Porky’s on a continuous loop.

    And the Expos moved Tom Foley for a 2B that could actually fucking hit.

  45. Dennis says:

    LT: here’s your game where Hughson got picked off 1B to end the contest.

    http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1989/B09110CHN1989.htm

    Oilers were four games out heading into that series at Wrigley and wound up getting swept. They also got swept Earlier that summer at Wrigley as well.

    I didn’t see that Hughson game so were you listening to it or did you have one of those old grey C-band dishes? Anyone here have one of those? You must have been able to pick up a whack of channels back when everything was analog.

    Back to the Wrigley games, it reminds me of waiting for the 8pm local Sportsdesk and Vic Rauter on the desk with that fucking “MAKE the final.”

    And it would always somehow involve Ryne Sandberg.

  46. Bruce says:

    Sandberg was a beauty. And so is this WBC final. 3-2 Japan in the 9th. And now Korea with another defensive gem to stay alive.

  47. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    Perhaps the music died the day I got to see Koufax beat the Giants in Dodger Stadium 1-0.

    The hotdog guy could put one in your hands from 50 paces.

    Row 12 down the 3rd base line.

    Does life get any better?

  48. Bruce says:

    5-3 Japan in 10 innings. A terrific game. After keeping it close by pulling off at least three HON candidates with the leather, Korea tied it with two out in the bottom of the 9th; but Ichiro delivered a 2-run single, his 4th hit of the game, in the 10th to win it. The young Japanese ace with the 100-mile-an-hour fastball and the unlikely name of Yu Darvish closed the deal.

    FCM: A Koufax shutout? Wow. I suppose you’re going to tell me Juan Marichal took the hill for the Giants.

  49. Fake Craig McTavish says:

    That would be gilding the lily my friend.:0
    Yeah.

    By the way. Best baseball player name ever.

    Played for the Giants.

    Dusty Rhodes.

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