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Mister Youppi Goes to Washington

So it finally happened – Les Expos have a new home.

Baseball returned to the nation’s capital for the first time in 33 years Wednesday, with an announcement from Major League Baseball that the Montreal Expos will move to Washington next season.

The announcement came one day before the anniversary of the Senators’ final game. The team moved to Texas after the 1971 season, the last time a major league team moved.

“It’s a day when the sun is setting in Montreal, but it’s rising in Washington,” Expos president Tony Tavares told a news conference in Montreal.

You know, I’m just glad that this embarrassing road show finally came to an end. Beyond that, I’m indifferent. MLB screwed Montreal over many times, but once that was done, what resulted couldn’t continue, and at least they picked a place that ought to support the new team. If you want more, Eric McErlain has been following this all along.

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it:

Hearings will begin soon on the city’s $440 million package that would include the new ballpark and $13 million for refurbishment of RFK. The money will come from a new tax on the city’s largest businesses, a tax on baseball-related income and lease payments by the team’s new owners.

Suckers. What else can I say?

Congratulations are in order to Expos GM Omar Minaya, who’s been hired by the Mets as their head of baseball operations. The Mets can use all the help they can get, and with Minaya they’ve gotten a good GM who performed near miracles with little raw material in Montreal. Via David Pinto.

UPDATE: The Baseball Prospectus has lots of good stuff: Jonah Keri’s fond remembrances of his favorite team and the reader responses to him, plus two articles that sill surely raise Sue‘s blood pressure: this one on how DC is paying for the new stadium, and this one on how Peter Angelos will make out like a bandit as a result of the deal MLB gave him to drop his territorial opposition to the DC relocation.

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3 Comments

  1. William Hughes says:

    I was waiting all day for you to discuss this. 🙂

    Major League Baseball may have screwed the city of Montreal regarding the Expos, but the province of Quebec and Canadian government screwed everybody worse with the saga of Olympic Stadium. More information can be found at the CBC archives (www.cbc.ca/archives). Having seen the Expos play at Olympic Stadium, I can assure you that Washington will be a vast improvement. Hell, Kabul would be an improvement. The lighting was awful, the roof made everything look dingy, and the turf was ugly. They did have the best beer in baseball and the unique concession of smoked meat sandwiches (a reason to go to Montreal by itself) There is an interest in the sport, despite what the attendance figures may show (attendance figures from 1981-1994 were much higher).

    Anyway, with the NHL in a lockout, I may have to wait a while before I go back up to Montreal. Unless, of course, I decide to see the Alouettes. 🙂

  2. Sue says:

    I can’t help but wonder how much they had to pay off Peter Angelos.

    You should know that I’m restraining myself from saying what I really want to say about Angelos. None of it is very nice, so just make up something mean and that’s probably it.

  3. William Hughes says:

    “You should know that I’m restraining myself from saying what I really want to say about Angelos. None of it is very nice, so just make up something mean and that’s probably it.”

    Sue, there’s no need to say anything. I don’t think there are too many Peter Angelos fans out there.