Cro has stated that those coming to the 2015 Expos Fest and who'll be crashin' the Big O for these Reds/Jays games will be none other than Mr. Rusty "Le Grand Orange" Staub, Timmy "Rock" Raines, Andres "El Gato" Galarraga, broadcaster Jacques Doucet, and headlinin' will be Hall of Famer and Legend Andre "Hawk" Dawson. Yeah!
The 2014 Olympic Stadium Games
I'm sure it's a joke to a lot of people in the baseball world that someone would be super stoked and pumped about some pre-season exhibition games but you gotta understand that there's still a huge fan base of die-hard Expos fans in Montreal who haven't had MLB come to town in a full decade so it was a big deal for us.
The games against the Mets were done so well too. For game one, Raines was there, Steve Rogers was there, Gary Carter's wife and daughter were there to honor the late n' great Kid, and Cromartie was there to lead the fans in a chant of "WE WANT BASEBALL BACK!" It was nice, it really was. Look, for an Expos fan it was pretty freakin' cool.
|Carter's family, Cy, Cro, n' Rock|
For game two, almost the entire 1994 Expos were in the house from Grip, to Moises, to Walker, to Johnny Wetteland and everybody in the stands got hella pumped to see those dudes again. For shizzle. I remember watching all these guys live in the flesh the year they went 74-40 and seeing all of them back in the Big O was something I thought I would never see again.
|Fletch, Walker, Felipe, n' lancer gaucher Denis Boucher|
There were almost 100,000 people who came to the those two games...and I don't know but...something tells me these two pre-season games in 2015 are gonna crack the 100K mark. Something's in the air up in here and I know well enough (most of the time) to classify what is in the air when I feel that something is in the air. What is in the air in this case? BASEBALL FEVER.
Cincinnati Reds: The Best and My Favoritist of Those Guys
Props to the Cincinnati organization for agreeing for their club to venture north to the baseball-less and barren-of-baseball wasteland of Montréal to play a major league baseball game or two in the 2015 pre-season.
I have memories of the all the NL teams and most of these teams I have a favorable view of. Those Cincina-ta Reds are one of those teams I have a favorable opinion of, as such. In order to give props to the Reds organization I would like to write about them...specifically about the best Red and also about my favorite Red of all time.
Best: Barry Larkin
You're talking some heavy duty Reds over the years from Joe Morgan to Pete Rose to George Foster to Jose Rijo and the list goes on and on...but to me I'd have to classify Barry Larkin as the greatest by talent and by numbers Red of all time.
I should say that I may be biased because I personally have seen many many live games involving Barry Larkin. His rookie year was 1986 and he retired in 2004. For me, my first live baseball game was in 1986 and my team moved away in 2004...so my viewing of baseball and the career of Barry Larkin do overlap pretty much 100%. So I personally have never seen, say George Foster, play yet I assume someone who hit 92 homers in the span of two season was probably pretty fucking good. The fact that I've seen Barry play live on numerous occasions may be the reason I believe him to be the best Red ever.
People are spoiled in this era with shortstops who can play adequate defense and hit...but in my era of watching baseball it was still common to see a shortstop who hit .230 as the team's first string shorty. A guy like Barry who could win a gold glove at short, a position which sees well over 700 balls hit to in any given year, and hit well was very rare in previous eras.
He didn't just hit well though...he did it all. He hit for contact (.295 lifetime average), he hit down the line and into gaps (441 doubles, 76 triples), he hit longballs (198 homers), he drew walks (.371 OBP), and even stole some bases (379 out of 456 attempts). To have a gold glove shortstop who could do stuff like this was incredible.
The only real knock on Barry was that he rarely played 150+ game seasons due to injuries. He wasn't an Iron Man like Ripken but he was better than Ripken when he did play.
I know many would disagree with me asserting that Larkin was the best Red ever so I'll leave it as worded like this...
...Barry Larkin was the best Red I ever watched play.
Favorite: Chris Sabo
Sabo was a popular Red who played thirdbase for them in the late eighties and into the nineties. He is mostly remembered for his signature goggles he wore around his head moreso than his hitting or fielding prowess (which wasn't too shabby by the way).
As you can see from this beautiful artistic rendition of his facial features in this Donruss Diamond Kings baseball trading card to the left of the screen...Chris Sabo indeed had signature-ass goggles that made you stop and look at his card when you got it in a pack.
He was nicknamed "Spuds" Sabo by Pete Rose because apparently Sabo resembled Spuds McKenzie from the old Bud Light commercials. For those unfamiliar, Spuds McKenzie was a super cool dog who rocked hard, drank hard, and banged a hell-a-vu-lotta women back in the eighties (including even Debbie Gibson).
Personally, I do not see any tangible resemblance between Sabo and McKenzie...
Okay, I admit, the reason Chris Sabo is my most best and favoritist Red evar is simply for the aesthetic and shallow reason that...Chris Sabo looked so fucking goofy in those goggles. He looked like a certified goof ball in those things. When players of the eighties were competing as to who wore the most stylish of fly sunglasses or "shades" if you will...it was visually striking to see Sabo with these literal grandma-glasses fastened to his head with an elastic band. He was the anti-fly...the actual anti-fly.
I understand that eye-glasses would surely fall off a man's skull whilst he had to manipulate his body to whip out baserunners at first or to bang out jack-a-roo hum-dingers...but still...you have to admit that Chris Sabo looked genuinely silly in those goggles.
If poppin' up with yer fly open is cool..then call me Miles Davis!!
I used to advertise my respect for Chris Sabo to the whole world through the use of the T-Shirt as well. The year the Reds were in the World Series in 1990 and Chris Sabo fucking tore up that World Series like it was nobody's fucking business...my parents purchased me a 1990 World Series T-Shirt which because of the play of Sabo in that series had a big huge Chris Sabo head on it (complete with over-exaggerated grandma-glasses). I was like 8 or something years old back in '90 and everyone at school would always be like...
Kid at School: Haha! Who's that big huge DORK on yer shirt?
Me: Oh, that's just Chris Sabo! Isn't he kewl?
Kid at School: NO!
Hands down, Christopher "Spuds McKenzie" Sabo is the kewlest Red in history...unlike the "best" argument where it is debate-able as to who was the best Red...when it comes to the who the kewlest Red is the debate is much simpler. It would be difficult for anyone to win an argument in which they tried to claim that Sabo was not the kewlest Red evar.
My Most Humblest of Apologies to Former Cincinnati Red Ken Griffey Junior
One memory I have of the Reds was something I remember good because it was a stupid thing I did. I was, I think 17, when this happened and to be fair I was not the most maturest of seventeen year old human youths back then.
Anyway, Ken Griffey Jr. was playing kind of crappy in his first year in the National League in 2000 with the Reds, he was hitting like .244 coming into the series on July 28th against the Expos at Olympic Stadium (average on that date courtesy of Baseball-Reference Dot Com). I was sitting on the first base side and witnessed Mr. Griffey pop out and I for some reason had the urge to yell...
..."looks like ya just popped up ya big faggot!"
...and Ken Griffey Junior literally turned and looked directly into my eyeballs...and I was like....
...."Oh shit! How did he hear me!?"
I really didn't think with the noise of the stadium and everything that players even heard when fans heckled but I am 100% sure he heard me and I always felt bad about saying that for two reasons:
1) Ken Griffey Jr. is a super cool guy and is 100% a Hall of Famer and legend...and it was not polite to make fun of him while he popped up.
2) You shouldn't use "faggot" as a pejorative word because gay people are chill and cool. But yo, back in like 1999 when I was 17 that word was just part of a youth's vocabulary. I mean in my last year of high school if you totaled up all the times a youth said the word "faggot" in 1999.....you're talking about like at least a zillion instances. Still it's not an excuse and I'm sorry for using that word as an insult.
So, I apologize to the gay community for using the word "faggot" as a pejorative word quite often in my youthful days. I never use that word anymore...I have used the word "faggo" in this blog once or twice but that was under instructions from Scott Thompson (no not the Expo one but the Kids in the Hall one) that "faggo" is an a-ok term to say.
According to Kid in the Hall and comedy star Scotty Thompson..."faggo" is chill to say still.
So, 100% I don't ever use the "t" in that word anymore.
Most of all though, I apologize to Ken Griffey Junior because, well, the guy's a baseball icon and legend. He's a first ballot hall of famer for sure (he didn't look even a little bit roided up). KGJ....you are a capital "L" Legend, bro.
Montreal Baseball Project is still going strong. It should be noted that this is still operating in Phase II, many seem to think that MBP has initlized P3 but believe me when Cro initiates Phase III...you're gonna know that's for damn sure because it's gonna be huge.
Hey...you wanna a rumor that I heard about 2016's Expo fest? Yes, Vlad is apparently coming to town but don't quote me on that.