So the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets will be playing in Montreal on March 28 and 29 in 2014. I for one am excited and plan to buy tickets to both games. As I mentioned in yesterday’s article discussing the notion of MLB games in Montreal again, it will be the first time Major League Baseball will be played in Montreal since 2004.
There have been a few questions posed regarding the game; like why the Mets and not the Nationals, Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers? Why not two regular season games? Will the stadium be ready in time? Of course those are the negative questions and although there are some fans who think it’s a bad idea, there are many including myself, who think it’s a great one.
It is almost perfect timing for the Blue Jays to come and play a few games in Montreal. Right now Warren Cromartie and company are working on the feasibility study to find out if Montreal can support a Major League baseball team, and we should find out those results closer to the year’s end. Expos Nation also has done a good job at promoting Montreal, Expos fans, and the fact that we miss our team! Thanks to Expos Nation over 1000 Expos fans made the trip to Toronto wearing ‘Spos gear loudly and proudly, letting MLB know we are still here and we want our team back!
Of course the Blue Jays are doing this to promote their team, “We are excited to bring the Blue Jays to Montreal and to give the fans a taste of Major League Baseball again. This will be a very meaningful experience knowing the strength and passion of baseball fans in Quebec. We hope that these games will rekindle their interest in the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball,” Paul Beeston, the Blue Jays president and CEO said in a statement (Quote from Montreal Gazette). This is the Jays trying to take a chance and hopefully gain more fans from the Province of Quebec.
While the Jays attempt to try to convince Expos fans and baseball fans alike that the Jays are still around and that we should support them, many baseball fans will be going to the Big O wearing their Expos colors and showing the league that they should have never left and that Montreal wants an MLB back in the city.
Looking at Evenko.ca, the website where fans can find tickets, the seating chart is not up, but they say the price range is between $83 – $18 dollars. I’m not sure if anyone has ever sat in the upper deck, but believe me its not worth $18 dollars, that’s for sure. I’m a bit surprised by the price and think $83 is a lot to ask to a city where the MLB once broke its heart. Hopefully it will only be a few seats that cost so much.
Aside from the pricing which we still don’t have all the details yet, there are a few things the Jays should consider and do while in Montreal. The city has a rich, yet heart-breaking history. Many fans today celebrate the Expos, and although the Jays are here to promote their team they should not ignore the history of Montreal’s former team. Not only would that be in bad taste, but it would only sour the feeling towards the Toronto organization.
To begin, the Blue Jays should have a night honoring Hall-of-Famer Andre Dawson. Dawson is the second Expos player to be enshrined in the MLB Hall-of-Fame wearing an Expos cap; the first was of course Gary Carter. Dawson never got a proper congratulations from Montreal, because the team was no longer in Montreal; I do believe the Alouettes honored him, but I think the best would be honoring him at a baseball game and why not next March?
Dawson should be honored one game and the second game should honor Carter and all the other Expos. The Jays should bring back people like Orlando Cabrera, Rusty Staub, Brad Wilkerson, Tim Raines, Felipe Alou, Vladimir Guerrero and as many more former Expos as they can get. It’s time Montreal gave all of the players a proper thank you and I think the Jays could and quite frankly help make this happen. I would love to see these guys one last time. I know the Jays will want the focus on them, but sharing the limelight never hurt anyone and I’m sure Expos fans would be grateful if the organization did something for Montreal.
All this being said, I am very excited that Montreal is getting baseball even if its two exhibitions in March. I hope the fans come to the two games show the MLB that they miss baseball and want more of it and of course cheer on the Jays to victory, although it’s up to the fans on who they will cheer for. Thank you, Toronto Blue Jays, for coming to Montreal and giving this city what it’s missed for almost ten years – Major League Baseball.
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