Spring Will Never Be the Same Again

Spring is supposed to be a purifying and therapeutic bridge in ushering in the summer months. It's supposed to wash off the winter salt and spray on the sweet rays of the sun. With spring training right around the corner, Expos fans will need special counseling to get them through the ugliness of watching the Washington Nationals. There is much nastiness I could say about this whole sad saga but that would be pointless. Spring will be anything but therapeutic this year.

My goal was to go through spring training, and by extension, the baseball season trying to pretend the Expos never existed. Like someone who tries to forget a loved one, I planned to place myself in a catatonic state of denial. Alas, I realized that was going to impossible as Montrealers were going to be inevitably exposed to the multi-armed and ubiquitous machinery of American sports media. From ESPN to CNN and Sports Illustrated to NBC and Fox Montrealers will be faced with two scenarios of which both will enrage them.

The first, will be the coverage of the Washington Nationals. Recently, I can't recall which issue, Sports Ilustrated dedicated 4 pages to the Nationals. The Montreal Expos, even during the great years, rarely, if ever, got such exposure. Montreal was just another fur trading outpost to mainstream Americana. Inconsequential though we may have been on their radar screens, we had a wonderful thing going on up here. Montreal was a unique baseball town that went right over the heads of MLB.

There was still, if you can imagine, room to up the ante in making Nos Amours an even more attractive ball club. Americans never embraced the special bond the Expos were to this community because they were never exposed to it in any fair manner.

The second will be the realization by some in the American media who will begin to question how badly treated the Expos and their fans were. Everything conspired to work against it. No one came to bat for the Montreal Expos and this is the biggest travesty. There was no enlightened leadership anywhere to be found. Where were they when we would have needed them to expose the rot stewing?

It really is a sad ending to a special epic journey that lasted a little over three decades. We should have silenced all the people who spoke ill of this baseball town. Little justice was accorded to a town with a baseball heritage that stretched back over 100 years. We should have been more protective and industrious with our baseball heritage. Maybe, just maybe it would have been helpful.

For some of us, watching the Expos and their history die unceremoniously without a fight was just plain sad. To have them pass on to another city, who twice lost a franchise, like a cheap rag was an indecent act.

I wish I could wish the Nationals all the best but I can't. I won't. We deserved better.

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