Morgan: The day the Expos` death started
It was on this date in 1994, the Major League Baseball season ended when players went on strike to fight owners' demands for a salary cap. The Expos had the best record in the majors at 74-40.
Few observers believed the strike would last very long. Maybe a couple of weeks, and they'd be back. The playoffs couldn't be jeopardized, after all.
How wrong we were. The World Series wound up being cancelled for the first time in 90 years.
No one knows what would have happened if the season wasn`t cancelled. But it was clear the Expos were head and shoulders above so many other clubs including the Atlanta Braves, their nemesis for so many years.
The Expos were re-located after the 2004 season. But their slow death really began after what happened in 1994. The club let go many of its best players. Ownership wasn`t nearly as committed as it should have been.
General manager Jim Beattie`s hands were tied, but not enough to prevent a fire sale.
19 years later, and here we are.
At least people like Warren Cromartie haven`t given up on the idea of MLB in Montreal. It can absolutely work here. What's needed is a new stadium and local ownership, someone who actually likes baseball.
I've never given up hope. And I won't start now.
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