The Baseball Desert

Friday, October 01, 2004

Adieu, les Expos

I briefly touched on the relocation of the Expos the other day but in a "thank God the whole mess is over" kind of way - it never really occurred to me that the move will leave a huge hole in a lot of people's lives. It's like natural (or even unnatural) disasters - you feel sympathy for those who lose their lives or loved ones close to them, but it only really hits home when you start to read the personal accounts. I'm not going to be foolish enough to put Montreal's loss on the same level as the losses of September 11th 2001, but in a sense the accounts have affected me in the same way - I felt for the victims of the attacks on New York and Washington, but I was only truly touched when I started to read the individual accounts or the long list of obituaries in the New York Times.

And so it is with the Expos - the powers-that-be have decided that the team should move: OK, c'est la vie, let's move on. But that move means a lot of people losing something that they have held dear for many years. It's easy to sit in front of my MLB.TV screen and say it's no big deal or that it's a good thing for baseball, but how would I feel if I found out tomorrow that I would no longer have access to the games I watch, the blogs I read, the people I talk about the game with? I guess I would feel like Katie Hynes and other die-hard Montreal fans.

It's only a game, but it's our game and we love it, and it hurts when it's taken away from us. The Expos play their last game at Shea Stadium on Sunday - you might not shed a tear, but have a good thought for the faithful fans they will be leaving behind. I'll leave the last words on the subject to Expos' infielder Jamey Carroll, who had this to say to the fans after Wednesday night's final game at Olympic Stadium:

"I want to thank everybody in the front office, from the ushers to the security people. I want to try to touch everybody in the clubhouse. I want to let them know that the people that we run into every day have been a part of this thing. Also, I want to touch the fans that have been part of it for 30-something years. We appreciate it, and I appreciate it."