Could this really be a year without Baseball?

My heart aches. Right now, in Montreal, it’s snowing. The normal harbinger to the beginning of spring, is the crack of the bat is silent and seemingly far off. So too is my yearly tradition of catching some live games on the road as a treat during my business travels.

I tired to replace the joy of this with MLB The Show 2020 on PS4. It worked for a bit, but it’s really no substitute for the excitement and the drama of a real game, where things actually matter.

Let’s not forget as well all the story lines – just for the teams I enjoy to follow. Would there be a sophomore slump in the three white night rookies (Biggio , Bichette and Guerrero) for the Blue Jays? How would Hyun-jin Ryu fit in, and outs he have an impact? Do the Nationals have a repeat year or crumble without Rendon? Does Aaron Judge continue his pace? So many stories I was looking forward to.

Also I had trips to Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco and Toronto. Each had ball games tied to it, where I was trying to beat my record from last year of 5 different stadium visits, something I think I would have done with trips to Boston, Los Angeles and Baltimore surely scrapped.

Even forgetting the personal stories for myself. I just held out hope a real game would be played. Baseball has survived and thrived through all kinds of periods. It was the past time during the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, two world wars, and all the way through troubles like September 11th, and the Great Recession.

However, it’s becoming clear – baseball- like most things is cancelled in 2020. This will, be a weird year even if things return by some decree. New divisions possibly, a restart of “spring training”, contracts expiring or trade deadlines without a season, and there may be teams who fold and never recover.

I’m a Montreal native and even as much as I yearn to have a team back in this city, my whole body knows I don’t want it at the expense of another passionate fan base losing their team based on this pandemic, as the Washington Post recently reported.

So where does this all lead us? Maybe we see baseball this season, although I am not betting on it. I am trying to take small comfort in the new ways teams are connecting fans and players. For example, next week, I’ll join a Zoom call with several players of the Blue Jays along with several thousand fans. Otherwise, I guess I will keep playing MLB The Show and hope by next season, I’ll be watching the real thing.

Time to vote for your stars!

Vote directly on Google.

Voting has opened for this year’s All-Star game extravaganza in Cleveland this year. And it’s also got some new tweaks to this years process too.

This year, baseball has two votes: Primary and Starters election.

Here’s a quick explanation of each.

Primary: Open now through Friday, June 21 at 4. p.m. EST. This will look very much like the typical vote. Fans can pick All-Stars at each position. The top three vote getters at each spot (nine in the outfield) will then be sent along to the next round. Primary finalists will be revealed on MLB Network during the Astros-Yankees game on Friday, June 21.

Starters Election: This will be a 28-hour election used to determine the starters at each position for this year’s Midsummer Classic. Starters voting will begin at noon ET Wednesday, June 26, and end at 4 p.m. ET Thursday, June 27. Starters will be revealed at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, June 27.

Ready to get going? You have two choices vote here on MLB website or vote within Google search right here.

Bronfman announces deal for Peel Basin.


The investment firm Claridge, owned by Stephen Bronfman, and real estate developer Devimco have agreed on the development of the huge field at Peel Basin, where the Montreal Group wants to erect the Montreal Expos 2.0 stadium. According to the Canadian Press:

“Stephen Bronfman, head of the Montreal Group, a group of investors wishing to bring Major Baseball home, said he reached an agreement with developer Serge Goulet, president of Devimco.

Bronfman noted that Devimco would purchase the land from the Canada Lands Company and Claridge would act as a financial partner. The development of some 950,000 square feet will be done in partnership.”

Bronfman was quoted during an evening to honoring his father, Charles Bronfman, on the 50th anniversary of the Expos last Tuesday:

“Yes, we have an agreement. We will work together. Plans are being made. “

It wasn’t clear how long completing the purchase of the area would take, but he has hopes to make an announcement in the summer. However, Bronfman was clear that he isn’t too hung up on dates.

“We’ve moved steadily along with our development project for the site,” Bronfman said. “We’re going day-by-day.”

He said planning is underway but certain details could not be divulged.

“When the time is right, we’ll be announcing it step by step,” Bronfman said.

Not much has changed on the MLB front, but Bronfman said he isn’t worried about that either.

“I’m always positive,” he said. “It’s going slowly, but it’s going and that’s what is important.”

He’s also made it clear, he is trying to avoid doing too much press to avoid building too much hype around baseball returning to Montreal. I fear that genie is already out of the bottle for the diehards.

The talk of the town has already turned to the controversy of the new stadium planned may not have a roof. Personally I am glad to hear it. I love an open stadium and if the can do it in Minnesota, Chicago and Boston, they can do it here.

I’ve been traveling…

I travel a lot for work. Thankfully while in the road the last couple of weeks I was able to make it to Nationals Park in Washington D.C and Petco park in San Diego. Now the funny thing is while I’ve traveled a lot for work in the past, I always seemed to hit the cities when the team was not there or the season was over. Not this year.

So whole lifetime, the only two stadiums I had been too was limited to Olympics stadium and Rogers Centre, I was able to double the numbers.

The most impressive thing about these new parks is that it convinces me more than ever that Montreal will have an amazing space for baseball in the Peel Basin if it was we happens.

These two stadiums are examples of what happens when the park has been built for baseball and fans enjoyment. So many things to see, do and of course eat, for baseball and non baseball fans alike.

For both trips to the ballpark, these past two visits, I took non-baseball fans. I know they had a fantastic time and it proves to me how bad a venue Montreal suffers with for years. I only hope some good news is forthcoming as it looks to be nothing but silence inspires if rumors of a May announcement.

Rowdy Rocks!

So I won’t lie. I splurged a bit on books this year for the MLB season. I bought Baseball Prospectus. Now you can’t see the info, because it’s hidden to subscribers, but the info for Rowdy Tellez made it sound like he was going to be a “yawn” prospect. They projected him to hit 4 HRs all season in 2019.

Well even though they lost the other day, this was home-run 5 on the season.

He is on pace for 30 HRS and 100 RBIs.

Lesson for the day. Take those scouting reports with a grain of salt.

That time Pete Rose reaches 4000 hit plateau as an Expo

Bit of Trivia you may not know. Pete Rose was a member of the Montreal Expos in 1984 for 95 games. Another fun fact came on 1984 opening day on this day at Olympic stadium and against the Phillies (his former team).

Pete Rose hit a double on his first at-bat and reached the 4000 hit plateau. The only other player to ever hit 4000 hits? Ty Cobb. Now I wasn’t young enough to fully recall it, but my dad tells me we watched it happen. Thanks to YouTube, so can you enjoy it yourself to ( and the amazing play-by-play of Dave Van Horne):

Wow. Even at 43 he had some speed. Hopefully one day he will make it into the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there.

Chris Davis and his terribly bad start to the season

Chris Davis studies his bat after a new record for a consecutive plate appearance hitless streak.

I am starting to feel bad for Chris Davis. On Thursday, he set yet another unfortunate historic mark in a loss against the Oakland Athletics. Davis, who hasn’t had a hit in his last 53 at-bats, is now hitless in last 61 plate appearances.

The new mark breaks the previously hitless record set by Tony Bernazard, who went hitless in 57 straight plate appearances in 1984. 

There are all kinds of theories being floated around. Even a writer for the Baltimore Sun posited if he should just walk away from the 92 million the Orioles owe him, because of his slump.

I’ve watched several of his most recent at-bats. It’s not like the man is striking out. He’s hitting the ball hard. He’s not striking out like he was earlier at some of the ugly pitches. Is he over payed for his current performance? Sure. However, it’s not liked he forced the Orioles to pay him such a crazy contract. It’s also not like he’s not trying. Maybe he’ll have a late start to the season and find his swing.

Thankfully it seems most Orioles fans are a bit more forgiving, and hopefully he’ll find his way back to form. Once he gets going I predict he’ll have a great streak going the other way.

Gurriel Jr. steals home & our hearts

One of the most exciting plays in baseball is base stealing. What’s better than a base steal? Someone stealing home. That takes… Chutzpah. Especially against a pitcher who usually has “the stuff”. Well in today’s game, after the Bosox celebrated their 2018 Championship, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. spoiled the celebration with an exciting home base steal against Chris Sale.

Here is the action, in case you missed it…

As Lourdes was quoted as saying: “I just saw the challenge, the opportunity and I just went for it.”

How rare is this play in baseball? Guerriel is the first Major League player to steal home this season, and the first member of the Blue Jays to do so since Kevin Pillar achieved it on March 31, 2018, against the Yankees. Unfortunately, stealing home plate is NOT an officially recorded statistic – but to me it’s one of the most exciting things to see. Check out an incomplete list of some of the best at stealing home (unsurprisingly led by Ty Cobb)