Blue Jays Baseball In Montreal

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself on this because it sounds as though it’s merely in the feasibility planning stage at best, and the Jays really have nothing to lose by letting it slip that they’re considering the idea of having an exhibition game or deux dans la belle province.

But according to Paul Beeston:

Certainly we would like to play a game in Montreal or in Quebec at some point in time. I think it would be a terrific idea. We actually have a Montreal-born general manager whose family is still there, whose roots are in Montreal so it would be like him taking his team home. Montreal’s a great baseball city as we all know. Was there a more lively stadium in sports than Montreal in the early ’80s? I don’t think so.

As much as this would be for the Blue Jays to further their ties with the good people of Montreal, the first thing that comes to mind is the image of a rowdy VIA Rail train en route from Toronto to Montreal filled with Blue Jays fans who love the only other city in Canada worth talking about.

I can’t really imagine a scenario where this wouldn’t work out. While attendance for the second series of the season has been less than thrilling for the Blue Jays, it should be noted that evidenced by the success of Opening Weekend, Toronto fans love an event. Even if the reception in Montreal to a Jays exhibition game isn’t as warm as the team would like, I can easily imagine more than a cadre of Toronto baseball fans willing to spend a weekend in Montreal to watch baseball.

Then again, maybe I’m being optimistic, because I also feel confident that the good people of Montreal would be supportive of such an event. It’s been a while, but from what I’ve heard recently from baseball fans in Montreal, the bitter taste left by the Expos’ unfortunate exit is finally starting to wash away, and there’s evidence to support this.

In addition to more Jays games being broadcast on French speaking radio (c’est bien), hometown boy Alex Anthopoulos is a regular guest on the sports radio circuit in the city where he’s just as comfortable speaking en francais as he is en anglais.

Anyone worried about ill will between Expos and Jays fans, allow me to be the first to apologize for the extreme lack of balls in the Jays organization at the time when they joined with 28 other teams in voting in favour of moving the organization from Montreal to Washington. It’s stupid. Really, really stupid. But hopefully, the past can be the past. And I’m certain that I’m not the only Jays fan who would love the opportunity to make it up to you with the first of many beers at a baseball game next year.

Comments (12)

  1. Who isn’t for moving exhibition games around? Why would anyone in T.O. be against this? Hell, bring one to the ‘Peg and play at Canwest……er Shaw Park in front of 8,000. First round on me.

  2. Exhibition games? i don’t see how you recoup the costs on that. You cannot charge a large amount of money for preseason baseball and expect sell-outs. Now a regular season series would be great.

  3. I doubt also that exhibition games would happen. There are bound to be significant costs with getting the O baseball ready, and then you can only charge a certain amt. for exhibition games – and I dont see the fans in Montreal being all that excited for the Jays that most of them wouldn’t just save their money and travel to a regular season game in the states or TO.

  4. There was nothing more awkward than watching Andre Dawson talk to Jamie Campbell the other night and go on and on about how the Montreal organization treated him and his obvious remaining ill-will towards them in some capacity. Just awkward on national TV.

  5. I really like Richard Griffin’s suggestion that the Jays should consider putting a AAA team in Montreal with a new 12,000 seat (expandable to 40k) stadium near downtown Montreal.

  6. Althought I would love to have MLB games here, the Big O is a fucking dump, and to draw, it would have to be regular seasons games. And as a fan of a team that played regular season games in fucking Puerto Rico, I don’t wish that on anybody.

    Griffing’s suggestion is the way to go, and I’ve always said that the only way baseball could comme back to Montreal is by having a minor league club, and taking it from there.

    That said, I would definitely go to a Jays exhibition game, even if it’s in the toilet bowl of a stadium.

  7. ya i think its a great idea…i loved watching the expos and jays playing against each other, same with hockey or football….but most of all miss that baseball is no longer in Montreal..i think they have crazy fans to support it…if they start anywhere it should be in a AAA team

  8. This is the team that last year played a home series in their opponent’s ball park. This idea seems brilliant in comparison.

  9. @ Ryalbro

    Forgot about that one… bring it then!

  10. I miss the Expos :(

  11. Wow, once again, Montrealers will end up with a short end of the stick.

    If no one shows up the game, they’ll say “See, we told you Montreal is not a Major league city”.

    and if people do show up at the game, they’ll say “See, they are Blue Jay fans in Montreal, tons of them.” If they played the Red Sox, the stadium would be full to capacity, but only with Red Sox fans, not Blue Jay fans. But they would sell it as if Blue Jay fans exist in MTL.

    I hate the Jays, it seems there only coming to Montreal because they cant sell out their own stadium, and need an influx of cash flow.

    And to say we are Canada’s team? Please, remember that the Jays also voted to get the Expos out of Montreal.

    When the Expos left, i thought about following the Nationals, but then a quote came to mind.

    “For an Expo fan to follow the W. Nationals, is like a guy who still stalks out his ex girlfriend, and hangs out in front of her porch. But just cuz I’m single now, does not mean I go sleep with the first nastiest girl who opens her legs for me (BLue Jays)”.

    Stay away Jays, youi not wanted in MTL>

  12. I am from the Hudson Valley in NY. I am and always have been a Baltimore Orioles fan. I used to love going up to Montreal to go to games. It didnt matter all that much who was playing. I miss the team. I miss the cross-border link. I think MLB is less for having lost one of its two international franchises. I hear rumors about the Rays moving to Montreal. I think that would be great: great for Montreal and great for baseball. Yankee and Red Sox fans would come to see games in Montreal. The Montreal-Toronto rivalry is a natural and would help both clubs. That is 30 well attended games right there. It certainly would not hurt Baltimore. Montreal is certainly no worse a place for baseball than St. Petersburg. I wish they would sell stock and bring back a team. I would be an investor, and i bet many other people, on both sides of the border, would be as well.

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