Dave Kaufman

dave kaufman

Dave Kaufman is the Host of the summertime radio show “BALLS! The Baseball Show With Dave Kaufman and Max Harris” on The Team 990 in Montreal. He can be emailed at savetheexpos@hotmail.com . Follow him on Twitter @MLB514

Recent Posts

As the bench coach for the best team in baseball, Pete Mackanin has every reason to be a happy man. “This is the heyday of the Phillies right now. I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

Mackanin is aware what a special club the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies are shaping up to be. “I was speaking with the coaches in the clubhouse the other day,” he said from the visitor’s clubhouse last weekend at Nationals Park. “This club is the best team I’ve been associated with record wise in my 43 plus years in baseball.”

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Sometimes it’s the little things that keep us together/ That’s’ why I’m an Expo forever

-AnnakinSlayd

I’ve lost two jobs because of baseball. The first time was in 1999. I was telemarketing (a thankless job, my Expos cap is doffed to whoever toils on the phones) – my shift conflicted with witnessing Tony Gwynn’s 3000th hit. The other time was last summer, when I had a gig in logistics for a major Montreal festival that will remain unnamed.  On the second to last day of the fest, I followed my heart, shirked my duties, and jumped on a bus to Cooperstown for Andre Dawson’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

The bus had been chartered by the Team 990, the former flagship radio station for the Expos. Once I had received the invite to join, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.  A few days before, while the festival was in full swing, I decided to mention it to my supervisor. Let’s just say nobody was amused.

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I would like to share this with the people of Montreal who are not going to have a team anymore, but my heart and my ring is with them.

– Pedro Martinez, in the Red Sox locker room after winning the 2004 World Series

It took two seasons for our favourite ace to come back as well. 1999 was the year of Pedro Martinez. Going into that June series vs. Montreal he was 11-1, and on his way to a season rivaled in the modern era by only the likes of Gibson and Koufax. He’d go on to strike out 5 of the first 6 batters he faced in the All-Star game at Fenway, and throw 6 no-hit innings in relief in a playoff game against Cleveland.

Watching Pedro in 1998 was difficult, but watching him in 1999 was akin to torture. It was hard knowing that under different circumstances Expos fans could have still been watching him pitch every fifth day…

When Roy Halladay steps on the mound at Rogers Centre today in front of what will hopefully be a very large and appreciative crowd, I’ll be 500km away and thinking about an interleague series back in June of 1999, when a comparable scene played out in Montreal.

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June 16th, 2004, isn’t a date that lives in infamy for Expos fans, and the names Brian O’Nora and Luis Rivas won’t send shivers down your spine the way that Rick Monday does, nor the way that that ‘94 forever will. It was the date of a meaningless interleague game, with zero importance in the grand scheme of a long season. Yet, as a fan that was there that night, it still rankles.

The box score says that 3,763 fans were in attendance, the second smallest crowd up to that point in the season. Many had left in the 9th inning after Chad Cordero gave up 2 runs and blew his first save opportunity since officially taking the job from Rocky Biddle. By the time the play happened I’d say there were no more than a couple of dozen people left in my section, right above the 1st base dugout.

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I was given some Expos memorabilia last summer. Among the items were a bat signed by Brad Wilkerson, a Pedro bobblehead, and the nicest vintage Expos cardigan you’ve ever seen.

My buddy Kevin wanted to unload his stuff, and gave a litany of reasons as to why- he told me he was making space in his new place, that his wife didn’t want it around, that his girls had no interest. As good friends do, I made sure he really didn’t want the stuff anymore, then promised him I’d give it all a good home.

There’s a problem, though. I’ve had his stuff almost a year now, and I wish he had never given it to me. It took me a while to realize, but part of Kev’s coping mechanism for the loss of the Expos is to pretend like they were never here.

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In 2004 one of my jobs was to print out the opposing team stats before each home series and bring them to the Manager’s office. Every series, I’d go in to his office, hand Frank the printed out stats, and he would throw them in the garbage. In front of me. Every time.

-Anonymous Former Expos Staffer

The final ‘Montreal Expos Season Ticket Holder Appreciation Day’ was held on May 29th, 2004. We were invited down to the Big O on a Saturday afternoon to take a tour, meet the players and coaches, watch batting practice, and hang around the ballpark a longer than we were normally allowed to.

That day, for the first time, I heard Frank Robinson take questions from some fans. Thank goodness for Chad Cordero that he did.

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Manny Being Manny

It’s the middle of May and the Cleveland Indians are the best team in the American League.

That’s not a typo. While many pundits and fans may be surprised to find the Indians not battling the Royals to stay out of the cellar in the AL Central, I had the opportunity to gain a little clairvoyance from the man pulling the strings in Cleveland. One of my old Expos season ticket buddies, Max Harris, has stayed friendly through the years with Manny Acta, the former 3rd base coach for Nos Amours (2002-04) and current manager of the Tribe.

Max and I drove down to Toronto to see the Indians play the Jays last summer, and prior to the Sunday game, Acta spent some time with us talking about how happy he was to be a part of the Indians family and how excited he was about the future of the ballclub.

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