Who is he?
The legend...Warren Cromartie. Who else?
Today on April the 4th of 2012, almost 34 years after proclaiming to the world that the Montreal Expos are for real, he's back to let 'em know that even though they are gone...they are certainly not forgotten and may one day live once more. The Cro came back to Montreal to announce that he is heading a group who's purpose is to revive the Expos.
(press articles: 1. Video from the Gazette.com, 2. TVA Article, 3. TSN article)
Why do I care? Because baseball reminds me of a simpler time. When April came around in the old days it used to mean that I got to play baseball all day, watch Expos games at night, then read the boxscores in the mornings and absorb all those wonderful numbers into my brain. Now, I work all day long and don't have time to play baseball, the Expos are dead, and in the morning there's nothing to look at the in paper except boring political and business articles...no more boxscores. To each his own, you know? It reminds of a simpler time and it gave me something to believe in.
|Circa 1979.....for real|
Cro stated in his press conference that this has got to start at the "grassroots" and that it's gonna take a "unit" of people with a positive attitude. It's a baby-step but everything has to start somewhere...and if I may say, this baby-step is as serious as a heart attack!
The Montreal Baseball Project will be holding a charity golf tournament on June 15th, 2012 for the Cedar Cancer Institute and the MUHC in memory of the Great Legend Gary Carter who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer. The game will feature many of Carter's teammates of the 1981 Expos (including the Great Legend Tim Raines and the Great Legend Andre Dawson).
People are saying that Montreal is too accustomed to big league attractions and will never support a minor league team, but I'm not sure about that. I think a minor league team could work here. Personally, I would use some Bill Veeck-ian gimmicks to sell the game. I would keep open 4 of the 25 roster spots for the following:
A) Two Quebec born players in order to have hometown players on the team for the fans to support.
B) Two women players in order to break some ground (this gimmick will get some headlines for sure)
The 21 roster slot system won't fly with the MLB players union, so a triple-A team (or any other MLB affiliated team) is not in the picture. The best idea would be a Can-Am team, where the Quebec Capitales play and thus a rivalry can start between Quebec City and Montreal. With a Can-Am team the 4 reserved roster slots for seat-filling reasons will be able to fly.
Who is the prime candidate to be the female star of the Montreal's hypothetical Can-Am team?
Yoshida is a side-arm knuckleballer from Yokohama, Japan. She has pitched professionally against men on several occasions, including as a member of the Kobe 9 in Japan, and the Chico Outlaws in the U.S of A.
She has trained extensively with knuckleball sages such as Tim Wakefield and seems to have perfected the technique at a very young age. Some claim she has mastered 36 divine deception techniques and 72 earthly ones, giving her more than enough deceptive notes in her pitch sequence to fool almost any batter.
Would Yoshida sign on to pitch for a Cromartie led Montreal minor league franchise? Yes, she would in a heart beat. The Cro is a MUCH BIGGER legend in Japan than he is in North America and is a baseball icon over there.
I think women would flock to see her throw and make men look foolish with her deceptive knuckleball, I think she would be an instant-star in Montreal.
Montreal was where the first black player gained confidence to smash the color barrier in Major League Baseball...could it be the place where the first woman player gains the confidence to strike out men in Major League Baseball? I don't know...I think it would sell tickets though.
I want to catch baseball fever again...