PDA

View Full Version : Montreal Expos Stay Put and new ownership



Northern Brave
08-05-2004, 06:43 PM
Okay so using the updated rosters of my own decided to take the Expos and keep them in Montreal and make them into a winner. Can this be done? Who knows, we'll find out in due time. The main part is I am determined to keep them in Montreal build a winning team, and get enough money for a new stadium to get them out of Olympic tout suite!:p

Northern Brave
08-05-2004, 06:45 PM
Montreal Expos Dynasty

2003 OFF SEASON

The Montreal Expos got new ownership with a local group headed by Ettiene Levarre who will also assume the duties as the team’s new General Manager. “ We are committed to remaining in Montreal.” Levarre stated to the media at the press conference announcing the sale and his taking over as GM, “ And that said we are going to build this team into a championship contender the likes to rival 12 straight divisional titles like Atlanta.”

Levarre made an impact immediately as he made sure to put more money into the team’s scouting, minor leagues, and medical to improve his team’s future. “ We know we won’t be able to just overnight become world series champions, we’re in this for the long haul which means building this team up, and it starts by fixing our minor leagues and drafting better.”

The new GM delved into the free agent pool, grabing catcher Scott Seabol and signing him for 2 years at $460,000, and pitcher Jamie Cerda for 1 year at $370,000.

Ettiene Levarre then made some moves to bolster the Expos. The GM sent C Einar Diaz, 1B Nick Johnson, and pitchers Eric Knott and Mike Hinckley to the Anaheim Angels in return for pitcher Steve Andrade, and 2B Alberto Callaspo. The Expos then sent outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Juan Rivera to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in return for pitcher Jon Switzer, RF Joey Gomes, and C Pete LaForest. Montreal then pulled the trigger on a deal with San Diego, sending 3B Tony Batista, outfielders Henry Mateo and Termel Sledge, pitcher John Patterson, and $1 million in cash out west in return for 2B Josh Barfield and 1B Todd Sears. Levarre was not yet done making a deal with the San Fransisco Giants, sending 3B Edward Guzman, C Randy Knorr, pitcher Claudio Vargas, 2B Jose Vidro, and $1 million in cash to San Fran in return for CF Fransisco Santos, RF Jason Ellison, and SS Jamie Athas. The new GM then sent SS Alex Gonzalez to he Milwaukee Brewers in return for 2B Trent Durrington and $1 million in cash. Levarre then made a deal to acquire another starting pitcher, adding veteran Kevin Appier from the K.C Royals sending back pitchers Rocky Biddle and Rigo Beltran. The GM then sent pitchers Seung Song and Joey Eischen to the Chicago White Sox, getting back pitcher Josh Stewart.

“ We wanted to get younger, cheaper, and still be competitive. We are setting about building a championship team and one that won’t be taken apart year after year. This I hope will be the last time the fans see high priced talent sent packing and the team dismantled in such a fashion.”

Northern Brave
08-05-2004, 06:46 PM
APRIL 2003

Opening Day Line Up

C – Brian Schneider
1B – Todd Sears
2B – Trent Durrington
3B – Brendan Harris
SS – Josh Labandeira
RF – Ryan Church
CF – Fransisco Santos
LF – Brandon Watson

Bench: C Pete LaForest, CF Endy Chavez, 2B Josh Barfield, RF Jason Ellison, 1B Scott Hodges, SS Jamie Athas

Pitching:

Starter – Livan Hernandez
Starter – Tomo Ohka
Starter – Kevin Appier
Starter – Tony Armas
Starter – Josh Stewart
Alternate – Zach Day
Long – Shawn Hill
Middle – Scott Downs
Short – Chad Bentz
SetUp – Luis Ayala
Closer – Steve Andrade

April 1st saw the Expos open the season at home in front of 25,489 fans who filled Olympic Stadium, and were sent home happy with a 1-0 Montreal win over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Opening day starter Livan Hernandez went the complete game for the shutout. “ This was a good start for our young team, they’re going to have ups and downs but this was a great game.” Frank Robinson told the media as he was all smiles after the game.

April 3rd saw the Expos win a 12 inning affair as starter Kevin Appier made his debut with a strong 9 inning performance. The Expos won 2-1 taking 2 out of 3 from the D-Backs to start their season. “ It was good to get out there.” Appier told the media, “ I was a little nervous but settled in and felt good all the way through. The best part was we got the win.”

April 7th saw the Expos near the end of their homestand to open the season, with just four more games at Olympic Stadium against the Phillies ahead, going 5-2, and riding a 2 game win streak as they swept the two game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.



April 7th also saw the Expos GM Ettiene Levarre pull the trigger on a trade with the New York Yankees, sending pitchers Jeremy Fikac and Clint Everts to New York in return for LF Bronson Sardinha. The Expos also sent Brandon Watson to their AAA affiliate the Ottawa Lynx, recalling Matt Cepicky.

April 16th saw the Expos win 7-6 to take 2 of 3 from the San Fransisco Giants in their first roadgames of the 2003 season. The news was not all good for the Expos despite a 2 game win streak, as Kevin Appier will require 3 days rest due to mild elbow inflammation. “ The injury is not bad, just some discomfort.” Manager Frank Robinson said, “ We’ll rest him, but I don’t think he’ll miss his next start. We’ll wait a few days and see how he feels before making that call.”

April 17th saw the Expos beat the Marlins 8-6 extending their winning streak to 3 games as they returned to Montreal from the west coast. The Expos learned though that they will be without starting pitcher Tomo Ohka for 5 days due to a sore rotator cuff. As a result, the Expos moved Zach Day into the starting rotation, and recalled rookie Jon Switzer from the Ottawa Lynx, putting him into the long relief role in the pen, and moving Shawn Hill to the alternate starter spot.

April 20th saw the Expos destroyed 9-1 by Florida, extending their losing streak to 3 games as the Marlins took 3 of 4 from Montreal. The Expos now host inter-divisional Tampa Bay, before heading on the road to face Anaheim, then returning to Olympic Stadium for a pair of games against the Toronto Blue Jays. With Ohka set to return in a few days, the Expos sent Shawn Hill back to the bullpens long relief spot, and Zach Day to the alternate starter spot. As a result, Jon Switzer was returned to Ottawa, and joining him was pitcher Scott Downs, replaced by call up Eric Good.

April 20th also saw GM Ettiene Levarre send 1B Todd Sears, RF Val Pascucci, pitchers Sun-Woo Kim and T.J Tucker along with $2 million in cash to the Portland Wolves, getting back outfielder John Cortesi, 1B Mike Glavine, and 3B Jose Gallardo.

Montreal wrapped up the opening month of the season in a 13 inning win at Olympic Stadium over the Chicago Cubs 3-2. The Expos finished the month 12-16, leaving them in last place in the NL East 7 games back of leading Atlanta, and 6 ½ games out of the wild card race in the National League.

Player of the Month – 2B Josh Barfield .289BA .372OBA 1HR 3SB
Pitcher of the Month – Tony Armas 5GS 3-1 2.03ERA 2CG 1SHO

Northern Brave
08-05-2004, 06:47 PM
MAY

May 1st saw the Expos at least earn a split against the Cubs in their four game home set, winning decisively 7-1, lead by Mike Glavine and John Cortesi offensively, and riding the strong pitching of Tony Armas, in front of just over 26,000 fans at Olympic Stadium.

May 3rd saw the Expos head to Toronto, only to suffer their worst defeat of the year as the Jays blasted them 14-4. “ We should be ashamed of how we played.” Manager Frank Robinson said after to the media. “ We didn’t play well. We just can’t play like that and expect to win against anyone.” Livan Hernandez stated.

May 15th saw the Montreal Expos end a season high 7 game losing streak, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0. Tony Armas went 8 strong innings earning his 5th win of the season. “ We needed that to get the monkey off our backs.” Armas said after the game about the win. “ We got to a point where it was either crumble and feel sorry for ourselves, or snap out of it and play like we can.” Manager Frank Robinson stated, “ The guys showed a lot of heart and character rallying and coming together so.”

The Expos 3 game win streak came to an end as the visiting Colorado Rockies beat the Expos 4-2 at Olympic Stadium. The Expos also got bad news after the game, learning closer Steve Andrade was on the DL for 36 days due to a wrist stress fracture. As a result Jamie Cerda was recalled from the Lynx, moving into the set up role as Luis Ayala assumes the closing duties. Also recalled was Chris Young, taking over the middle relief role as Eric Good was demoted to AAA Ottawa.

May 29th saw the Expos enjoy heading to the road for games at Coors Field. Montreal blasted the Rockies 18-4, giving Livan Hernandez all the run support he would need for the win. “ This hasn’t happened often.” John Cortesi said of the team’s offensive explosion. “ We do this consistently we’d be contending, we just have to come together and play better and get back into things.”

Montreal wrapped up May going 12-17, giving them a season record of 24-33, leaving them in last place in the NL East, 19 games back of the Atlanta Braves who hold first place, and not close to being in the wild card hunt either.

Player of the Month – John Cortesi .308BA .441OBA 9HR 3SB
Pitcher of the Month – Jamie Cerda 6G 1.23ERA 7.1INN

JUNE

June 9th saw the Expos finish their 8 game road trip to start the month, winning only the first game of it in Colorado before being swept in series by the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. “ This is not how we had hoped things would go this season.” GM Ettiene Levarre said of the teams second 7 game winless skid. “ We are a young building team though, and these are the growing pains you have to endure. Short term this sucks, but long term we’ll be much better off for having to go through this.”

June 10th saw Shawn Hill start the game in place of Kevin Appier who was sent to the bullpen. Hill went 6 strong innings as the Expos ended their losing streak with a 5-4 win over San Fransisco to start a 7 game home stand.

June 11th saw the Expos pitcher Tony Armas, who is enjoying a strong season on the mound for Montreal, put an emphasis on the good season, throwing a no hitter as Montreal blanked the San Fransisco Giants 2-0 in front of the home crowd. “ It was great, especially since it was at home in front of our great fans.” Armas said following the game.

June 13th saw the Expos pound the Giants 11-0, taking 3 of 4 from San Fransisco. Livan Hernandez went the distance with a complete game on the mound for Montreal. “ We had a good game.” Manager Frank Robinson said of the outcome. “ Wish we could do it more often.”

June 22nd saw the Expos lose to the Braves 9-8, but even with the loss all eyes were on Montreal second baseman Josh Barfield as he went 4-4 and hit for the cycle. “ You don’t see that often, it was special.” Manager Frank Robinson said of his young player’s feat.

June 27th saw the Expos sweep the Phillies at home, beating them 9-4 in the final game. “ This is how I wish we could play more often. The guys are capable of it.” Manager Frank Robinson said following the game.

June 29th saw the Arizona Diamondbacks end the Expos 5 game win streak, defeating them under the Arizona sun 6-4. Livan Hernandez lasted only 6 innings, giving up 5 of the 6 runs earned by the D-Backs. “ I had a bad game and it cost us tonight. I can’t have nights off like this.” The starting pitcher told media after the game.

June 30th saw the Expos send Chris Young and Luis Ayala to the Ottawa Lynx, recalling pitcher Josh Karp and getting back closer Steve Andrade from the disabled list. Karp will take over the middle relief spot, while the Expos elected to keep Jamie Cerda up with the club in the set up role out of the bullpen.

Montreal finished June with a 13-15 record, giving them a season record of 37-48. Montreal remains in last place in the NL East despite going 7-3 in the last 10 games, and a whopping 19 ½ games behind division leading Atlanta.

Player of the Month – Josh Barfield .323BA .392OBA 7HR 9SB *hit for cycle June 22
Pitcher of the Month – Tony Armas 16GS 9-3 3.10ERA 3CG 2SHO *no hitter June 11

Kingjoey20
08-05-2004, 11:55 PM
Man good luck to you I have tried sooooo many times to get something out of playing as montreal and man is it hard. I like what I have read so far especially the interviews. Keep up the good work.

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:27 PM
K J yeah anytime I've been running along I always found the Expos were one of the worst off teams, and often offered up THE WORST trades to your team. Figured I'd see what happened. Update to follow this but didn't do nearly as bad as I thought I would and second season now is actually blowing away expectations so..... course I made sure to get one guy I counted on as a franchise player from the other thread right at the outset too to help build around.:p

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:29 PM
JULY

July 10th saw the Montreal Expos reach the All-Star break with a record of 40-50 for the first half of the season. Montreal’s lone All-Star representative was rookie outfielder John Cortesi.

MID SEASON REPORT

C – Pete LaForest : Acquired via trade to be the Expos back-up catcher, LaForest stole the starting job when Schneider faltered, and LaForest was able to produce at the plate hitting .263 in 79 games this season. GRADE: B+

C – Brian Schneider : Tabbed as the starting catcher for Montreal, Brian struggled early in the season, and now has been unable to usurp the position back from Pete LaForest. With strong defense and throwing arm, Schneider needs to find some consistency and confidence in the offensive side of his game. C+

1B – Mike Glavine: In what many viewed as a bad trade by GM Levarre, Glavine has impressed replacing Todd Sears. Solid defense and hitting .349 with 7 home runs in 72 games this season Glavine, now 30 years old, has been a big part of Montreal having as many wins as they do with a young team providing some stable veteran experience. A

2B – Josh Barfield: Another smart trade by the Expos GM brought the young second baseman to Montreal. Battling for the starting role, Josh took it and never let go, putting together a dominating first half of the season hitting .339 in the leadoff spot, and providing some power with 8 home runs, and some speed with 9 stolen bases. A+

2B – Trent Durrington: Durrington lost the starting job, but has hit well and filled in admirably from the bench. Not as strong defensively as Barfield, he makes a good fill in player and bat off the bench, hitting .238 with a .333OBA. B-

3B – Jamey Carroll: The 29 year old Carroll started the season in the minors where he hit .321 with a .394OBA, and when the Expos found starter Harris struggling, Carroll got his shot. In 37 games Carroll is hitting .321, and appears to have grabbed the starting spot for the time being. C+

3B – Brendan Harris: Counted on to be the Expos starting third baseman, Harris struggled through the first part of the season. A lack of depth kept him there longer than he normally would have been. With Carrolls emergence out of the Lynx system, Harris will now have to fight to get back off the bench. C

SS – Jamie Athas: Picked up as an added in player in the San Fransisco trade, Athas was supposed to be the back-up SS this season. While only hitting .263 in 83 games, Athas is the best of those available to the Expos. C+

SS – Josh Labandeira: Tabbed as the team’s starting shortstop of the present and future, Josh struggled through the start of the season, and despite appearing in 40 games in the first half, has not had a good year. Due to a lack of depth he has been kept with the team and used off the bench and filling in for Athas. D

RF – Jason Ellison: Acquired via trade before the start of the season, Ellison began in right field, shifted to left, and finally broke into the lineup for 40 games in the first half back in right field. Ellison’s solid defense and hitting, batting .307, has locked him into the starting job. B
RF – Ryan Church: Church began as the starting right fielder and has easily held his own in that position. Despite losing the job to the hot hitting Ellison, Church was a solid player for the Expos in the first half, hitting .264 with 3 home runs in 77 games. B

CF – Endy Chavez: Chavez was believed to be capable but there was some question if he could handle being the every day starter. With few options Chavez got the chance to prove he could contribute every day. In 79 games, the Montreal center fielder has 19 doubles and is hitting .292 with 18 stolen bases. B+

CF – Fransisco Santos: In his rookie season the Expos had hoped for more from the 29 year old outfielder. In just 34 games he’s only managed to hit .167, and has been relegated to the bench for the majority of the first half of the season. With how he has performed, it’s believed he may need to be sent down to Ottawa to get more time playing so he can adjust. C-

LF – John Cortesi: Cortesi was a sought after player from the time Levarre took over being GM, and getting him did not come cheaply. Despite the cost, Cortesi has delivered as the Expos got a young, talented fielder, and a solid hitter. Cortesi was the Expos lone representative at the All-Star Game and is hitting .321 with a .455OBA and 17 homers. A true superstar in the making. A

Pitchers:

Starter – Livan Hernandez: Despite an ERA of 4.01, Hernandez has been an inning eating machine for the Expos. The 28 year old pitcher has 3 complete games halfway through the season with 3 shutouts. If Hernandez can avoid the rough outings and show more consistency the Expos could rebound from the basement. A-

Starter – Tony Armas: Armas may not rate high on the talent chart but his numbers cannot be argued with. In 17 starts Armas leads the team with a 10-3 record, 3 complete games, 2 shutouts, and a no hitter tossed in for good measure. With a 3.04 ERA, Armas has claimed “ace” status amongst the Expos starters. A+

Starter – Tomo Ohka: Ohka has shown strongly through the first half of the season, and fell victim to having his numbers not reflect that in the win column. Despite a 3-6 record in 18 starts, Ohka has a 3.40 ERA and has kept the Expos in most ballgames he has pitched. A-

Starter – Shawn Hill: Hill began the season out of the bullpen in both the long reliever and alternate starter spots. With injuries and Appier’s struggles, Hill got his chance to crack the starting rotation and has done well. A 3-0 record in 6 starts, along with a 3.38 ERA have marked Hill as a pitcher of the future for Montreal. B+



Starter – Josh Stewart: Stewart was another acquisition through trade, and was believed to be able to hold his own despite being only 24. While Stewart has not pitched badly, his 5.59 ERA and 3-8 record in 15 starts would have long ago had him in the minors save for the struggles of other starters, and a lack of pitching depth at AAA in the Expos system. While the talent is there, his time is not yet. C+

Alternate – Kevin Appier: Appier was acquired to provide a stable veteran presence to the Expos rotation, however things have not worked out as hoped. After a strong showing in the first couple games, Appier has cooled off to the point he was moved to the bullpen. In 11 starts Appier did not record a single win going 0-5, with an ERA of 6.87. If he’s not traded he won’t be back next year. C-

Long – Zach Day: Day began as an alternate starter, but when called upon faltered as a starter. A return to the bullpen, and a move to long relief seems to have him returning to solid form once again. If Day can continue to improve and lower his 5.18 ERA he could have a long future with the Expos. C

Middle – Josh Karp: A recent call up Karp has only pitched in 2 games for 3 innings, but has looked good. The hope is Karp will solidify the middle relief out of the Montreal pen which three other pitchers have not been able to do through the first half of the season. C

Short – Chad Bentz: The Expos gambled bringing the 23 year old rookie up, but he’s done all that has been asked of him, and shone doing it. While other more veteran pitchers have struggled, Bentz has thrived. In 42 games Bentz has a 1-2 record with a low ERA of 3.25. If Bentz can continue to play so, he’ll establish himself in the Expos bullpen for years to come. A

Set Up – Jamie Cerda was signed as a free agent to help with depth. In what was a surprise, he’s earned his spot in the bullpen not by being dominant, but rather in Luis Ayala not being. With a 5.84 ERA and 4 blown saves already, it is only a matter of time before Cerda finds himself back in AAA or released. C-

Closer – Steve Andrade: With a 3.18 ERA in 27 games and a pair of wins to go with 8 saves, Andrade is the closer for the Expos for many years to come. While Andrade has blown 4 saves in the first half, a lot of those games were lost by a lack of offense or poor pitching by the rest of the pitching staff. Andrade will be the Expos main man for years to come. A-

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:30 PM
AAA Ottawa Lynx Report

C – With only Scott Seabol, a free agent signing, in the minors the Expos know they need to get more depth at this position. While Seabol is having a solid season he is nowhere near taking over even as a backup catcher with the parent club.


1B – Scott Hodges was moved from 3rd to 1st and has thrived well at AAA in the new position. Early in the season Hodges appeared in 8 games off the bench however went 0-12 and was demoted. Hodges could push for more playing time next year, or get a look late in the 2003 season. Again depth is a concern for the parent club.

2B – Alberto Callaspo was acquired and has not disappointed and appears poised to push Trent Durrington for the backup second base spot, possibly late this season. Callaspo appears on the verge of a breakout, however like a lot of positions he is the only player in the Expos system for the position.

3B – Jose Gallardo has been tearing up AAA however has yet to show he could handle life with the big club. In a brief 6 game look, Gallardo went 1-16 at the plate and seemed overmatched. Beyond Gallardo though the cupboard is bare for Montreal.

SS – NONE

RF – Ron Calloway is one of two fielders in the Expos farm system, and has shown potential. With 11 doubles and 6 home runs the hitting is there, but he’s yet to show he could handle a move up to the next level, and is buried behind Jason Ellison and Ryan Church, both who are having strong seasons with Montreal. Likewise Joey Gomes has been even better than Calloway, however is not ready to challenge either.

CF – NONE

LF – Three players have shared duties in left for the Ottawa Lynx, Matt Cepicky, Brandon Watson, and Bronson Sardinha. Cepicky had a brief stint with Montreal but was unable to adjust to the majors, while Watson who began the season with the parent club was quickly demoted, and with the Lynx has continued to struggle. Sardinha shows some superb defensive skills and talent but his bat has held him back so far. With the acquisition of John Cortesi, there’s no rush for the Expos to hurry any of the three along, but none of them are pushing for a job either.

Pitching:

Luis Ayala – After 42 games up with Montreal that saw him struggle, a return to the Lynx and the closer position has lead to a strong showing again with 2 saves in 2 games, and a miniscule 1.93 ERA. Ayala should get another chance to stick with the Expos.

Chris Young - The 23 year old rookie got a look at the start of the season for the long relief role, however simply was not ready. With Ottawa as a starter, Young has gone 6-0 in 9 starts with a 3.32 ERA, holding hitters to .177 OBA. Young could prove to be a starter of the future for the Expos.

Eric Good – Another pitcher who’s debut and subsequent demotion to the Lynx mirrors that of Young. In 7 starts Good has gone 5-0, with a 3.35 ERA. It could well be a battle between the two 23 year olds as to who could usurp a major league spot from Appier.

Jon Switzer – Switzer was traded for with the hopes of being ready to chip in right away for the Expos. A top prospect, he could not adjust at the major league level however after being demoted has turned it around and began to show what promise management has seen in him.

Scott Downs – Downs has been good, but not excelling with the Lynx and may never be what the Expos would have hoped. If Downs cannot get his over 4.00 ERA down, he may well find himself expendable to management.

Hector Almonte – Almonte is struggling to adjust to the game at this level, however has done well enough to garner a 3-1 record and 4 saves. Almonte may well needs another year or two before he will get his chance to earn a spot in the Expos bullpen.

Darrell Rasner – The young 19 year old pitcher has been used as a starter by the Lynx and impressed with an 11-1 record, though he does have a 4.18 ERA. The Expos see Rasner as a middle reliever, and he would have already gotten a look if it was not for the worry of his age and hurting his budding confidence and growth by a premature push to the major level. The Expos are being patient, and expect another year or two before Rasner shows up.

Jon Rauch – Rauch has been horrible at the AAA level and the outlook is that he may never make it out of the Expos farm system. With younger and more talented pitchers in the system showing their worth Rauch may well be used as trade fodder to build the Expos future.

Francis Beltran – Beltran has been a rock for the Lynx out of the bullpen, and if Bentz was not pitching so well, the Expos would have already called Beltran up for a look. The 23 year old has time, and may well get a look before this year is out with how well he has pitched.

Chad Cordero – Cordero is being groomed for the closer role, however at 21 is still a few years away from catching up to his potential. With Ayala and Andrade set to hold down the Expos bullpen, Cordero has time to grow and mature, and the Expos can afford to be patient with him.

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:31 PM
With the All-Star break over, Gm Ettiene Levarre set about making moves before the trade deadline. “ We need to address the matter of depth at a number of positions, and still be competitive. We’re going to try and make some moves but they will have to be ones that help us towards our goals. We are not holding a fire sale.” Levarre said.

The Montreal GM pulled the trigger on a deal with the Chicago White Sox, sending pitcher Scott Downs, and 2B Trent Durrington to the windy city, getting back in return 1B Ross Gload. Levarre then made an 11 player deal with the Anaheim Angels of the AL West. Heading to the west coast from Montreal were SS Jamie Athas, 1B Mike Glavine, 3B Brendan Harris, and pitchers Jon Rauch, Kevin Appier, and Jamie Cerda, along with $1 million in cash. The Expos received back RF Jeff Davanon, 1B Mike O’Keefe, SS Alfredo Amezaga, SS Tommy Murphy, and pitcher John Lackey. “ We hated to lose Jamie ( Athas ), and especially a talent like Glavine, but when you look at what we get back and the quality of those players, it makes it justifiable for us. A lot of these players are young, ready, and under long contracts which will help keep them here.” Levarre said to the media when asked about the trade.

The Expos GM was not finished wheeling and dealing before the deadline at the end of the month. Levarre sent pitcher Eric Good out west, this time to the Oakland Athletics, getting back 3B Brian Snyder in return. “ We got a young talented third baseman, and really I don’t think we gave up too much either. Good was down the depth chart and he didn’t seem to be able to put it all together for us. Hopefully he can catch on with his new team.” The GM said.

In what GM Ettiene Levarre called his final deal of the year, the Expos GM shipped $3 million in cash along with LF Brandon Watson to the Boston Red Sox, in return for C Andy Dominique and 3B Chad Spann. “ We spent a bit of money, but it was worth it getting a pair of players we feel will be cornerstones of our team for years to come.” Levarre said after the deal was announced.

With some of his trades taking up pitching, the Expos GM went out and signed three new arms; Brian Falkenbourg and Jason Middlebrook for 1 year at $370,000 each, and Todd Erdos for 1 year at $420,000. All three pitchers will report to AAA Ottawa.

Following the trade deadline the Expos began a 13 game roadswing. The new look Expos lost 7-0 in their first game of the roadtrip, but rebounded winning the next three to take the four game series, including an 8-0 shutout on July 21st. “ The team is coming together nicely. We’ve got a lot of new faces but rest assured we come to play every night.” Manager Frank Robinson said.

July 23rd saw the Expos beat the division leading Atlanta Braves extending their winning streak to 5 games, and sweeping the two game set in Hotlanta. Shawn Hill went six strong innings, and John Cortesi launched his 21st home run of the season to power the Montreal victory. “ You have to give that team credit.” Manager Bobby Cox said post game. “ They came into our house and took both games. They are definitely talented, and a threat. They’ve done a great job rebuilding that team.”

July 25th saw the Expos hit the Big Apple to take on the Mets. John Lackey made his debut for Montreal going 7 2/3rds innings as the Expos made it 6 wins in a row, pounding the hapless Mets 9-2 in the series opener.

The Expos made it 8 wins in a row, as Tony Armas won his 12 game of the season, and Montreal swept the Mets in their 3 game set. The Expos now have not lost a game since July 18th against San Diego when they were shut out 7-0 in the first game of the roadtrip. “ We’re playing good baseball right now. That said there’s a long way to go to get where we want to be, and I keep reminding the guys not to get overconfident.” Robinson said of his team’s recent success.

July 28th saw the Montreal win streak die at 8 games thanks to the Chicago Cubs. Hall of Fame bound Greg Maddux was dominating, and got all the offensive support from he needed from the usual suspects in Sammy Sosa, Garciaparra, and Ramirez. The Cubs won in front of the Wrigley Field faithful 6-1.

The Montreal Expos finished the month of July losing 3 of 4 against the Cubs, but garnering a record of 13-10, giving them a season record of 50-58. Montreal remains in the NL East basement, sitting 25 game back of division leading Atlanta. Montreal sits 16 ½ games out of the Wild Card spot.

Player of the Month – John Cortesi .315BA .461OBA 23HR 4SB
Pitcher of the Month – Chad Bentz 50G 2-2 2.81ERA

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:32 PM
AUGUST

August 17th saw the Expos lose starting 1B Ross Gload for 7 days to the DL due to a pulled quadriceps. Scott Hodges will take over in the meantime, while Mike O’Keefe was recalled from the Lynx.

August 25th saw Ross Gload return to the Expos lineup. As a result of the first baseman’s return from the DL, the Expos sent Scott Hodges down to the Ottawa Lynx, electing to keep Mike O’Keefe up with the big club.

The Expos wrapped up August going 13-16, leaving them with a season record of 63-74. Despite going 4-6 in the last 10 games, the Expos climbed out of the cellar in the NL East, holding 4th place in the division. Montreal remains 27 games out of first place, and 21 ½ games out of the wild card race with no hopes of seeing the post season.

Player of the Month – Brian Schneider .272BA .372OBA 6HR 1SB
Pitcher of the Month – Steve Andrade 50G 4-1 2.18ERA 16SV

SEPTEMBER

September began with Montreal making moves, calling up some of their prospects. Luis Ayala and Josh Stewart were sent to Ottawa as Chris Young takes over in the alternate starter role, and Chad Cordero moves into the set up role in the bullpen. Called up from the Lynx also were 3B Chad Spann, SS Tommy Murphy, 2B Alberto Callaspo, and C Andy Dominique. Sent down to make room were Brian Synder, Jeff Davanon, Alfredo Amezaga, and Pete LaForest.



The Expos opened September with a 13 game home stand. In front of the Olympic Stadium crowd Montreal went 8-5, beating the Marlins 10-2, losing 3 of 4 games against Houston, then rallying and taking 3 of 4 from the St. Louis Cardinals, and then from the San Diego Padres.

September 21st saw Montreal travel to Milwaukee for a four game set with the Brewers, their only games in August away from home. After winning the first two games, the Brewers rallied to earn a split in the series.

September 25th saw the Expos complete the sweep in front of the Montreal faithful, riding a four game win streak at the expense of the visiting Cincinnati Reds. Steve Andrade got his 6th win of the season out of the bullpen in a 6-5 sqweaker.

September 25th saw the visiting Milwaukee Brewers end the four game win streak, as they knocked off the Expos 4-1 at Olympic Stadium.

The Expos finished the month on a 2 game win streak, rallying to take the final two of a four game set against Milwaukee to split the series as they had done previously in Milwaukee.

The Expos wrapped up September with a record of 16-9, their most dominant month of the season, improving their record to 79-83. Montreal remains in fourth place in the NL East, 25 games out of first place, and 20 games out of the wild card race. With no games scheduled in October Montreal ended the season on a winning note.

Player of the Month – Tommy Murphy .314BA .333OBA 8SB
Pitcher of the Month – Chad Cordero 14G 2.33ERA

OCTOBER

No Games

The ALCS would feature the Boston Red Sox against the Chicago White Sox. The Beantowners took 5 games to dispatch the Anaheim Angels to get into the championship series, while the White Sox took 5 to knock off the Empire of Evil, the New York Yankees.

The NLCS featured the surprising Chicago Cubs and upstart St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs rallied in 5 games to knock off favored Atlanta, while the Cards shocked the heavily favored San Fransisco Giants, sweeping them in 3 games.

The Boston Red Sox swept Chicago in 4 games to capture the AL crown and head to the World Series. In the NL the Cubbies held on despite being up 3-0, as St. Louis rallied with 3 straight victories to foce a deciding game 7 which Chicago managed to win. With the Cubs victory it sets up what the media has dubbed a battle of the curses.

The powerful BoSox line up just could not be contained as Boston became World Series Champions, finishing off the Cubs in just 5 games.

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:33 PM
OFFSEASON

November 1st saw the Expos head into the beginning of the free agent period. Gm Ettiene Levarre began by re-signing three of his eligible players. Fransisco Santos signed a 2 year deal worth $580,000, pitcher Todd Erdos signed a 4 year deal worth $520,000, and 18 game winner Tony Armas signed a 6 year $6.8 million deal to stay with the Expos. “ We really are happy getting these guys back. The big one though for sure was Tony. He was just unbelievable for us last year and he’s still young. We wanted to make sure he remained pitching for us and we worked things out for both of us well.” Levarre said.

Pitchers Brian Falkenborg and Jason Middlebrook were released and not re-signed by Montreal, making both free agents.

November 12th saw Ettiene Levarre make a splash in the free agent market. The Expos Gm grabbed RF J.D Drew for 6 years at $5.7 million, CF Garrett Anderson for 4 years at $8 million, and P Ryan Dempster for 4 years at $2 million.

January 16th saw the Montreal GM hit the amateur draft for the first time. The Expos got the following players;

Round 1 #15 overall – P Enrico Serrano
Round 2 #47 overall – P Vern Hickey
Round 3 #79 overall – P Felpie Cisneros
Round 4 #111 overall – RF Frank Kudlick
Round 5 #143 overall – LF Woody Stevens
Round 6 #175 overall – RF Luis Passarella

January 17th following the draft Ettiene Levarre began putting together the pieces for the coming season. The Expos GM pulled the trigger on a number of moves. Montreal OF Jeff Davanon and Endy Chavez were sent to San Fransisco in return for CF Phil Stevens. The Expos then traded $1 million in cash along with C Pete LaForest and RF Ryan Church to Washington in return for SS Andres Blanco and C Jose Monreal. The Montreal GM then made a ten player deal with the Oakland A’s. Sent to the west coast along with $2 million in cash were CF Fransisco Santos, LF Woody Stevens, RF Luis Passarella, P Tomo Ohka, LF Matt Cepicky, and 3B Jose Gallardo, while Montreal got back 2B Mark Ellis, CF Emilio Cordero, 3B Adam Morrisey, and P Justin Duscherer. The final move made by the Montreal GM was with the Cleveland Indians, as the Expos sent SS Alfredo Amezaga, P Luis Ayala, and P Todd Erdos to the Tribe, in return for P Billy Traber and $4 million in cash.



“ We wanted to add some players but still keep our overall payroll reasonable. It was a matter in a lot of cases of getting younger and again cheaper with longer contracts, while also bettering our team in terms of calibre of players, and depth.” Levarre told the media when questioned about some of the moves he made.

Montreal, who had a payroll of $21.5 million, has increased their payroll for the coming season to $41.5 million.

Northern Brave
08-06-2004, 07:34 PM
2004 SEASON

APRIL

Opening Day Line Up

C – Andy Dominique
1B – Ross Gload
2B – Josh Barfield
3B – Brian Snyder
SS – Tommy Murphy
RF – J.D Drew
CF – Garrett Anderson
LF – John Cortesi

Bench: C Brian Schneider, 1B Mike O’Keefe, 2B Mark Ellis, SS Josh Labandeira, Cf Phil Stevens, LF Jason Ellison

Pitching

Starter – Livan Hernandez
Starter – Tony Armas
Starter – Shawn Hill
Starter – Josh Stewart
Starter – Ryan Dempster
Alternate – John Lackey
Long – Zach Day
Middle – Josh Karp
Short – Chad Bentz
SetUp – Chad Cordero
Closer – Steve Andrade

Montreal opened the 2004 season kicking off the battle of Canada, as they began with inter-league opponent the Toronto Blue Jays, on the road at SkyDome. The Blue Jays would win a 6-2 battle thanks to an 8 inning performance by staff ace Roy Halladay. The Jays got all 6 of their runs in the 8th inning, 5 off Livan Hernandez, and 1 off reliever Chad Cordero.

April 2nd saw the Expos split the two game series in Toronto with a 3-2 win. Tony Armas pitched a strong 8 1/3 innings while John Cortesi launched his first home run of the season for Montreal. The win was tempered with the news RF J.D Drew was lost to the DL for 15 days with a foot stress fracture. As a result, Jason Ellison will take over in the field while Ron Calloway was recalled from the Ottawa Lynx.

April 3rd saw the Expos return home for a one game inter-league match-up with the Texas Rangers. The Expos beat up Texas starter Ryan Snare, lead by a pair of doubles by John Cortesi, and a strong outing on the mound by Shawn Hill, as Montreal won 7-2 in front of an Olympic Stadium crowd of 23, 932.

April 4th saw the Expos visit Tampa Bay and win their 3rd straight game 4-3. Josh Stewart went 7 1/3 innings to extend the team’s winning streak. Montreal has a day off before beginning a 7 game homestand.

April 7th saw Montreal’s 4 game win streak come to an end. The Pirates won 5-1 avenging a 7-1 defeat in the series opener to the Expos. Tony Armas lasted just 3 innings into the game before the Bucks chased him out. “ I was garbage tonight out there.” Armas said dejectedly after the game. “ They are a good team, give them credit, I pitched bad and they hit everything like I was throwing beachballs out there.”

April 9th saw Josh Stewart throw another solid game, while Garrett Anderson and Josh Barfield provided some muscle to the offense, as Montreal won 4-3 to split the four game series with the visiting Pirates. “ It feels good to contribute like that.” Stewart said post game. “ Last year I felt like I let everyone down, but this year I just pushed harder and it’s brought results.”

April 10th was a game Montreal would like to forget, especially starter Ryan Dempster. Dempster lasted only 3 innings, and the Expos bullpen wanted to put an answering machine on the pen phone, as Arizona laid a beating on Montreal in front of their home fans, routing them 11-4. “ That was a really bad game. We can and should play far better than that.” Manager Frank Robinson said to the media after the game.

April 11th saw Montreal step up following their worst defeat of the season, beating Arizona starter Randy Johnson. Livan Hernandez allowed 3 runs, but the Expos bullpen shut down the D-Backs, and Garrett Anderson lead the offense with a pair of doubles and a home run, as Montreal won 6-4.

April 12th saw the Expos lose their final home game before heading out on the road. Montreal sent Josh Karp to AAA Ottawa, recalling Justin Duscherer to fill in, while moving Ryan Dempster to the alternate starter spot, swapping him with John Lackey.

April 13th saw Montreal visit Coors Field to take on the Rockies. Josh Stewart went 7 innings to help secure the win in his third start this season, as Montreal won 10-3, bombing the home team.

April 17th saw the Expos return to Olympic Stadium and knock off the Anaheim Angels 5-0, snapping a three game losing streak as they dropped 3 of 4 against the Rockies on their roadtrip.

April 18th saw the Expos make a few moves as J.D Drew came off the DL and returned to the line up. Sent down to Ottawa were RF Ron Calloway, 1B Ross Gload, and C Andy Dominique. Taking their spots in the roster were Drew, 1B Scott Hodges, and C Scott Seabol.

April 22nd saw the Expos win their fifth game in a row, as Tony Armas won his third of the season, going 8 2/3 innings as Montreal beat division rivals the Atlanta Braves, sweeping the three game series with a 6-2 victory.

April 23rd saw Montreal’s win streak come to an end at the hands of Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays, as they beat the Expos 2-1. “ One of these days we’ll figure out how to beat him.” Manager Frank Robinson said, referring to pitcher Halladay.

April 24th saw the Expos wrap up their home stand earning a split in the 2 game battle of Canada against the Blue Jays, beating them 9-4 at Olympic Stadium.

April 25th saw the Expos head to Baltimore for one game before coming home again. Ryan Dempster was returned to the starting lineup and went 6 innings for the Expos, as they won 8-6.

April 29th saw Montreal sweep the two game homestand against the Arizona Diamonbacks, as Livan Hernandez and Tony Armas both got their 4th wins of the season, and Montreal pushed their win streak to 4 games.

April 30th saw the Atlanta Braves beat up the Expos 7-3 putting an end to their four game win streak. “ We came out flat, and we didn’t get the job done.” Manager Frank Robinson said post game.

In front of 25, 750 fans, Montreal finished the month of April as they earned a split against Atlanta with a 5-3 win. “ This was how we should have played our first game. I think we just got a little over-confident having won four straight.” John Cortesi said. “ The early success we’re having is nice though and I think the fans are feeding off that, and so are we.”

Montreal did make one roster move, as they sent SS Josh Labandeira down to the Ottawa Lynx, recalling SS Andres Blanco to the parent club.






GM Ettiene Levarre also pulled the trigger on a trade with the Washington Sentinels, acquiring starting pitcher Brian Bass and 2B Pablo Ozuna in return for pitchers John Lackey and Ryan Dempster and 2B Mark Ellis. “ This was a move to shore up our pitching, we felt we could improve it. At the same time we also lowered our overall payroll too with a long term contract on a young talented and successful pitcher.” Levarre explained when asked about making such a deal.

Montreal finished the opening month of the season with a 17-10 record, which puts them in first place in the NL East, having gone 8-2 in the last 10 games, and giving them a 4 game lead over chasing New York.

Player of the Month – John Cortesi .376BA .535OBA 5HR
Pitcher of the Month – Tony Armas 6GS 4-1 2.20ERA

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:14 PM
MAY

May 3rd saw the Expos win the second of a three game homestand at against Atlanta with a 7-5 victory. The news was not all good for Montreal as J.D Drew again was put on the DL, this time for 6 days with a twisted ankle. As a result Jason Ellison takes over in the outfield and Ron Calloway was again recalled from the Ottawa Lynx.

May 12th saw the Expos wrap up their road trip going 5-3, building a 5 game lead in the NL East, riding strong pitching from all 5 of their starters, and getting key performances from closer Steve Andrade out of the bullpen. “ This team is showing a lot of character and determination.” Manager Frank Robinson said.

May 18th saw the Expos face the New York Yankees having lost 3 of the past 4 games, including 2 of 3 against division rival Philadelphia. A day off before hand proved just what Montreal needed, as they doubled off the “Empire of Evil” 4-2, beating Javier Vasquez, a former Expo. Livan Hernandez got his 7th win of the season going 7 strong innings for the win. “ We just needed a breather and get re-focused. We’re playing a lot of ball, and we’re playing well but we still can improve on this.” Hernandez said after the game. The Expos now start a 10 game road trip.

May 18th also saw the return of both Ross Gload and J.D Drew from the DL, marking a demotion for Andres Blanco and Scott Hodges back to AAA Ottawa.

May 22nd saw the Montreal Expos escape the confines of Turner field with a win, avoiding a series sweep by the Atlanta Braves. Josh Stewart got the win for his 5th of the season to end a 3 game losing streak. “ This series was horrible.” Frank Robinson said of his team’s performance. “ Now we’ll have to really fight to hang onto where we are.”

May 28th saw the Expos wrap up their worst stretch of baseball this season, dropping 3 of 4 to the Chicago Cubs, their lead down to 3 games as they had back home. “ We sucked, plain and simple.” John Cortesi told the media as the team got off the plane in Montreal. “ The effort was not there, we got the results we should have. It’s a harsh lesson, but we’ll see how the guys respond.” Manager Frank Robinson said.

The Expos returned home with a bang on May 29th with a 5-0 shutout over Philadelphia. John Cortesi crushed his 11th home run of the year, while Tony Armas went 8 strong innings for the victory. “ That is more like it.” Cortesi said following the win. “ We need to get consistent and play like this more often. We’ve had a bad month that way.”

The Expos wrapped up May by dropping the final two games of the three game homestand versus the Phillies, giving them a May record of 12-17, and a season record of 29-27. Montreal remains sitting in 1st place in the NL East just 2 ½ games up on second place Atlanta.

Player of the Month – Garrett Anderson .339BA .379OBA 13HR 1SB
Pitcher of the Month – Livan Hernandez 12GS 8-4 2.85ERA 2CG

JUNE

June 1st saw the Expos a determined group as they hammered the Boston Red Sox 9-3 at Olympic Stadium. Josh Barfield and John Cortesi lead the offensive flurry with a longball each, while Josh Stewart was again strong on the mound. “ I’m feeling comfortable.” Stewart said about his season so far. “ After last year I just wanted to prove myself.”

June 3rd saw Montreal ride Livan Hernandez’s strong arm for 9 innings taking a 5-2 win at Fenway Park over Boston. The Expos now return to Olympic Stadium for a 15 game homestand, fighting to hold onto first place in the NL East.

June 5th saw Montreal extend their winning streak to 4 games, as they took the first two of a four game set from division rival the Florida Marlins. The Expos squished the fish 7-3, and then won a tight 4-3 ballgame for the victories. “ This is more like the team I know.” Robinson said all smiles to the media following the game. “ Now we just need to find that consistency and hang onto it for the rest of the season.” The manager stated.

June 6th saw Florida end the Expos win streak pounding out a 7-3 victory as the fish roughed up Shawn Hill, cashing in 5 runs over just 5 1/3 innings by the Montreal starter. “ I let the guys down tonight.” Hill said after the game. Manager Frank Robinson saw a little different. “ Hill was a little off but the guys didn’t back him up, or help him out. We got only 8 hits and committed an error. It was a bad night all around.” Robinson said.

June 7th had Montreal taking 3 of 4 from the Marlins. If manager Frank Robinson was sending a message with his “this is a team game” speech after their 7-3 loss, the players took it to heart. Ross Gload went deep as did Brian Snyder twice, and four other players had extra base hits as the offense helped garner an 11-6 victory. “ We pulled it out tonight. That’s what I was talking about.” Robinson said when asked about the game. “ They got Zack ( Day ) in the 6th but our guys refused to give up and got us some runs to win it.” The Montreal manager said referring to the 6th inning when Florida got back in the game with 4 runs off reliever Zach Day, but could get no closer.

June 8th saw the Expos drop a 4-2 game to the visiting San Diego Padres, and then get even worse news as Zach Day was lost for 138 days, which writes off this season for the reliever, with severe elbow tendonitis. As a result Jon Switzer moves into the long reliever role in the bullpen, while Vern Hickey was recalled from the Ottawa Lynx to take over as the alternate starter.

June 12th saw the Expos trying to avoid a 4 game sweep by the San Diego Padres, and end a 3 game winless streak. Montreal made sure to send a strong message as they blanked the Padres 17-0 laying the worst beating a team has seen at the hands of the Expos. “ This was a real team effort” Frank Robinson said of the overwhelming victory. “ We didn’t rely on one player, one pitcher, everyone came to play and we dominated.” Padres veteran Brian Giles had a simpler view of the game, “ They just outright kicked out @#$ we should be ashamed of that.”

June 12th also saw Gm Ettiene Levarre make a move to try and fix an ailing bullpen, as he pulled the trigger on a deal with the Baltimore Orioles. Heading to Baltimore were 3B Jamey Carroll, and pitchers Billy Traber and Francis Beltran, along with $2million in cash, in return for pitchers Rick Bauer, Billy Koch, Richard Stahl, and Theodore Sagum. As a result of the trade, Chad Cordero and Chad Bentz, both of whom have struggled, were sent to Ottawa, as Bauer and Koch assume the bullpen roles.

June 14th saw Montreal’s 3 game win streak come to and end as the Mets beat the Expos 7-1 to avenge dropping the first two games of the four game series. Kris Benson dominated for 7 innings for the Mets, outduelling Tony Armas, as the Mets feasted on reliever Billy Koch for the win. “ We aren’t getting it done, that’s the bottom line.” Manager Frank Robinson said.

GM Ettiene Levarre pulled the trigger on another trade to try and fix the Expos ailing bullpen, sending pitcher Josh Karp to the Toronto Blue Jays in return for pitcher Jason Frasor. “ We’re happy with getting Frasor. He’s got a solid arm and should do well for us.” Levarre said of the trade. “ Karp just didn’t fit into our long term plans, but he was a good pitcher, but we had to make this move to compete.” As a result reliver Bill Koch was sent to the Ottawa Lynx to make room for Frasor.


June 15th saw the Expos win three out of four from the Mets, getting their 9th victory of the month, as Brian Bass pitched well and Garrett Anderson crushed a pair of souveniers, joined by John Cortesi and Josh Barfield with long balls, as the Expos trounced the Mets 10-3. “ We are going to have to do this more often. Of course I need to do this more often.” Anderson said, joking with media following the game.

June 18th saw the Expos wrap up their homestand with a strong 8-1 victory over the Phillies, clinging to a 1 game lead for first in the NL East. “ We just have to worry about how we play. We can only control our own destinies and leave others to worry about theirs.” Robinson said as the team gets a day off before heading on the road to meet the Mets at Shea Stadium for four games.

June 23rd saw Montreal end the road trip heading home, having taken three of four from New York, riding a three game win streak after losing the series opener. Montreal now has four games with the Brewers and a pair with the Reds to end June ahead of them. “ We need to keep going and finish strong.” Manager Frank Robinson said. “ We know as a group we can win.” John Cortesi said when asked about the season so far. “ We’re fighting to stay where we want to be, and we are definitely not going to go away quietly.”

June 28th saw the Expos win9-6 for their third straight victory over the Brewers, as they repeated losing the first of four games before winning the next three as they had over New York. “ We’re nothing if not consistent now.” The Montreal manager joked about the trend of his team. “ Hey, we’re winning and that is the main thing. I can’t complain too much.”

June 30th saw the Expos lose 3-2 to the Reds, snapping a 4 game win streak to close out the month. Ryan Freel and Austin Kearns went deep off Montreal pitching to lead the Reds to the win. “ They got some big hits from guys. Kearns is a monster and he made us pay.” Pitcher Livan Hernandez said. “ I just made a couple mistakes and they made me pay.”

Montreal finished June going 18-9, giving them first place in the NL East, up 3 games over second place Atlanta. The Expos now have a season record of 47-36.

Player of the Month – John Cortesi .318BA .473OBA 19HR
Pitcher of the Month – Justin Duscherer 21G 1-1 2.54ERA 2SV

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:15 PM
JULY

The Expos opened July splitting games at home with the Reds, winning 6-4 and then losing 8-2. “ We just can’t seem to beat these guys consistently” Frank Robinson said scratching his head. Montreal wraps up the first half heading into the All-Star break facing the New York Mets for three games.

July 6th saw Montreal win 1-0 taking two of three from the Mets and heading to the All-Star break with a record of 50-38 at the half way point in the season. “ We’ve done so well, it has been a surprise, but we’re hoping this is only the beginning of a long set of runs like this. It’s exciting.” Montreal GM Ettiene Levarre said of his teams turnaround from last season.

Montreal sent both pitcher Livan Hernandez and outfielder Garrett Anderson to the All-Star game. The National League took the mid season rivalry 10-9 in extra innings.

MID SEASON REPORT

C – Brian Schneider: Schneider has made only 68 appearances, and lost the starting job to Scott Seabol. With numbers lower than last year, Schneider may be on borrowed time to start producing at the level the team believes he should. C+

C – Scott Seabol: Given a chance as the back-up, Montreal has been pleased with Seabol as he ran with the ball to take over behind the plate on a day to day basis. Despite not being rated as high as Schneider in just 64 games he’s posted overall better numbers and may force the team to look at him long term. B+

1B – Ross Gload: Gload has appeared in 5 more games than last season already, and is chewing it up, putting up strong sophomore year numbers. Montreal expected big things from the young first baseman and he has not disappointed and appears set to continue to only get better. A

1B – Mike O’Keefe: Began the year with the big club, and got a shot at taking over at first when injuries sidelined Gload, but couldn’t get the job done. With lower numbers this season O’Keefe was sent to Ottawa to get more playing time. Montreal remains high on him. C+

2B – Josh Barfield: Barfield continues to make GM Ettiene Levarre look like a genius and a thief. Most scouts agree Barfield may well be the best second baseman in the majors, and his numbers only back that. At 21 he will be a cornerstone of Montreal for years to come. A+

2B – Pablo Ozuna: The 29 year old second baseman was acquired to add a veteran presence and strong play off the bench. In that Ozuna has excelled. In 50 games he’s hitting .310 with a .408 on base average. A

3B – Brian Snyder: Snyder won the starting job at the hot corner and has not relinquished it yet. He’s appeared in a career high 86 games this season and is hitting .293 with 14 doubles and 8 home runs both career highs. A superior third baseman he seems set in the lineup, though could be pushed by those in the Lynx minor team. B-


SS – Tommy Murphy: Murphy made an appearance at the end of last season and showed Montreal a glimpse of what he could do. The Expos rookie has won the starting job up the middle and is showing he is not about to let go of it. If he keeps it up rookie of the year honours are not out of the question. A

SS – Josh Labandeira: Labandeira has been up and down this season, but has settled in as the back-up shortstop, putting up career numbers in batting average and on base percentage. Labandeira is a key player off the bench who could prove just to need more time before pushing Murphy for a crack at the starter role. B -

LF – John Cortesi: The left field sophomore continues to shine as a franchise player, and team leader for the Expos despite only being 23 years of age. Cortesi’s numbers are slightly down from his rookie campaign, but when the big games are played he is the player who steps it up and comes through. A

LF – Jason Ellison: Despite appearing in only 40 games in the first half the Expos remain high on Ellison. A possible shift again to right field is possible if J.D Drew’s struggles continue. B

CF – Garrett Anderson: The 8 million dollar man has been all the Expos could hope for and more. With 21 home runs and strong defence, Anderson made the All-Star game as an Expos representative. Anderson should stick about with the Expos for a long while. A+

CF – Phil Stevens: Despite not wanting to rush the rookie, the Expos couldn’t hold him back. In 24 games so far this season Stevens is hitting .304 with a .407 on base percentage. With pure raw talent alone the Expos are going to be hard pressed keeping him on the bench and he could challenge for time in right instead of center. A+

RF – Ron Calloway: Calloway still struggles at the plate more than the Expos like, but with little other choice and free agent J.D Drew struggling and oft injured, Calloway has taken over in right field. For how long remains to be seen, but the Expos believe the 27 year old only needs more time before breaking out. B-

RF – J. D Drew: Drew was hoped to bring a big bat and solid defence, however neither has shown up in his first season with the Expos. Injuries have limited him to 56 games, and he is only hitting .202. If he cannot turn things around, Drew could find himself gone merely on salary alone. C-

P – Livan Hernandez: Hernandez as already won 12 games this season in the first half, and is poised for a 20 win season. The ace of the Expos staff continues to lead by example and his 2.48ERA is a huge drop from last year, where he won only 13 games. A+


P – Tony Armas: Armas continues to befuddle his critics, notching 8 wins this season. While scouts feel he is only suited for brief relief from the bullpen, as an Expos starter he has been outstanding, though he will have to have a strong second half to equal his 18 wins of the previous season that lead the team. A-

P – Brian Bass: The 22 year old sophomore pitcher has gone 4-4 since being acquired from Washington this season, with a 3.05 ERA in games with the Expos, but the long term potential and solid outings have most in the Expos braintrust salivating at what he will become in a few years. B+

P – Shawn Hill: Sophomore pitcher Hill has already matched last years win total of 7 games and has 2 complete games under his belt this season. The 23 year old pitcher seems poised to continue to impress and could dominate over the next few years for the Expos. A-

P – Josh Stewart: Stewart was a surprise in spring training and earned a shot at the starter job. With a 9-3 record and 3.31ERA Stewart is having a break out year, putting critics to rest about his 3-8 record of last season with an abysmal 5.15 ERA. The Expos feel he could be a surprise gem given enough growth time. A

P – Steve Andrade: Andrade continues to be the rock the Expos count on to save games and close them out. His 23 saves in 42 games this season is one higher than his total all of last season and a big reason for the Expos success and first place standing. A

P – Jason Frasor: Since being acquired in a deal with Toronto, Frasor has appeared in 12 games, going 2-1 with a 5.27ERA. Despite the ERA the Expos feel the rookie pitcher will prove invaluable in the second half and for years to come. Since being acquired the bullpen has become a little more stable and reliable. C+

P – Rick Bauer: Acquired from Baltimore to try and help in the bullpen, Bauer started out strong but heading into the break saw his ERA hit over 8.00. Come the start of the second half expect a demotion to the minors or possible trade before the deadline. C-

P – Justin Duscherer: The 25 year old rookie surprised everyone and continues to as he has a strong year, and has been another rock for Montreal out of the bullpen, with a 1-1 record and 2.43ERA. He could be a staple of the Montreal pen for years to come if he can keep up his first half performance. A+

P – Jon Switzer: Switzer began in the minors after a poor spring training, but after being recalled in June has come through from the bullpen for Montreal, giving renewed hope of his being a part of the future for Montreal. In 5 games Switzer has a 2.84ERA. B+

P – Vern Hickey: The 23 year old rookie was not supposed to be up with the parent club yet, but his strong performance at AAA Ottawa, and a lack of options forced his placement with the big club. Hickey has not done badly, despite a 6.75ERA. Expect a return to the minors if the Expos can acquire another pitcher before the trade deadline. C+

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:17 PM
MINOR LEAGUE REPORT:

C – Andy Dominique: Dominique appeared in 15 of Montreals first games of the season, however struggled offensively and found himself back with the Ottawa Lynx. Since that time the rookie catcher has hit .303 with an on base percentage of .343, with 5 doubles and a pair of home runs. He seems to need a bit more time to adjust but should be challenging for a roster spot again next season. A-

C – Jose Monreal: Seen as a work in progress, the 23 year old Monreal needs more time at AAA, but could prove to be far more than the projected back up catcher for the Expos given enough time. Monreal has 11 doubles this season so far, and has shown a good ability at the plate despite a lack of power and speed. B+

1B – Mike O’Keefe: O’Keefe appeared in 46 games with the Expos but struggled to live up to expectations at the major league level. O’Keefe returned to the Lynx showing he is ready for the next step hitting .320 with a .400OBA. The Expos have not lost faith O’Keefe will be a major contributor to the teams future. B+

1B – Scott Hodges: Scouts are still high on Hodges, despite a lack of ability to make it at the major league level. A 16 game stint was abysmal and Hodges season at Ottawa has not gone as well, pushing him further down the depth chart behind O’Keefe at AAA. Unless he can turn it around, Hodges may find himself on the outs with management. C+

2B – Alberto Callaspo: Callaspo showed promise last season at AAA, and returned to the Lynx this season looking to better his play. While the numbers are lower, Callaspo appears to be on the horizon of making the Expos and is being counted on to live up to all the promise he has shown. B-

3B – Chad Spann: Spann continues to impress at the AAA level, though appears to need more time according to most team scouts. Another strong season or two and he might get a shot at cracking the Expos line up. At present a promising work in progress player. B

3B – Adam Morrisey: Acquired from Oakland as part of a larger trade, Morrisey could challenge Spann for getting to the parent club first. Having a solid season with the Lynx and matching his totals from last year, the Expos could have a dilemma with both rookies playing so well. It’s believed Morrisey may well be more ready for a shot that Spann. B

SS – Andres Blanco: Blanco got a shot with the Expos but couldn’t adjust to life with the big club. Sent down he has shown a knack of being a solid hitter with exceptional speed having swiped 9 bases, and having a solid OBA of .355. The Expos see him as a solid fielder and big leadoff man in the mold of former Athletic Rickey Henderson. If he can adjust and stand the hype he’ll be a franchise player. B-



RF – Frank Kudlick: The rookie outfielder is a few years away from making a definite push to get to the next level, but is having a solid first season at AAA Ottawa. A work in progress, Montreal seems not inclined to put too much pressure on him, or rush him along. C+

RF – Joey Gomes: Gomes is enjoying an even better second season with the Montreal farm club, upping his average and already matching his totals for all of last year. Montreal feels he needs just a little more time before he will get his shot to stick with the Expos. A-

CF – Emilio Cordero: Cordero is having a terrific season with the Lynx, showing potential that has Expos brass thinking he could get a shot later in the year if it weren’t for post season hopes. Cordero has hit 21 doubles and 32 home runs at AAA, and seems poised to duplicate those numbers in Montreal. Expect a major league debut soon. A+

LF – Bronson Sardinha: Sardinha has all the talent defensively but has not come around as the Expos hoped offensively. While not bad, he is buried behind those already in Montreal, and may well find himself sent packing unless he shows drastic improvement, and soon. C+

P – Chad Cordero: After a strong look at the end of last season, the Expos were disappointed to see Cordero struggle in his first full season. Demoted with the acquisition of Rick Bauer, Cordero returned to the Lynx and promptly set about posting numbers that have the Expos looking at calling him back up for the second half, a move bolstered by Bauers struggles. B-

P – Chad Bentz: Following a stellar rookie season the Expos thought their bullpen to be strong. A sudden drop in Bentz’s play has management scratching their heads. Bentz bombed at the start of the season, and has done even worse with the Lynx since. C-

P – Zach Day: Shelved for the season with severe shoulder tendonitis Day’s outlook is up in the air and in question. What the Expos will do, other than wait and hope he can return to form the following season, remains to be seen. C

P - Chris Young: Young is thriving at Ottawa, already having lowered his ERA and matching his win total for all of last season. Young may get a shot soon with the big club if he continues to shine. B+

P – Hector Almonte: Almonte had a decent season last year with the Lynx, and scouts believed he would show more promise this year. That has not been the case, and Almonte is now seen as a long term work in progress, one that may never come to fruition. If he can turn it around before the end of the year he might save himself from being sent packing. C-


P – Darrell Rasner: The 20 year old Rasner is having another great season with the Lynx, and after a strong spring training, the Expos may give him a shot ahead of schedule with the parent club. While not wanting to rush their young pitcher, Rasner is making it difficult for the Expos to hold him back. A

P – Enrico Serrano: Serrano is not ready at all for the majors, and is still adjusting to life at the AAA level. He’s a few years away from being ready to join the Expos starters, but Montreal remains sure he will be a top three starter. C+

P – Felipe Cisneros: Cisneros has surprised management with a solid first outing at the AAA level. As a result the 20 year old could challenge Bentz to get into the bullpen in Montreal possibly even next season. Most likely the Expos would prefer to hold him back one more year for experience, but with other pitchers struggles and few options he could get his shot sooner than expected. B+

P – Richard Stahl: Acquired in the deal with Baltimore Stahl has excelled with the Lynx going 10-4 in 22 starts, posting an ERA of 4.58. Montreal would like to see Stahl drop his ERA lower and if he can over the second half of the season, he could get a shot at a starting spot with the club next season. A-

P – Theodore Sagum: The reliever has blown 9 save opportunities and has an ERA over 6.00 with the Ottawa Lynx so far this season. With little to suggest this won’t be the norm, Sagum is on borrowed time even being in the Montreal system. There had been high hopes for Sagum, but he is not living up to them remotely. C-

P – Bill Koch: Acquired as help for the bullpen Koch was given a shot to hold down a spot with the Expos and couldn’t do it. A demotion to Ottawa has let Koch regain his form and confidence, and he could get another shot in the Expos bullpen before the end of the season. C+

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:18 PM
JULY CONTINUED

GM Ettiene Levarre came out of the All-Star break and quickly made a deal to help strengthen his team. Montreal sent RF J.D Drew, LF Bronson Sardinha, and pitchers Theodore Sagum and Hector Almonte along with $2 million in cash to the Kansas City Royals, in return for right fielders Brandon Berger and Alexis Gomez. “ This is a move we had to make. We get rid of a high priced salary for players we feel are young, talented, and make us that much better.” Levarre said of the deal.

The Expos GM then pulled a second trade with the Colorado Rockies, sending C Brian Schneider, 1B Scott Hodges, RF Frank Kudlick, and pitchers Zack Day and Rick Bauer to the Rockies in return for pitchers Aaron Cook, Paul Dimitya, and C J.D Closser. “ We got a young talented catcher, a starting pitcher who’s capable of being a top two guy, and a prospective starting pitcher for the future.” Levarre said of the deal for the players he got. “ We hated losing Kudlick, but we added two right fielders and he was well down our depth charts honestly. Day was really hurt and we feel we’ve improved there, and Brian ( Schneider ) never really seemed to be working out or able to fix the problem. We wish them all the best, and hopefully a change of scenery will help them as much as us.” As a result of the trade the Expos returned Vern Hickey to the minors as Cook takes over the alternate starter spot, and Chad Cordero was moved back to the Montreal bullpen in the short reliever capacity. Brandon Berger will take over right field duties and J.D Closser remains with the Expos as the back-up catcher.

July 13th saw the Expos avenge a 16-7 defeat by beating the Phillies 5-4 to split the two game home series. “ We didn’t play well in the first game, and I think with the break and the new faces, we were just a little too unsettled.” Manager Frank Robinson said of the defeat the game before. “ We showed tonight how we normally play and we won. It’ll take a bit to gel again but we’ll be back to business as usual soon enough.” The Expos now head on an 8 game road trip, taking on the LA Dodgers and Houston Astros.

July 17th saw the Expos extend their winning streak to 4 games edging out the Dodgers 10-8, taking their third straight on the road. Montreal is undefeated since the lopsided loss coming out of the All-Star break against Philadelphia. Jason Frasor got the victory for his 3rd of the year out of the bullpen.

July 18th saw the Dodges avoid a sweep of the series by winning 5-0 over the Expos. “ We just didn’t do the things we needed to in order to win.” Frank Robinson said of the loss. “ I blew it.” Tony Armas said after the game. Armas has lost the past two games, which included the 5 inning disaster in the 16-7 Philadelphia defeat.

July 22nd saw the Expos win their 4th straight game, sweeping the four game set against the Houston Astros with a 4-2 victory on the pitching of Livan Hernandez. The staff ace won his team leading 13th game of the season, while closer Steve Andrade notched his 28th save of the year. “ It felt good to get the sweep and get on a role like this.” Hernandez said following the game. “ As a team we are really coming together and we’ve got a great group of guys that play with passion and all they got.”

July 24th saw the Expos 5 game win streak come to an end as Houston defeated them in Montreal 3-1. Andy Petite outduelled Expos starter Brian Bass, and the Astros rallied for the win against the Montreal bullpen. “ I didn’t get it done. I had to hold them and they just wanted it more.” Chad Cordero said about the loss, having given up the game winning runs. “ Our guys did what they were asked, but I dropped the ball tonight. Sometimes things go that way.”

July 30th saw the Arizona Diamondbacks single-handedly ruin the Expos month as they swept the four game set against Montreal with an 8-7 victory. The loss extended Montreal’s losing streak to 5 games. “ It was a bad end to a good month really.” Frank Robinson said of his team’s performance. “ Now it is time to bounce back and get the job done.”

The Expos ended July with a record of 13-10, leaving them at 60-46 for the season. Montreal is sitting tied for first place in the NL East with the Atlanta Braves who ended July on an 8 game win streak to make up the four game lead Montreal had a week before.

Player of the Month – Garrett Anderson .326BA .367OBA 23HR 2SB
Pitcher of the Month – Josh Stewart 21GS 11-4 3.01ERA

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:19 PM
AUGUST

August 3rd saw Montreal avoid the sweep at the hands of the New York Mets, winning 11-7. “ We need to get things going.” Manager Frank Robinson said of his team, “ We just aren’t playing like we are capable of and we need to get better and fast.”

August 8th saw Montreal sweep the Florida Marlins at home, extending their winning streak to 4 games. “ This is more like what these guys can do.” Robinson said of the effort. “ We wanted to do well, especially against teams in our own division.” Cortesi said to the press following the 7-6 win.

August 11th saw the Expos extend their winning streak to 7 games as they hit the road in Atlanta, sweeping the Braves to reclaim the lead in the NL East. “ Give them credit, they wanted it and they took it ( the divisional lead ) from us.” Manager Bobby Cox said of the Expos. “ This was a tough series and games we really needed.” Garret Anderson said.

August 12th saw the Cincinnati Reds put an end to the Montreal win streak, defeating the Expos 6-5, chasing starter Josh Stewart after just 4 innings. “ I didn’t get the job done tonight, I didn’t pitch well at all.” Stewart said. “ We caught a bad break tonight. He ( Stewart ) just didn’t get in a groove and we couldn’t get back on top of them after that. It was just not our night.” Robinson said about the loss.

August 20th saw the Expos win 7-5 in Florida to avoid a four game sweep by the Marlins and snapping a 3 game losing streak. The win gets Montreal back on track after the losses robbed them of first place in the NL East. “ We have our own destiny in our hands.” Robinson said of the series, “ Right now the guys need to step it up, they have to show they want it and we can’t afford to lose series like these.”

August 28th saw Florida win 2-1 over the Expos snapping a two game win streak, and avoiding a Montreal sweep of the three game series that brought an end to the near month long road trip. Montreal got some bad news though, learning that SS Tommy Murphy will be sidelined for 6 days due to elbow tendonitis. As a result, Josh Labandeira will take over and the Expos did not recall anyone from the Ottawa Lynx.

August 31st saw the Expos finally return home, only to lose 7-2 to the San Fransisco Giants. Ross Gload was also lost for 4 days with a sore heel. As a result Mike O’Keefe will take over at first and the Expos did not recall anyone from their AAA affiliate.

Montreal finished the month of August going 13-12, giving them a season record of 73-58. The Expos are currently sitting in 2nd place in the NL East 5 games back of division leading Atlanta. Montreal currently holds the NL Wild Card spot by a game and a half over the San Fransisco Giants.

Player of the Month – John Cortesi .297BA .448OBA 27HR 2SB
Pitcher of the Month – Jon Switzer 13G 1.53ERA 17.2INN 2SV

SEPTEMBER

August 3rd saw Montreal win their third straight, sweeping a big important series versus the San Fransisco Giants, the team chasing them for the wild card spot in the National League. Montreal allowed just 2 runs while scoring 20 themselves. “ This was a big series and the guys stepped up and showed how bad they wanted it.” Manager Frank Robinson said. “ We showed we are a team to be taken seriously, that we’re not going away.” Garret Anderson stated after the 8-1 victory to sweep the Giants.

September 6th saw the Chicago Cubs end the Expos 4 game win streak, edging Montreal 2-1 for the victory. “ It was a hard fought game.” Robinson said, “ You have to give the Cubbies credit, neither team quit and it was a great game.”

September 12th saw the L.A Dodgers win 3-1, sweeping the four game series versus the Expos. Montreal now heads on the road for 8 games, four each against Pittsburg and St. Louis, before they return home at the end of the month. “ We blew it in this series. Again consistency is a problem.” Manager Frank Robinson commented about the struggle during the losses.

September 17th saw Montreal win 5-2, sweeping the four game set against the Pirates. The Expos showed the bucks no mercy, continuing to make up for the four game losing streak at the end of their home stand. “ We need to win, it is that plain and simple.” John Cortesi said when asked about what the wins meant to the team. “ We can get where we want to be if we play like we’re capable of.” Robinson said to the media.

September 20th saw Montreal be St. Louis 9-4, extending their winning streak to 6 games. “ This is how we needed to play, we’re turning it up a notch at the right time of year.’ Robinson said of his team’s play and results.

September 29th saw the Montreal Expos lose 3-2 while at home, and get even worse news as they lost Brandon Berger for 4 days due to a strained rib. As a result the Expos move Jason Ellison into the field, and will not be recalling anyone from their AAA affiliate in Ottawa.




September 30th saw the Expos wrap up the month with a dominating 12-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. With the win Montreal goes 15-9 for the month, giving them a season record of 88-67. Montreal sits in second place in the NL East, 8 games back of division leader the Atlanta Braves. Montreal clinched the Wild Card race 5 ½ games ahead of Arizona and San Fransisco.

Player of the Month – Garret Anderson .317BA .360OBA 33HR 3SB
Pitcher of the Month – Livan Hernandez 33GS 16-11 3.17ERA 6CG 2SHO

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:20 PM
OCTOBER

October 7th saw Montreal wrap up its season in San Diego with a 7-2 victory, giving them a season record of 91-71, going 3-4 in October. Montreal heads to the post season, having locked up the wild card spot. “ We cannot believe the year we had, and it’s not over yet.” GM Ettiene Levarre said about his team’s year. “ It’s not over for us yet. We ( the players ) and the fans are not going to settle for anything less than a world series championship. We’re that determined and that’s our goal.” John Cortesi said about getting to the post season.

POST SEASON

Montreal faces the Chicago Cubs to open their post season hopes of becoming World Series Champions. For Montreal success will be in shutting down the second best hitter in the league Richard Hidalgo, while finding a way to score runs against a tough pitching staff lead by ERA leader Pedro Martinez, and wins leader Mark Prior. The battle comes down to Montreal’s offence versus the Cubs pitching.

GAME 1: Chicago pounded the Expos at Wrigley Field, taking the opening game 7-2. Aaron Cook filled in to start the series as Brian Bass was felled before the game with an injured foot, and was subsequently roughed up for 5 runs. Mark Prior went 8 innings for the Cubs striking out 10.

GAME 2: Montreal fell short in evening the series, as the Cubs edged them out 4-3. Carlos Zambrano outduelled Livan Hernandez for the win, as the Expos got even more bad news losing Ross Gload for 4 days due to tendonitis. Mike O’Keefe will be taking over at first base for Montreal as they head home fighting for their playoff lives. “ We’ve dug ourselves a hole and now we have to fight with all we have to get out of it.” Manager Frank Robinson stated to the media before boarding the flight home.

GAME 3: In front of a crowd of 35,464 at Olympic Stadium the Expos fought hard to keep their post season alive, only to see it dashed with a 1-0 loss. Pedro Martinez delivered the killing blow as the Cubs starter went 8 innings striking out 9, and matching Expos starter Tony Armas pitch for pitch. “ I can’t believe we lost that one.” Armas said dejectedly after the game, the pitcher near tears. “ I really thought we were going to win.” When asked about the loss, team captain John Cortesi stated, “ We did all we could, we wanted to win for our great fans. We’ll be back rest assured. This just hurts right now.”
PLAYOFFS

AL Championship Series – Anaheim Angels vs Texas Rangers

Texas beat out Anaheim in the all west final to claim the AL title in 5 games.

NL Championship Series – Chicago Cubs vs L.A Dodgers

The L.A Dodges moved on to the World Series, knocking out the Chicago Cubs, and extending their curse in 5 games.

World Series – Texas Rangers vs L.A Dodgers

Texas took the World Series 4 games to 2, with fans in Texas crying out A-Rod who? The Dodgers offence took a vacation and Texas’s combined hitting and pitching proved too much for the west coast team as they were made short work of.

Northern Brave
08-16-2004, 06:20 PM
OFF SEASON

Montreal’s Gm Ettiene Levarre had a number of issues to address, including what to do about manager Frank Robinson, who’s contract was up for renewal. “ We are going to address everything in due time, we aren’t going to rush things.” Levarre said when asked about what the team’s plans were.

Novemberr 13th saw the Montreal GM re-sign his two free agent players. Scott Seabol will return for another 2 years, at $700,000, while ace starter Livan Hernandez re-signed for what is seen as the rest of his career, for $6 million over the next 6 years. “ We were glad Livan wanted to be here like that and at that price we know we got one helluva pitcher for a good value. It was win-win for both sides.” Levarre said of the contracts.

November 14th saw the Montreal GM pull a trade with the Boston Red Sox, sending outfielder Brandon Berger to beantown in return for $2 million in cash.

November 15th saw GM Ettiene Levarre delve into the free agent pool in a big way. The Gm signed pitcher C.C Sabathia to a 7 year $5.8 million deal, pitcher Mark Hendrickson to a 1 year $480,000 contract, and then added catcher Johnny Estrada signing him to a 7 year $4.2 million contract. The Expos GM then brought a celebration in Montreal about as he nabbed Canadian outfielder Larry Walker, signing the veteran to a 2 year $970,000 contract. “ We added a solid young pitcher, added to our depth in case of injury, and addressed our need for a number one catcher. Top it off we bring home a native son, and fan favourite back to this city to bring some leadership and experience as well as desire to succeed. This is what it is all about.”



Following the signings the Montreal GM sent a pair of players packing, as Ron Calloway was shipped to Boston in return for $2 million in cash, while C Andy Dominique was sent to the Chicago White Sox in return for $3 million in cash. “ We needed to make some room on the roster, and also free up salary as well. This was cost cutting and clearing room for some of our prospect players to move up to the next level.” The GM said when asked about the trades.

January 16th saw the Montreal Expos go into the draft and coming out with the following picks;

1st Round 25th overall – C Alex Priatko
2nd Round 57th overall – C Michael Radar
3rd Round 89th overall – LF Blaine Chernik
4th Round 121st overall – P Dwight Hillman
5th Round 153rd overall – 1B Dennis DelVecchio
6th Round 185th overall – LF Lou Spelius

January 17th saw Gm Ettiene Levarre pull the trigger on a pair of trades. Levarre sent C J.D Closser, LF Blaine Chernik, and pitchers Tony Armas, Aaron Cook, and Billy Koch along with $2 million in cash to the Texas Rangers, getting back pitchers Ryan Snare, and Joaquin Benoit. The GM then made a deal with the Minnisota Twins, sending 1B Dennis DelVecchio, LF Lou Spelius, CF Phil Stevens, and pitcher Jon Switzer along with $3 million in return for first round draft pick pitcher Rob Wenzel, and RF Michael Ryan. “ It was a case of needs and salary, and getting younger and better.” Levarre said of the deals, “ We hated losing Tony ( Armas ) and Phil ( Stevens ) but when you are looking at the payroll, age, and abilities you have to look at the big picture and make hard decisions. Sometimes those don’t look good on paper but in the end work out for the best.”

January 17th also saw the Montreal Expos give a one year extension to manager Frank Robinson, following a season that saw them win 12 more games, take the NL Wild Card and make the post season, and draw approximately 300,000 more fans. “ I’m glad to be back and get to work on repeating our success last year and going further in the post season. Our goal remains a World Championship.” Robinson said, all smiles to the media at the team press conference.