The French word for strike is grĂ¨ve. The punk rock haircut on top of the â€śeâ€ť is called a grave accent. In 1994 the Expos were on pace to make their first World Series appearance when the infamous strike hit. The strike created a ripple effect, sending the Expos into an early grave. It took 10 years for the final nail to be pounded into the coffin by Jeffrey Loria of Stratton Oakmont. And here we are, 10 years removed from the Expos leaving MontrĂ©al for good. The taste in our mouths is still sour, weâ€™re unable to come to terms with what happened, but we must move on.
Adam O. aka @ExposVideoGuy summed it up beautifully:
â€ś[If] I had to relate the Expos franchise to something else, it’d probably be that of a moderately successful musician or actor that died too young.”
Thatâ€™s what happened to nos amours. Gone too soon without any recognition. Like a young thespian or rocker on the cusp of superstardom, the Expos were ready to challenge the Blue Jays for the title of Canadaâ€™s team. Then tragedy hit and poof, they were gone. But which fallen idol best represents the baseball team from La Belle Province?
Adam O. hits it out of the park:
â€śRiver Phoenix. Generally well known to a smaller section of the population, mostly of a specific generation or age group. Had an awkward stage and a couple noteworthy performances, but in the end was never really considered for an Oscar* (World Series). And since his death people can still watch his brother Joaquin (Nationals), but it’s really not the same.”
The Expos were our own private franchise. The same way River Phoenixâ€™s poster hung on the walls of every teenage girlâ€™s bedroom in the late-eighties/early-nineties, the Expos are gone but not forgotten.Â It can be argued that River Phoenix was an illiterate drug addict, but the talent was there. Before he succumbed to his vices outside of the Viper Room on October 31st, 1993, River Phoenix was crafting the career Leonardo DiCaprio now has.
If you havenâ€™t seen Sneakers, watch it right now. Stop what youâ€™re doing and watch the master (not The Master starring Joaquin) at work. Then watch this clip of Moises Alou.
*Phoenix was nominated for an Academy Award for Running on Empty but lost to Kevin Kline.