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Old 08-28-2018, 11:19 AM   #21
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July 1, 2023

We were back to our old losing ways in June, winning just eight games, and we now have a 26-50 record midway through the season. Somehow that's not the worst record in the division, as Pittsburgh is 20-55. Second baseman Marcos Brito has been a bright spot, hitting .306. And the pitching has been somewhat less terrible, with the bullpen actually the third-best in the league. DH Josh Bell (.208/4/17) and RF Tirso Ornelas (.211/4/13) have been particularly wretched thus far.

Tatsuma Kudo got injured while on his rehab assignment, but should return soon. Didn't I say that last month? Then the Kudo Sweepstakes will begin in earnest. Also, reliever Juan Ramirez (acquired last month) should be the next pitcher I call up.

We had the ninth pick in the draft this year, and with our first pick chose the awesomely named Zaire Regular, a high schooler who profiles as a top-flight hitter who really will likely end up as a DH. Our remaining picks were high school OF Amari Liburd, high school P/OF Chris Fisher, college OF Erik Asberry, and college P Bubba D'Agata (also a fantastic name). I was able to sign all our draft picks this year.

Around the league:
-Joey Votto (CIN) hit his 400th career home run.
-The St. Louis Cardinals (50-26) have the best record in baseball.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:07 AM   #22
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August 1, 2023

An excellent July (15-9) leaves the Expos with a 41-59 record. That's a somewhat less terrible record than before. We actually reeled off a seven-game winning streak before the all-star break. We had a total of four wins in either the ninth inning or extra innings, including three in four games. Tatsuma Kudo, finally back from injury, figured heavily in two of them.

Zach Guth has turned around his season as an awful start and had a 2.14 ERA in July. Brandon Marsh hit five more home runs, and he leads the team with a partly 11. Connor Jones was our only all-star, with a 1.61 ERA in relief.

I've been shopping Tatsuma Kudo around, to no avail so far- a few three-star prospects even if we pay the remainder of his salary. I did make a big signing in the international market, picking up Venezuelan third baseman Rodolfo Orozco for $10M, just under the soft cap of $10.4M. The young Orozco has plenty of power but may not make enough contact to make a difference.

Around the league:
-The NL won the All-Star Game 3-1 in 11 innings.
-Outfielder Max Schrock (STL) will miss a week after tripping over a coffee table.
-As bad as we've been, our division rivals the Pirates have been epically horrible, with a 28-71 record.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:00 AM   #23
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September 1, 2023

We went an even 13-13 in August and the Expos are now 54-72 overall, solidly mired in sixth place in the NL East. Luis Patino turned in another solid month (3-0, 2.30), though erstwhile ace Zach Guth went the other direction (8.22 ERA on the month) and even got suspended in a brawl. Colton Welker was stellar at the plate (.297/8/22). Juan Ramirez, the pitcher we acquired for Frankie Montas, is off to a good start in Montreal (2.66 ERA).

The biggest news was the inevitable trade of Tatsuma Kudo to the Royals for pitcher Aaron Ashby. Kudo hit .266/10/33 in his half-season with the Expos, but his talents were lost upon us. We paid 30% of his salary in the deal. Ashby is a hard-working 25-year-old left-hander, a former 18th-round pick who moved steadily through the Royals system before making his debut this season, starting 23 games for Kansas City with a 4.68 ERA. He's a borderline starter, but could hold his own in a rotation with just a little more life on his changeup.

Around the league:
-Charlie Blackmon (COL) and Neil Walker (NYY) both hit their 300th home runs.
-Bradley Zimmer (CLE) hit for the cycle.
-Former Expo Luke Weaver (CIN) was concussed after he was hit in the head by a pitching machine.
-The Mariners, Yankees and Braves all have healthy leads in their divisions. The Cubs and Cardinals are duking it out in the NL West.
-Giancarlo Stanton is up to 50 home runs already, with a month to go.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:24 AM   #24
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October 6, 2023

A crummy September, including an eight-game losing streak, leaves our final record at 66-90. For those of you who struggle with counting, that is actually seven games worse than last year! Kyler Murray closed the season in strong fashion, hitting .310 in September and October. Marcos Brito did not, hitting .202.

What went worse this year? Honestly, mostly the luck, as in 2022 we played eight games better than our Pythagorean record. Tatsuma Kudo was our best offensive player in the brief time he was here. Once again we had some success with a Rule 5 pick, as Erickvi Celedonio hit well after taking over right field in the second half. Colton Welker paced the club with 20 home runs and 86 RBI. Josh Bell turned in a poor season at the plate and will not be retained. Waiver claim Carlos David Rodriguez was dreadful in a limited role, hitting just .169 with no power.

Luis Patino and Zach Guth emerged as valuable parts of the rotation, with each throwing over 170 innings and providing 2.6 and 3.0 WAR respectively. Once again our starters were extremely healthy, with all five coming to the hill at least 28 times. Connor Jones, Julian Fernandez and Andres Munoz were all valuable contributors in relief.

Emerson Jimenez left the club for a day to be with his wife as she gave birth. Family first, I say! As far as our personnel, I'm going to allow bench coach Rob McLaughlin's contract to expire, and depending on who's out there, I might can manager Luis Lara as well. Someone's gotta take the fall and it's not gonna be Carter Raines Dawson, I'll tell you that right now.

Around the league:
-Joey Gallo (TEX) and Kris Bryant (CHC) hit their 300th home runs.
-Elvis Andrus (POR) and Freddie Freeman (ATL) got their 2000th hits.
-Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) hit 62 home runs, the most in baseball since Barry Bonds' 73 (and Sammy Sosa's 64) in 2001.
-Atlanta won 107 games and had the best record in baseball. The Reds won 102, the second-best, but it was only good enough for a wild card. The Yankees, the Mariners and the Cubs were the other division winners.
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:13 AM   #25
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November 22, 2023

The Yankees avenged their loss in the World Series the previous season, defeating the Braves in six games to win their first championship since 2009. The ageless Neil Walker won the series MVP. The Yankees won 98 games in the regular season behind the most home runs in baseball (296), including 62 from Giancarlo Stanton and 49 from Aaron Judge.

AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR (.297/54/143, 7.2)
NL MVP: Ian Happ, CHC (.308/45/117, 7.0)
AL Cy Young: Luis Severino, NYY (15-6, 3.53, 5.5)
NL Cy Young: Noah Syndergaard, NYM (15-3, 3.29, 6.6)

No award winners for us this year. Owner Charles Bronfman Jr. was not terribly pleased with our performance, and hopes that we don't totally suck next year. Agreed!

I hired Fredi Gonzalez, formerly of the Braves and Marlins, as our new manager. Gonzalez seems to have good relationships with a lot of our hitters, though he has a temperamental personality. Mickey Morandini is our new bench coach.

Pitchers A.J. Puckett, Nabil Crismatt, Julian Fernandez and Andres Munoz were all arbitration-eligible and extended. Richard Lovelady (torn UCL) and Miguel Andujar (ineffective) were both allowed to leave. Jared Miller's contract is up, and while he was a serviceable closer, I don't want to pay him $10M a year. Josh Bell will be leaving also.

We have $77M to play with! Perhaps I'll splurge this offseason.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:28 AM   #26
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2023-24 offseason

There were two big fish in the free agent pool this season, in second baseman Ozzie Albies and outfielder Mike Trout. Albies was asking for $65M a year, and Trout $55M. I made a hesitant offer to Albies, for $30M/year for five years, which he promptly declined, and I called off the hunt. Just a week later, he signed with the Nationals for seven years and $252M- a lot of money, to be sure, but I actually would have been entirely content to pay that amount for a player of his caliber. Well, too bad. Trout signed with the Phillies a day earlier for $140M over four seasons.

I ended up trading with Philadelphia for second baseman Mike Kingery to fill the void left by Tatsuma Kudo. Kingery actually (and bizarrely) won the MVP with the Phillies in 2021, when he hit .319 with 34 home runs and 94 RBI. He was actually below replacement level the next season, when his average dropped to .233. Last year he was right in the middle, hitting .276 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI. He plays a capable second base, but may actually end up being our DH- we'll see. Kingery makes $13M next year, $14M in 2025, and has a team option for $15M in 2026. He cost outfielder Chad Wesley Smith, who spent most of last season in Ottawa and really didn't figure in our plans.

The biggest free agent I signed was outfielder Arturo Figueroa, who came over from Cuba and will earn $16M a year for three years, with a team option for a fourth. The 28-year-old Figueroa has excellent power and can hold his own in either corner. He'll immediately become our best hitter.

At the end of the offseason, I signed Edwin Diaz, who's been a consistently excellent closer over his eight-year career, with 247 saves and a 2.76 ERA. Diaz will make $12M/year for four years; he has an opt-out after the second year, and the fourth year is a team option.

I also signed Robert Gsellman for one year, $1.2M; Gsellman is a borderline starter, but has pitched well enough for the Rangers the last three seasons. He's an option for our rotation. And I picked up 26-year-old Kyle Cuellar in the Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old Cuellar can play all around the diamond and knows how to get on base. He's been a consistent 3-WAR player in the minors, so we'll see how that translates to the bigs.

Around the league:
-Reigning MVP Ian Happ (CHC) avoided free agency by signing an extension for $366M over seven years.
-Other than Trout and Albies, SP Jacob Faria (BOS) signed the biggest free-agent contract of the offseason, at $132M over six years.
-Albert Pujols went into the Hall of Fame, the only player selected this season.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:53 AM   #27
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March 31, 2024

We are projected to go 75-81 for the season. Once again we are rated as the worst system in baseball. Our top prospect is #199, pitcher Christian Scott. Why does no one like our prospects?!?

To my chagrin, one of our big acquisitions, Scott Kingery, is not in Fredi Gonzalez's opening day lineup. It is:
CF Kyler Murray
DH Kyle Cuellar
1B Colton Welker
RF Arturo Figueroa
LF Brandon Marsh
3B Luis Victoriano Garcia
C Jake Rogers
2B Marcos Brito
SS Oswaldo Cabrera

The rotation is Zach Guth, Luis Patino, Robert Gsellman, Aaron Ashby and A.J. Puckett. Edwin Diaz is the closer, though 22-year-old Juan Ramirez could ably fill that role as well.

Around the league:
-Aaron Nola (PHI) signed an extension for $180M over five seasons.
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:14 AM   #28
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May 1, 2024

The 2024 season got off to a rocky start, with the Expos losing the first four, but we roared back to win ten of the next twelve. Feeling enthusiastic, I decided to go ahead and push the chips in and acquired second baseman Jose Altuve from the Astros. Altuve is 33, a .315 career hitter who already has 2300 hits to his name. He's led the league in hits five times, and has seven 200-hit seasons. He had gotten off to a strong start with the Astros, hitting .361 with five home runs in his 14th season with the club, but with the team falling upon hard times last season, he was willing to accept a trade. We gave up pitcher Christian Scott, nominally our best "prospect," but not someone I think realistically has a major-league future. Altuve makes $26M in the last year of his contract.

We ended April at 15-11, half a game behind the Mets for the lead in the NL East. Brandon Marsh is off to a very good start, hitting .325 with six home runs, and A.J. Puckett, who is functioning in more of a swingman role this season, has given up just one run in 17 1/3 innings. Juan Ramirez has been dominant in the bullpen, with an 0.98 ERA in 18 1/3 innings. We played one particularly exciting game against the Cubs that featured eight lead changes; light-hitting Oswaldo Cabrera eventually won the 8-7 game in the tenth with a walk-off single.

I also picked up 23-year-old left-hander Cooper Benson as a waiver claim from the Brewers. Benson has one more option year beyond this year, and he should be capable of sliding into the rotation if we need someone. He's a former 12th-round pick who doesn't have dominating stuff, but has pitched quite well throughout his time in the minors and is considered a team leader.

Around the league:
-Ken Giles signed a one-year deal with the Orioles for $35M, and Zach Britton signed a two-year deal with the Mets for $71M. Always be closing!
-Buster Posey (TEX) collected his 2000th career hit.
-Kyle Seager (SEA) got his 300th home run.
-Former Expo Richard Lovelady signed with the Phillies for $2.5M, although he'll still be out for the next three months. Jared Miller signed with the Angels for one year, $7.9M.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:52 PM   #29
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June 1, 2024

The good news: we are 25-6 at home. The bad new: we are 4-17 on the road. That adds up to an overall record of 29-23. Still pretty good! We suffered through an eight-game losing streak at the beginning of the month (all on the road) and closed the month by winning eight out of nine (all at home). So we just have to make sure we play all our games at Labatt Park from here on out. We're in third place in our division, five games out of first place behind the Reds, but in good position for a wild card spot.

Outfielder Arturo Figueroa was the standpoint performer, hitting .360/6/12 to win Rookie of the Month honors. Jose Altuve was excellent as well (.293/6/20) and a Player of the Week award. He was rewarded with a four-year extension with a vesting option for a fifth year worth $26M per year. Probably not the best idea for a 34-year-old, but he's having a great year and I think he'll probably age well. The fans liked the move; the pundits were not as keen on it.

Robert Gsellman has been a nice addition to our staff (5-1, 3.86) while Aaron Ashby has struggled mightily (0-7, 5.57).

We've won a few games in dramatic fashion recently. Yesterday, Kyle Cuellar hit a game-tying ninth-inning home run and Marcos Brito won it with a single in the tenth. Cuellar, a part-time player, has now hit in fifteen consecutive games. And Colton Welker scored on a wild pitch to defeat the Nationals earlier in the week.

Around the league:
-Charlie Blackmon (LAA) announced his retirement at the end of the season. It was a steep decline for the 37-year-old Blackmon after winning the NL MVP just two seasons ago.
-Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) got his 2000th career hit.
-The Angels are the best team in baseball thus far, at 35-17.
-Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) is at it again, with 24 home runs already.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:17 AM   #30
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July 1, 2024

Another very good month for the Expos as we went 15-11 and now are 44-34 overall. Two players had long hitting streaks- Kyle Cuellar's ended at 22, and Jose Altuve had a 21-gamer. Altuve won the Player of the Month, hitting .422 with five home runs; he's now hitting .352/17/62 overall on the season, with 4.2 WAR. Julian Fernandez had another great month out of the bullpen and has a 1.14 ERA overall. Colton Welker hit .322 with five homers and 22 RBI, and Brandon Marsh hit .364. An interesting quirk about our current lineup is that FOUR of our starters came to us via the Rule 5 draft- Cuellar, Marsh, Luis Victoriano Garcia (though he's on the DL right now) and Carlos David Rodriguez. Our run prevention, and particularly our defense, is best in the league, so that's something!

Arturo Figueroa broke his hand and will miss three more weeks, but at this point we have enough depth that we can weather his loss for a bit.

Since we're rolling and I'm hungry for the playoffs, I traded our former ace A.J. Puckett to the Padres for shortstop Nick Madrigal. The 27-year-old Madrigal is a very good all-around player and a team leader. He's making $5.8M in his last year before free agency, and we'll likely attempt to extend him. He's hitting .283 with a .349 OBP and should further solidify our revamped infield. Puckett was certainly valuable in his first season, but lost some of his luster last year. I could have gotten some younger players, including the #29 overall prospect this season, but decided I wanted to focus on contending this year.

With the #5 overall pick in the draft, I selected high school pitcher Dylan Boone. (You would think I would have learned from my experience with Jerry Barrett two years ago, but no!) Boone a sturdy right-handed pitcher who should end up with a pretty good curveball, cutter and change-up, and if all goes well we should see him in the rotation a few years down the line. We went with more high schoolers in our next four picks- pitcher Jonathan Krause, outfielder Danny Steele, infielder Amari Doston, and outfielder Salvino Ibarra. Steele unfortunately was unwilling to sign despite a $10M offer, but the other four are in the fold.

Around the league:
-Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) hit career home run #600. He's got 32 on the season, and at age 34, I suppose he has a decent shot at the career record.
-Nolan Arenado (COL) hit his 400th career homer, and Aaron Judge (NYY) and Cody Bellinger (LAD) both hit their 300th.
-Neil Walker (NYY) and Manny Machado (BAL) got their 2000th career hits.
-Zach Britton (NYM) got his 300th career save.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:58 AM   #31
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August 1, 2024

Another winning month (13-11) leaves us at 57-45 overall, good for second place in the NL East, but a distant second behind the 69-33 Cincinnati Reds. Nonetheless, we're tied for the top spot in the wild card races. It's been a good year!

Julian Fernandez didn't allow a run, and he was selected to the all-star team for the second time. Jose Altuve and Juan Ramirez (2.41 ERA) were also selected. Our bats weren't quite as hot this month, with even Altuve hitting "just" .306. Nonetheless, we had four wins that came in the ninth inning or later as the team keeps winning series.

We signed 16-year-old Dominican first baseman Ernesto "Big Red" Celaya to a $9M bonus. Celaya should be a terrific hitter but won't be likely to play anywhere but first.

Around the league:
-Nolan Arenado (COL) signed an extension for $158M over four years. Arenado also won the MVP award in an exciting all-star game that the NL lost 12-10.
-Jake Lamb (ARI) signed an extension for $157M over five years.
-Matt Olson (OAK) hit his 300th career homer.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:02 AM   #32
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September 1, 2024

It's a dogfight for second place in the NL East, as we are now tied with the Mets and the Marlins at 71-57. This puts us in good position for a wild card, but we'll have to fend off the Pirates, the Phillies and the Rockies who are all not far behind us. We had another winning month, at 14-12, which included two four-game winning streaks sandwiching a seven-game losing streak.

Luis Patino had an excellent month, 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA. Jose Altuve was his usual self, .348/5/19. Kyle Cuellar was excellent again, hitting .381 with a .487 OBP.

I had already used my three roster moves, but a number of teams offered me deals, and my house rule is that I can accept their offers unchanged without it counting towards my limit. So when the Padres offered starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi for three low-level minor leaguers (including the excellently named Bubba D'Agata), I accepted. The left-handed Lucchesi is 31, and had pitched seven fairly good seasons with the Padres; he had a 4.97 ERA with San Diego this season, and 3.79 in his career. Lucchesi makes $16M this year and next, so is not cheap, but strengthens our rotation.

Around the league:
-Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) and Manny Machado (BAL) hit their 400th home runs.
-The Reds still have the best record in baseball, at 83-45. Meanwhile the Angels have been the best in the AL at 75-53.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:47 AM   #33
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October 4, 2024

In just the third season of our rebirth, the Expos have made the playoffs! Another eight-game winning streak led us to a 15-11 September and we finish the year at 86-70, good for third place in the NL East, and the second of the four wild cards. (Incidentally, all four wild cards came from the East, which was much stronger than the West this year.) We will face off against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the three-game Wild Card Series, starting with a game in Pittsburgh followed by one or two in Montreal. This will be only the second time in the history of Montreal baseball that a team has made the playoffs- the other being in 1981.

Arturo Figueroa and Jose Altuve absolutely put the Expos on their backs and carried them this month. Figueroa hit .351 with nine home runs and 17 RBI, and Altuve went .379/5/22 en route to leading the league with a .343 average. Meanwhile, Robert Gsellman won the NL Pitcher of the Month, going 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA, and Zach Guth was no slouch either (2-0, 2.23).

Over the course of the year, clearly Jose Altuve was a great addition, and I'll pat myself on the back for bringing him into the fold. Colton Welker also delivered on his promised as a hitter, and Figueroa was a worthy addition in his first season in the US. Luis Victoriano Garcia was very good all around, and was second in the league with 39 stolen bases. We had a deep and capable rotation, but once again the bullpen was excellent, particularly Julian Fernandez.

The Pirates are not a bad matchup for us, and are actually a pretty similar team. They went 85-71 this season, and like us, they were built on run prevention- a category in which they led the league and we were a close second. The Pirates are banged up, with their two best offensive players (outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Riley Greene) both suffering from nagging injuries, and staff ace Tim Cate out for the rest of the season. By contrast, we are at full strength other than the loss of reliever Andres Munoz near the end of the year.

Around the league:
-Five AL teams managed to finish 79-77, and they were all tied for the fourth Wild Card spot. Not sure what happened here, but four of the teams played in two separate games the next day, and one of them (Tampa Bay) ended up getting that spot, which was sad for the other team that won (Oakland), not to mention the team that didn't get to play at all (Toronto).
-Slacker Giancarlo Stanton (NYY) hit only 56 home runs. He didn't even lead MLB, falling behind Luis Ramirez (CIN).
-Freddie Freeman (ATL) hit his 400th career home run, and Carlos Correa (HOU) hit his 300th.
-Nolan Arenado (COL) got his 2000th career hit.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:10 AM   #34
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October 10, 2024

After some tense moments in the three-game playoff series against Pittsburgh, the Expos have advanced to the Division Series, to play against the St. Louis Cardinals.

We were walloped 10-2 in the first game of the series, in Pittsburgh. Joey Gallo's three-run homer off Luis Patino in the first inning gave the Pirates a 5-0 lead, and they never looked back.

As the series returned to Montreal, it looked like the Expos had left their bats behind, as they couldn't solve 24-year-old Yoelvis Reyes, who allowed just two hits through seven innings. But when the Pirates brought in closer Riley Ferrell in the eighth, the Expos loaded the bases before Jose Altuve tied the score with a single. The next batter, Brandon Marsh, slammed a 1-0 pitch to right field for a grand slam, and the Expos took the game 5-1.

The third game was also a tense affair, with starter Cooper Benson holding the Pirates scoreless through seven innings while snuffing out rallies in the fourth and fifth innings. The Expos scored runs on a double by Luis Victoriano Garcia and a home run by Arturo Figueroa, and opened things up with three more runs in the eighth. Edwin Diaz threw two shutout innings for the save. Jose Altuve had four hits in the game, and was named series MVP after collecting an astounding 9 hits in 13 at-bats. Just another day for the diminutive second baseman!

We now head to St. Louis, who was 90-66 in the regular season. The Cardinals are a balanced club with a deep and talented offense, led by DH Jose Ramirez (.290/30/85), catcher Joey Bart (.266/31/104) and right fielder Juan Soto (.313/15/68).
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:41 AM   #35
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October 18, 2024

Timely hitting and clutch pitching led us to a 3-1 Division Series win over the Cardinals. Brandon Marsh was the series MVP after hitting two home runs and driving in four.

Luis Patino was solid in game one, allowing just a single run in seven innings. Marsh homered, and Jose Altuve tied the game at three with an eighth-inning single before Arturo Figueroa's sac fly put the Expos ahead. A two-run homer by Jake Rogers gave us some insurance runs in the 6-3 win.

In game two, Robert Gsellman pitched well, but a two-run double by Steele Walker (love that name!) gave the Cardinals a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, and they never looked back.

Game three saw a solid performance by Zach Guth, who went 6 1/3 innings and allowed one run. Julian Fernandez bailed Guth out of a jam in the seventh, and Edwin Diaz came on to record a two-inning save, making things interesting when he allowed a two-run homer to Juan Soto to make the final 4-3.

Cooper Benson outdid Guth the next day, striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings, and once again Fernandez provided some relief in a dicey seventh inning. Marsh provided the game-winning RBI early in the game with a double, and this time it was Juan Ramirez, Aaron Ashby and Noah Bremer who were called upon to salt away the win.

We head next to Cincinnati, where the Reds await. The NL East champions, the Reds were 94-62 this season, and they have the best offense in the league, boasting incredible hitters from top to bottom, including left fielder Luis Ramirez (.256/57/151), designated hitter Nick Longhi (.294/32/102) and center fielder Taylor Trammell (.305/22/77). It should be a tough matchup for us, but we've been up to the challenges the playoffs have presented so far.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:05 AM   #36
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October 28, 2024

The Expos are going to the World Series! It took a grueling, gut-wrenching seven game series against the Reds to get there. Kyler Murray won LCS MVP after hitting .424 with two home runs against Cincinnati.

We won game one after coming from behind twice. Jose Altuve got the big hit in the seventh inning, a two-run double that led the final score of 5-4. Aaron Ashby, Edwin Diaz and Juan Ramirez were outstanding in relief.

Zach Guth was dominant in game two, pitching 8 1/3 innings and allowing just three hits and two runs. The Expos plated four runs in the first inning and never looked back, winning 7-4 to send the series to Montreal with the team holding a 2-0 advantage.

Jose Altuve had three hits in game three, but it wasn't quite enough, as Luis Ramirez drove in the game-winning run in the seventh as the Reds took a 4-3 decision.

In game four, we lost starter Cooper Benson to injury after the second inning, but five relievers allowed just two runs, and the team was able to jump on Reds starter Tyler Skaggs for four runs. Colton Welker added an insurance run in the eighth with a home run as the Expos went on to a 5-3 victory, and were one game away from advancing to the World Series.

The Expos went up 5-2 in the fourth inning of game five, but couldn't hold on as the bullpen (mostly Nabil Crismatt) frittered away a nice started by Luis Patino. The Reds won 8-6, though Jose Altuve came to the plate with a chance to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth.

In game six, Zach Guth couldn't repeat his masterful performance and was battered for eight runs in the first two innings. Luis Ramirez and Taylor Trammell each hit two home runs for the Reds, though Arturo Figueroa duplicated the feat for Montreal. The Expos clawed their way back to 10-7 in the ninth, and loaded the bases with one out for Jose Altuve... who grounded into a double play to end it.

Game seven starters Robert Gsellman and Dillon Tate were not necessarily the biggest names on the team, but both pitched quite well, with Gsellman allowing two hits and one run over six innings, and Tate four hits and two runs over five. Kyler Murray led off the game with a home run for Montreal, and the Expos' bullpen hung on once again, with Edwin Diaz locking things down with a scoreless eighth and ninth. Diaz ran the count full on the last batter, Taylor Trammell, before inducing a ground ball right back to him that he lobbed to first baseman Colton Welker to clinch the World Series berth in the franchise's third year of existence.

We head to Los Angeles to play the Angels in the World Series. The Angels are a formidable opponent, having won the World Series in 2021; they've made the playoffs the last four seasons. They finished 93-63 in the regular season, and they just defeated the Mariners four games to one to advance. The Angels' lineup boasts three hitters who had 43 home runs this year (first baseman Seth Beer, left fielder Robert Neustrom, and second baseman Blaine Prescott. Shohei Ohtani (9-8, 3.99, .235/20/50) is their ace and leadoff hitter. They let that bum Mike Trout go in free agency last year, so at least that's one guy we won't have to face.
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:58 AM   #37
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November 17, 2024

Well, we didn't do it. The Angels swept us in four games. It was a humiliating and awful series in every way.

The Angels scored five runs in the first two innings off Luis Patino in game one, and didn't look back, winning 7-1. In game two, Shohei Ohtani pitched seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win.

With the series back in Montreal, Arturo Figueroa gave the Expos a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning with a two-run single, but Ohtani homered to tie the score in the sixth. With Edwin Diaz tiring in the ninth inning, Juan Ramirez came in and promptly surrendered a home run to designated hitter Grant Witherspoon, who had four hits on the day. The shell-shocked Expos couldn't answer in the bottom of the inning and the final was 7-5.

Home runs by Brandon Marsh and Jake Rogers gave the Expos a 2-0 lead in game four, and a strong start by Robert Gsellman allowed the team to hold onto a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth. This time a tiring Diaz had to be relieved by Joey Lucchesi, who was already day-to-day with both a sore shoulder and a finger blister; Lucchesi allowed a two-run homer to Robert Neustrom and the Angels had a 3-2 lead. Arturo Figueroa doubled, but once again the Expos couldn't solve Angels closer Jorge Zubia, who closed out the series to give Los Angeles its second championship in four years.

Hard to complain about getting to the World Series, but I had hoped for a better result.

Now that the Expos have been around for three seasons, some of our guys are starting to get into arbitration salaries. But Brandon Marsh for $2M and Kyler Murray for $1.15M are still bargains. Nick Madrigal will earn $11M in his final season of arbitration, and we may or may not retain him beyond that. Reliever Julian Fernandez will be a free agent, and several of our other expansion draftees will be allowed to leave as well- Brett Netzer, Canaan Smith and Austin Gomber.

Charles Bronfman Jr. thought we did a bang-up job overall, meeting all four of our objectives, and our new goals are to play .500, to improve the catcher position, to improve our team home runs, and to reach the World Series in the next five seasons. No problem, boss!

Fredi Gonzalez deservingly won the NL Manager of the Year. Jose Altuve picked up a Silver Slugger at second base, and finished a close second in the NL MVP voting. Interestingly, I nearly swung a deal for MVP winner Nolan Arenado last offseason, but ended up holding off and then pursuing Altuve later.

AL MVP: Francisco Lindor, CLE (.327/42/108, 10.3)
NL MVP: Nolan Arenado, COL (.282/52/137, 6.4)
AL Cy Young: Bryce Osmond, OAK (15-4, 2.67, 4.8)
NL Cy Young: Noah Syndergaard, NYM (14-8, 2.89, 5.4)
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:55 AM   #38
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2024-25 offseason

It was an eventful one for the Expos, as I signed a major free agent and pulled off three major trades, two with the Cubs.

The free agent was first baseman Wan-Hua "Nifty" Chai, a 26-year-old Taiwanese first baseman who signed for five years at $18M per year, with an opt-out after the fourth season and a vesting option for a sixth year. Chai is a great all-around hitter who will figure well in the middle of the lineup. He's not well-liked personally, but we have a bunch of leaders on the team to help us get around that issue.

That acquisition gave me a surplus of first base/DH type players, between Chai, Colton Welker and Kyle Cueller. I traded Cuellar and Joey Lucchesi, who was slated to make $16M, to the Cubs for 29-year-old pitcher Alex Lange and 28-year-old catcher Zac Susi. Lange is a guy who hasn't pitched particularly well for the Cubs- in fact he had a 6.57 ERA last year- but I think his underlying skills are good, and at $1M, he could make a good swingman. Susi is the bigger part of the deal, a catcher who hit .312 with a .376 OBP last year and has elite defensive abilities. He'll make $8.3M this season in his first year of arbitration. Cuellar was quite good for us, with a .379 OBP in his first major league season, but wouldn't have gotten much playing time, and I can replace Lucchesi's production for much cheaper.

The next move sent Nick Madrigal to the rebuilding Phillies for 31-year-old starting pitcher Aaron Nola and 24-year-old shortstop Luis Jose Garcia. Madrigal played well in his half-season with the Expos, and at $11M, would be paid about what he's worth next season. Nola, however, is a very good pitcher to slot in at the top of the rotation, a ten-year veteran with a 3.85 career ERA, and someone who's posted at least 3 WAR for six straight seasons. He's under contract for $27M this season, then $34.5M, then $39.5M for three years after that, so things could get a bit sticky if he starts to decline. Garcia is a nice addition as well, a 24-year-old shortstop who is excellent defensively and hit .346 in the second half with the Phillies last season. However, he had never done anything like that offensively before, so the Phils traded him when his value was at its highest. Confusingly, he's the second infielder we have named Luis Garcia.

At this point, I felt like I might as well go all in, so I targeted the Cubs' Kris Bryant, who was on the trade block. Bryant has had a remarkable 10-year career with the Cubs, with 335 career home runs and 51.6 WAR. He's coming off a bit of a down year, hitting just .226 with a .332 OBP and 2.9 WAR, but he stays on the field (at least 151 games in every season of his career) and still plays a really good third base. Bryant, 25-year-old pitcher Yovanny Cruz and 29-year-old pitcher Joe Barlow came to the Expos for Edwin Diaz, Connor Jones and minor leaguer Chris Fisher. The 33-year-old Bryant makes $28M in his last season before free agency. Diaz makes $12M next year, and was a good deal at that price, but could opt out after the season. Jones was excellent in 2023, making the All-Star team that season, but couldn't duplicate that success as a swingman last year. The two pitching additions could actually be pretty helpful. Cruz has a good fastball and cutter, a good minor-league track record, and just one year of MLB service time. Barlow has been reasonable effective in the Cubs rotation the last three seasons, and probably is a better bet than Jones moving forward.

Where does all this leave us? I would argue with clear upgrades at three positions (DH, catcher, third base) and in our rotation, at the cost of perhaps a slightly worse bullpen and shortstop. The lineup should be pretty stacked. Our payroll is $171M, much higher than in our first few years, but just half of the Angels, who are the highest in baseball at $324M.

Around the league:
-Manny Ramirez was voted into the Hall of Fame. Carlos Beltran just missed, at 74.3%.
-Outfielder Kyle Tucker signed with the Angels for $274M over seven years, pitcher Michael Kopech with the Red Sox for $212M over six years, and outfielder Luis Ramirez with the Pirates for $152M over four years. Our old friend Tatsuma Kudo signed with the Giants for $113M over three years.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:06 PM   #39
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March 30, 2025

The Expos are projected to finish 91-65, which would be tied for first in the NL East. Charles Bronfman Jr. expects us to play at least .500, which shouldn't be a problem. We have the 29th-best farm system in baseball, and Zaire Regular (2023 first round pick) is the 106th-ranked prospect. Progress!!

We finished spring training without any injuries. As I was cutting down my roster, I shopped a few players who weren't going to make the team, and traded infielder Marcos Brito to Kansas City for pitcher Jacob Maton, a 25-year-old former first-round pick. Maton has not yet pitched above high-A ball due to injuries, so he's a bit of a wild card, but he's healthy now.

Aaron Nola is slated to start Opening Day, with Zach Guth, Luis Patino, Cooper Benson and Noah Bremer rounding out the rotation. Juan Ramirez will serve as the closer, with Andres Munoz returning from injury as the setup man.

The lineup is:
RF Kyler Murray
CF Carlos David Rodriguez
2B Jose Altuve
1B Wan-hua Chai
3B Kris Bryant
DH Arturo Figueroa
LF Brandon Marsh
SS Luis Victoriano Garcia
C Jake Rogers

Rogers and Zak Susi will share time behind the plate. Colton Welker and Scott Kingery provide us some help off the bench.

Let's win a championship!!
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:49 AM   #40
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A good start for the Expos, as we are 15-12, good for second place in the division, four games behind the Reds. Off to a good start with his new team: Kris Bryant, hitting .314/8/21. Not so hot: Wan-hua Chai (.200/3/12) and Zac Susi (.196/1/10). Colton Welker played his way back into the starting lineup (.344/6/15) and Jose Altuve is doing Altuve Things (.330/4/23), collecting his 2500th career hit along the way. Aaron Nola has pitched fine (3.13) but still awaiting his first win of the season.

Around the league:
-Bryce Harper (WAS) got his 400th career home run.
-Joey Votto (CHI) got his 2500th career hit, and Mike Trout (PHI) his 2000th.
-Daniel Espino (SEA) no-hit the Beavers.
-Zach Britton signed a contract with the Angels for $74M over two years. After sticking with the Orioles for the first half of his career, Britton has signed one-year deals each season, making a heap of money in the process, and is now on his eighth team.
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