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Old 08-11-2017, 04:12 PM   #1
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Baseball Comes to Montreal -- A Saga of the Expos

This is an account coming from the online league Dugout Wizards: http://simsportleagues.com/dugout-wi..._100_home.html

It is October, 1968. I've just resigned my cushy job as GM of the St. Louis Cardinals to take over the reigns of the expansion Montreal Expos. With the formidable Bob Gibson anchoring the rotation of the Cardinals, we won the World Series in 1967 and we finished 3rd behind some strong Dodgers and Reds clubs in 1968. Now, in Montreal, we have a blank slate--building a club from nothing.

I have most of my staff in place. Jim Fanning is my assistant GM. Gene Mauch was hired from the Atlanta Braves to be the field manager. Mauch brings with him his coaching staff--Peanuts Lowry, hitting coach; Cal McLish, pitching coach. We are currently working on finishing filling out the minor league staff.

The sole focus now is preparing for the expansion draft, which will take place in a few days. I'll make no bones about it; the next few years will not be easy. We have no Bob Gibson, no Roy White, no Mike Shannon. The new and fresh excitement of baseball in Montreal will bring fans to Parc Jarry for only so long. They'll need to see some wins; they'll need to have reason to hope. It's time to put on the coffee, roll up the sleeves, and get to work...

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Old 08-14-2017, 05:14 PM   #2
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Expansion Draft Update

Everyone always says this, but I'm pretty happy with our expansion draft selections. Here is an overview of the current state of the Montreal roster:

(Ages in parentheses).

Catcher: Tommy Murray (26), Dave Adlesh (25), George Lott (24)

A young group with relatively no experience (Adlesh is 0-8 at the major league level). I think we'll be looking for a veteran to add to our catchers.

First base: Dick Nen (29), Bobby Tolan (22), Dennis Brayer (23)

Nen is the presumptive starter. A part timer for Los Angeles, he has some speed and good eye at the plate. .291/.381/.425 in 498 games at AAA. Tolan can also play some RF. Brayer hasn't played above A ball.

Second base: Jim Lefebvre (26)

Jim was one of our primary targets and we are glad we landed him. A decent glove and a good bat, he had a down year in 1968 for the Dodgers (.210/.253/.325). He had a 25 HR season in 1967.

Third base: Deron Johnson (30)

Johnson can play all over the field and has good power. He just has not been able to crack a strong Cincinnati lineup. Has been averaging double-digit HRs as a backup.

Short stop: Gene Alley (28)

Gene brings a very good glove to any of the infield positions. 2 years removed from a starting role in Pittsburgh.

Left field: Jesus Alou (26), Matty Alou (29)

Andrew Torrence was selected as the left fielder, but he was immediately sent back to Houston in exchange for 22 year-old pitching prospect Paul Splittorff. The Alou brothers have both had part time roles with San Francisco for the past few seasons. They profile similarly--good plate discipline, speed, defense. Jesus has a potentially better bat with regular playing time.

Centre field: Curt Flood (30), James Salyards (27)

A warm, comfortable shirt that I'm bringing with me from St. Louis. I value defense highly. If Curt can stay healthy, he will be fixture for us in CF and at the top of the lineup. Salyards can play all over the field and also brings plenty of speed to the table.

Right field: Joe Pepitone (28), Rocky Colavito (35)

Pepitone was another victim of the strong Cincinnati lineup. He has 106 career HRs and has been a part of two World Series winners (1964 with the Yankees and 1966 with the Reds). Rocky's legs are betraying him with age, but he'll provide a strong bench bat.

Pitchers

It's the pitching I'm the most worried about at the moment. The most experienced starters we picked up were Al Downing (77-36 over an eight year career, including 22-6 for the Yankees in 1965), Tony Cloninger (71-56 over the past eight seasons for the Braves), and Joe Moeller (89-63 for LA over the past seven seasons, including 18-3 in 1964).

Wade Blasingame is a 24 year-old with 38 starts for the Braves over the past four seasons.

Donald Hagen is a 26 year-old with a single start for the Cardinals in 1968.

We are hoping Blasingame and Hagen can step up and give us some innings in 1969. But we will also be looking for ways to add more pitching over the Winter (like the above mentioned trade for Splittorff).
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:08 PM   #3
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November 1968 Update

We moved quickly to bring a veteran catcher to Montreal--signing Felix DeLeon after he was released by St. Louis. Now DeLeon is a couple of years removed from his all-star appearances (1966 and 1967), and he did spend most of last year in AAA before being released, but he does have a .283/.405/.485 career line with 130 HRs, and the fans like him.

Ken McBride has been pitching in independent leagues after a run of success earlier in the decade for the Angels. He has a 43-37 record in 103 career starts. He was signed to add some depth to the pitching staff.

Veteran 1B Don Demeter was also signed after being released by the Tigers. Mauch likes the look of Demeter in the middle of the batting order with Johnson and Pepitone. Demeter had a 26 HR season as a starter for the Tigers in 1965.

New from Around the League


The Yankees had a dominating regular season (115-47) before winning a thrilling 7 game World Series with the Dodgers. Not surprisingly, Yankee players were winners of both the Cy Young and the Most Valuable Player awards.

Jim Kaat was traded from the Twins to the Yankees prior to the 1968 season. He responded by going 31-1 with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP. He was the overwhelming winner of the AL Cy Young Award.

After slowing down a little in 1967, 37 year-old Mickey Mantle had a tremendous season in winning the Most Valuable Player Award, leading the league in HR (43), BB (128), RBI (134), and Runs (119). For good measure he was also named the World Series MVP after hitting .560/.586/.960 with 3 HR versus the Dodgers.

In the National League, Sandy Koufax took home both the Cy Young and the MVP for a season in which he went 17-9 with a 1.54 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 277 strikeouts. To me, the MVP award is a little controversial, for while Koufax had a good season, it wasn't that particularly dominating (as say Kaat's was). And batters such as Rick Monday (.300/.396/.518), John Ellis (.301/.397/.501), and Steve Garvey (.335/.370/.539) were certainly worthy of consideration. Of course, the Cubs (Garvey), Reds (Monday), and Cardinals (Ellis) all finished behind the Dodgers.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:04 AM   #4
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1969 Recap

Editor's note -- Good intentions and all that jazz, but this fell by the wayside. I'll attempt to pick it up again. The league is currently in the 1976 off-season; the advent of free agency. I'll post some recaps to get us all caught up.

Montreal's inaugural season went according to script as we finished with a 44-118 record. The highlights of the season were Deron Johnson (.239/.302/.468) benefiting from regular playing time and hitting 29 HRs and RF Walt Williams'(,292/.323/.409) with 39 stolen bases. In the June draft, we selected high school infielder Rick Burleson in the first round.

News from Around the League


The first year of divisional play saw the Phillies win 93 games to take the NL East title over the Cubs (86 wins) and Cardinals (86 wins) In the NL West, the Giants (111 wins) won a spirited race over the Dodgers (108 wins).

Ron Santo (.353/.431/.583, 28 HR, 124 RBI) of the Cubs won the NL MVP, and Sandy Koufax (23-5, 1.80) of the Dodgers won the NL Cy Young.

In the American League, the Yankees (112 wins) were the best in the East with Baltimore (103 wins) just behind. Meanwhile in the West, the California Angels won an incredible 124 games, benefiting, no doubt, from have two expansion teams in the division in Kansas City and Seattle.

Mickey Mantle (.345/.466/.714, 62 HR, 172 RBI) once again wins the AL MVP, while California's Dean Chance (17-1, 1.99) takes home the AL Cy Young. Mantle's 62 HRs tops the record 61 that Roger Maris hit in 1961.

In the post-season, California beat New York 4-2 for the AL pennant, and San Francisco beat Philadelphia 4-3 to take the NL pennant. California won the World Series 4-3 over San Francisco.

During the season, both Sandy Koufax and teammate Don Drysdale won their 200th game, with Sandy also picking up his 3000th strikeout. San Francisco's Orlando Cepeda and Frank Robinson of the White Sox both collected their 2000th hit.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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1970 Recap

Montreal's second season was pretty similar to the first as we finished 47-115. Deron Johnson (.251/.305/.471, 33 HR, 80 RBI) , Jim Lefebrve (.254/.296/.431, 21 HR, 72 RBI), and Jesus Alou (.298/.334/.397, 6 HR, 54 RBI) paced the offense. Al Downing (11-13, 3.56) continued to do yeoman's work as the staff ace. 19 year old Rick Burleson (.275/.320/.342) made his debut late in the season, starting 29 games at SS. With the 2nd pick of the June draft we selected 17 year old Dominican fireballer Joaquin Andujar. Kansas City selected IF Mike Schmidt with the 1st overall pick.


News from Around the League


The NL East saw a classic race in 1970, with the Phillies (103 wins) once again coming out on top, this time ahead of the Cardinals (102 wins) and Mets (102 wins). In the NL West, the Houston Astros (94 wins) finished in front of San Francisco (93 wins) and Los Angeles (90 wins).

Philadelphia's Dick Allen (.300/.380/.594, 46 HR, 136 RBI) was elected the NL MVP, and the Mets' Jon Matlack (23-5, 2.19) won both the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards.

In the American League both New York and California won 117 games, coasting to their respective division titles. The Yankees' Bobby Murcer (.345/.418/.598, 33 HR, 115 RBI) won the AL MVP award. California's Fred Newman (24-6, 2.22) won the AL Cy Young. The AL Rookie of the Year was Chicago's Buddy Bell (.350/.411/.480, 12 HR, 106 runs).

Each post-season series went the distance, with New York beating California in the AL (3-2) and Houston topping Philadelphia in the NL (3-2). And after winning 7 World Series in the 1960s, the New York Yankees wins the 1970 series 4-3 over Houston.

Both Mickey Mantle and Henry Aaron joined the 3000th hit club, and Houston's Vada Pinson picked up his 2000th hit. California's Harmon Killebrew and Chicago's Frank Robinson both hit their 400th HR, while Detroit's Al Kaline hit his 300th HR.
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:00 AM   #6
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1971 Recap

1971 was another long summer in Montreal, culminating in another 44-118 season. The primary starters:

C - Donald Hickey (.234/.273/.333, 5 hr, 27 rbi) and Fran Healy (.250/.343/.315, 3 hr, 26 rbi). 21 year old Hickey was an 8th round draft pick in 1969. 24 year old Healy was acquired from the Yankee organization at the end of May along with P Bill Stafford (4-8, 3.88) in exchange for OF Jesus Alou, C Felix DeLeon, and pitching prospect Chip Lang. Healy has a good glove and a surprising amount of speed for a catcher.

1B - Doug Howard (.296/.339/.463, 14 hr, 49 rbi) and Tommie Reynolds (.230/.294/.343, 6 hr, 42 rbi). Howard was a 23 year old rookie in 1971. Drafted in the 5th round in 1969, there is some hope that he'll settle into the 1B role.

2B - Jim Lefebvre (.240/.298/.353, 8 hr, 46 rbi) and Tommie Reynolds. Lefebvre was traded to the Mets in July for OF Jim Breazeale.

3B - Deron Johnson (.217/.274/.410, 24 hr, 69 rbi). After two good years, Johnson was hampered by injury and never really got going in 1971.

SS - Rick Burleson (.278/.328/.349, 6 hr, 76 runs). Rookie Burleson was given the job in spring training over veteran defensive stalwart Gene Alley (.203/.286/.407, 5 hr, 16 rbi). Burleson acquitted himself well--winning the Rookie of the Month award in May and was selected to the 1971 all-star game.

LF - Walt Williams (.255/.290/.362, 8 hr, 53 runs, 22 stolen bases). Williams also regressed in 1971 after a couple of good seasons as the lead-off bat.

CF - Curt Flood (.247/.311/.276), Richard David (.226/.304/.300, 3 hr, 30 runs), and Jim Breazeale (.263/.312/.405, 7 hr 26 rbi). Flood was traded in July to Atlanta for OF Robert Cole. David was 3rd round selection in the 1970 June draft. Breazeale was acquired from the Mets in the Lefebvre trade.

RF - Walt Williams and Robert Cole (.208/.337/.361, 5 hr, 11 rbi). Cole is a 21 year old who was drafted in the 5th round of the 1968 June draft by Atlanta.

Pitching staff:
  • Al Downing (5-7, 3.28, 131 innings)
  • Donald Hagen (8-21, 5.03, 259 innings)
  • Michael Willis (9-18, 4.72, 244 innings)
Downing was traded to the Braves in July for a PTBNL. Hagen and Willis are valiant innings eaters, but neither of them should be in a major league rotation.

On the Farm

  • P Joaquin Andujar (4-3, 2.58, 66 innings, 96 strikeouts for rookie league Jamestown; 5-7, 2.73, 112 innings, 139 strikeouts for West Palm Beach (A)
  • C Jim Essian (.265/.358/.458 in 21 games at AAA, .242/.335/.430 in 43 games at AA).
  • OF Jim Rice (.316/.397/.489, 7 hr, 39 rbi in 55 games for West Palm Beach (A))

June 1971 Draft

1. P Burt Hooton, Milwaukee (did not sign)
2. IF George Brett, San Diego
3. OF Jim Rice, Montreal
4. P Rick Rhoden, Kansas City
5. OF Sixto Lezcano, Minnesota
6. OF Dan Ford, Washington
7. IF Mike Hargrove, Pittsburgh
8. P Mike Cadwell, Cincinnati
9. P Pete Broberg, Detroit (did not sign)
10. OF Tony Armas, Atlanta
News from Around the League


In the NL East, the young New York Mets (97 wins) topped the Phillies (96 wins). And in the West, the surprising Atlanta Braves (108 wins) coasted to their first post-season appearance since 1957.

Billy Williams (.358/.440/.593, 36 hr, 135 rbi) of the Cubs was elected NL MVP. Tom Seaver (23-4, 1.95, 281 innings) of the Mets took home the NL Cy Young. Atlanta's Charlie Spikes (.341/.422/.632, 20 hr, 8 sb) was the NL Rookie of the Year.

In the AL, the New York Yankees (107 wins) and the California Angels (113 wins) were once again the class of the league, easily winning their respective divisions.

The Yankees Bobby Murcer (.320/.404/.619, 35 hr, 117 rbi) won his 2nd consecutive AL MVP. Jim McGlothlin (22-4, 2.05, 293 innings) of the Angels was named the AL Cy Young winner. Minnesota's Greg Luzinski (.319/.403/.560, 40 hr, 121 rbi) won the AL Rookie of the Year.

In the post-season, both New York clubs advanced to the World Series with 3-2 league championship series wins. The Mets won this first subway series 4-3.

Hank Aaron (ATL) hit his 500th HR and Willie McCovey (SF) hit his 300th HR. Milt Pappas (BAL) and Bob Gibson (STL) each picked up his 200th win. Gibson also reached the 2500 strikeout mark. Roberto Clemente (PIT) collected his 2500th hit.
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Last edited by mjj55409; 01-25-2019 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Orlando Cepada only hit 400 HR once in his career.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:21 PM   #7
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1972 Recap

Montreal still lost over 100 games, but kept it under 110, finishing with a 55-107 record.

C - Fran Healy (.206/.306/.291, 3 hr, 7 stolen bases). Healy takes over as primary catcher this season with Donald Hickey (.258/.310/.361, 3 hr, 19 rbi) sliding into the backup role.

1B - Tom Robson (.259/.299/.416, 14 hr, 37 rbi) and Doug Howard (.254/.296/.404, 6 hr, 34 rbi). Robson was a waiver claim from the Cubs in December of 1968. He received his most extensive playing time in 1972.

2B - Rick Burleson (.278/.328/.349, 6 hr, 5 stolen bases, 76 runs). Burleson moved from SS to 2B after Tim Foli was acquired from the Mets for RP Frederick Berg in an off-season trade.

3B - Jim Essian (.217/.324/.297, 7 hr, 63 runs). Primarily a catcher in the minor leagues, Essian may not have the bat to stick at 3B. But he showed very good glove-work in his first season at the hot corner.

SS - Tim Foli (.241/.277/.291, 11 stolen bases, 57 runs). As mentioned, Foli was acquired from the Mets for Frederick Berg (who was a Rule 5 selection in 1968 from the Yankees organization). Foli's bat might have some question marks, but his glove does not. He finished 3rd in the 1971 NL Rookie of the Year voting, and he won the 1972 Gold Glove. Foli, Burleson, and Essian are each just 21 years old, giving Montreal a pretty solid and young infield core.

LF - Jim Rice (.252/.291/.386, 7 hr, 45 rbi in 78 games) and Deron Johnson (.196/.285/.248 in 48 games). Johnson's miserable 1971 season carried over into an even worse start in 1972. When Rice was hitting .321/.384/.610 with 22 HR after 80 games with Peninsula (AAA), Johnson was released and Rice called up and given the LF job.

CF - Jim Breazeale (.227/.299/.420, 22 hr, 59 rbi). Breazeale is a 1B/LF who was given a chance to play CF. It was an experiment that failed miserably as Breazeale was brutal defensively.

RF - Robert Cole (.244/.348/.377, 11 hr, 64 rbi). Cole and Rice have the potential to give the Expos a solid OF corner pairing for quite a while. Both players need to cut down on the number of strikeouts to have staying power.

On the Farm
  • P Joaquin Andujar (1-1, 4.50 in 3 starts for West Palm Beach (A)). Andujar tore a muscle in his shoulder in late April, missing the remainder of the season. We're hoping for a full recovery.
  • OF James Buckner (.314/.399/.468, 21 stolen bases, 57 runs in 74 games in West Palm Beach (A)). Buckner, a 4th round selection last June, has really opened some eyes with his play. A speedy CF with a good glove.
  • P Dennis Eckersley (6-2, 3.58, 75 innings, 64 Ks for Jamestown (rookie)). 17 year-old Eckersley was selected 3rd overall in the 1972 June draft.

1972 June Draft


1. C Gary Carter, San Diego
2. OF Lyman Bostock, Milwaukee
3. P Dennis Eckersley, Montreal
4. P Dennis Leonard, Kansas City
5. P Burt Hooton, Texas
6. OF Chet Lemon, Minnesota
7. IF Larry Parrish, Cleveland
8. P Scott McGregor, Cincinnati
9. OF Leon Roberts, Detroit (did not sign)
10. P Frank Tanana, Cubs

News From Around the League


The Mets won 100 games and easily topped the NL East over St. Louis (90 wins). In the NL West, San Francisco (96 wins) took the division back from Atlanta (93 wins).

Hal McRae (.327/.391/.506, 19 hr, 96 rbi, 18 stolen bases) of the Cubs was named NL MVP. New York's Tom Seaver (18-11, 2.15, 259 innings) was awarded his 2nd consecutive NL Cy Young. Houston's Rick Reuschel (11-5, 2.00, 180 innings) took home the NL Rookie of the Year.

In the American League it should come as no surprise that both New York (111 wins) and California (93 wins) won their divisions, but it was much closer this season. Boston (107 wins) and Baltimore (97 wins) gave the Yankees fits in the East, while Oakland (92 wins) and Texas (90 wins) pushed the Angels to the very last day.

Baltimore's Al Oliver (.347/.396/.541, 23 hr, 101 rbi, 23 stolen bases) won the AL MVP. California's Mike Strahler (18-8, 1.96, 257 innings) won the AL Cy Young. The AL Rookie of the Year was Texas' Dan Ford (.261/.343/.512, 38 hr, 116 rbi).

The post-season was all about the brooms. New York and San Francisco both won their league championship series 3-0, and New York then topped San Francisco 4-0 for the World Series victory.

Don Drysdale (LA) picked up his 250th win and his 3000th strikeout. Jim Kaat (NYY) won his 200th game. Orlando Cepada (SF) hit his 400th HR, and Boog Powell (BAL) hit his 300th. Carl Yastrezemski (BOS) collected his 2000th hit, and both Ernie Banks (SD) and Al Kaline (DET) joined the 2500 hit club.
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Old 01-25-2019, 03:50 PM   #8
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1972 Recap, part 2

I realized I posted the 1972 recap with no mention of the Expos pitching. It was a horror I'd rather forget.
  • Buzz Capra (9-18, 4.98, 233 innings). Capra was selected last December in the Rule 5 draft from the Mets. A hurler with a dynamic fastball who has not learned to harness the control (157 walks and 197 strikeouts in those 233 innings).
  • Michael Willis (4-20, 4.51, 233 innings). Willis is only there to absorb the blows.
  • Jackie Blehm (5-20, 5.79, 208 innings). Bleah.
  • Jack Foreman (11-11, 3.55, 8 saves, 195 innings). Foreman was a 1970 Rule 5 selection from the Angels. He has been an effective reliever, but is over-exposed in the starting rotation.
  • Frank Bork (8-5, 2.94, 190 innings). Bork was released by the Pirates at the end of 1971 and signed with the Expos. We are hoping he can fill Downing's old role of erstwhile staff ace. He dealt with some arm issues that caused him to miss a couple of months.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:11 AM   #9
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1973 Recap

Another 100 loss season (54-108), another long summer in Montreal. There are some kids in the minor league system that give hope, but the fans are beginning to get restless and the owner is getting increasingly grumpy.

C - Fran Healy (.238/.319/.341, 8 HR, 39 RBI). Another typical Fran Healy season -- good glove, league average bat, strong leadership in the clubhouse.

1B - Jim Breazeale (.268/.320/.464, 32 HR, 102 RBI). The center field experiment thankfully finished, Breazeale was installed at 1B where he appeared much more comfortable. The first Expo to reach the 30 HR and 100 RBI plateaus.

2B - Rick Burleson (.303/.371/.371, 4 HR, 89 Runs, 11 SB). The 22 year-old put together his best season yet.

3B - Jim Essian (.239/.333/.344, 10 HR, 57 RBI). With his solid glove, as long as Essian hits at this level (slightly above league average), he will be a valuable piece of the lineup.

SS - Tim Foli (.242/.283/.297, 26 Doubles, 48 Runs). Foli had a major regression at the plate. Even with the gold glove caliber defense, he won't last long at this rate (wRC+ of 62).

LF - Jim Rice (.275/.325/.457, 21 HR, 39 Doubles, 84 RBI). In his first full season, the 20 year-old Rice played in 161 games, and has won the affection of the fans in Montreal.

CF - Wayne Burney (.232/.276/.296, 6 HR, 45 RBI) and Walt Williams (.193/.252/.220). Montreal continues, in vain, it's search for a CF. Williams, one of the original Expo stars, was released at the end of June.

RF - Robert Cole (.223/.345/.378, 17 HR, 55 RBI, 93 BB). Although there are major concerns about his contact rate and number of strikeouts (133 in 155 games), Cole has shown some decent ability to get on-base.

Pitching:
  • Frank Bork (10-24, 4.42, 269 IP). After an injury plagued 1972, the veteran Bork provided some stability in the rotation.
  • Michael Willis (9-24, 4.49, 264 IP). Willis led the Expos in strikeouts (173) and HR allowed (41).
  • Jack Foreman (9-10, 4.19, 174 IP). 47 games; 23 starts. You'll know the Expos have turned the corner when Foreman can stay in the bullpen all season.
  • Donald Hagen (4-13, 6.15, 156 IP). Hagen was given another (and final?) chance to prove himself in the rotation.

On the Farm

  • P Joaquin Andujar (10-7, 2.27, 154 IP, 161 K at West Palm Beach (A); 4-3, 1.45, 68 IP, 63 K at Quebec City (AA)).
  • P Dennis Eckersley (9-12, 4.12, 201 IP, 217 K at West Palm Beach (A)).
  • P Mike Krukow (3-3, 4.27, 52 IP, 43 K at Jamestown (Rookie); 5-1, 3.24, 50 IP, 34 K at West Palm Beach (A)).
  • IF Alan Bannister (.333/.448/.542 in 13 games at West Palm Beach (A); .202/.335/.295, 10 SB in 44 games at Quebec City (AA).
  • OF Miguel Dilone (.275/.324/.333, 17 SB in 24 games at Jamestown (Rookie).
1973 June Draft

1. OF Dave Winfield, Milwaukee
2. IF Robin Yount, San Diego
3. OF Fred Lynn, Kansas City
4. P Mike Krukow, Montreal
5. P John Candelaria, White Sox
6. P Mike Flanagan, Cubs
7. P LaMarr Hoyt, Minnesota
8. IF Eddie Murray, Cincinnati
9. P Len Barker, Cleveland
10. IF Jack Clark, Philadelphia (did not sign)
News From Around the League


There was a good race in the NL East, with the Mets (97 wins) besting the Pirates (94 wins). While in the NL West, the Braves (97 wins) were back on top, overcoming the Giants (87 wins) and the Reds (86 wins).

Philadelphia's Dick Allen (.323/.375/.562, 39 HR, 135 RBI) was awarded his 3rd NL MVP. Mike Caldwell (21-6, 2.39, 252 IP) of the Reds was the NL Cy Young winner. Phiadelphia's Mike Hargrove (.309/.390/.448, 15 HR) was the Rookie of the Year.

In the American League, the Yankees won 115 games and AL East title by an astonishing 30 games. California (91 wins) finished just ahead of Chicago (90 wins) in the West.

Cecil Cooper (.360/.391/.554, 27 HR, 21 SB, 117 RBI) was named the AL MVP. Cleveland's Don Gullet (21-6, 2.32, 256 IP) broke the stranglehold that the Angels' pitching staff had on the AL Cy Young. Fellow 1969 expansion team Kansas City had the AL Rookie of the Year in Rowland Office (.302/.368/.478, 19 HR, 12 SB, 101 Runs).

The League Championship Series were won by the Yankees (3-1 over California) and the Braves (3-1 over the Mets). The Yankees won their 2nd consecutive World Series (4-1 over the Braves).

Harmon Killebrew (NYM) hit his 500th HR. Dick Allen (PHI) and Willie Stargell (PITT) each collected his 300th HR. Bob Gibson (STL) and Chris Short (PHI) picked up their 200th win. Billy Williams (CHI) joined the 2000 hit club, while Brooks Robinson (BAL) tallied his 2500th hit.

New York Yankee legend Mickey Mantle retired after the 1973 season. Mantle is the career leader in games (3165), runs (2369), home runs (773), RBI (2225), walks (2259), and strikeouts (2327). His career line: .307/.421/.570.
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1974 Recap

Montreal edged closer to the magical 100 loss barrier, but was unable to crack it, finishing 60-102.

Primary Lineup

C - Fran Healy (.246/.332/.328, 20 Doubles, 12 SB, 47 Runs). Not flashy, but consistent.

1B - Jim Breazeale (.217/.296/.337, 17 HR, 69 RBI). Not a good followup season for Breazeale.

2B - Rick Burleson (.306/.365/.393, 23 Doubles, 10 SB, 60 Runs) and Mike Eden (.257/.365/.358, 12 Doubles, 6 Triples, 40 Runs). Burleson was hit by a pitch that fractured his finger at the end of June and missed a month and a half. Eden was acquired from the Braves as the PTBNL in the Al Downing deal.

3B - Jim Essian (.225/.328/.323, 11 HR, 54 RBI). A typical Jim Essian season. There has been some talk about getting him back behind the plate where his bat would play better.

SS - Tim Foli (.304/.333/.389, 37 Doubles, 10 SB, 61 Runs). A nice bounce back season for Foli.

LF - Jim Rice (.325/.385/.580, 29 HR, 83 RBI). Rice was also hit by a pitch in June that fractured his hand. He missed over a month, appearing in just 123 games.

CF - Jim Buckner (.236/.272/.323, 21 SB, 40 Runs). Buckner was given a shot at CF because of his glove and speed. He doesn't get on base enough to stick around.

RF - Robert Cole (.216/.316/.346, 11 HR, 59 RBI). Cole was among a large group of Expos to struggle at the plate in 1974.

Pitching
  • Bill Kirkpatrick (10-18, 3.65, 269 IP). Kirkpatrick was a waiver claim from the Boston organization.
  • Frank Bork (11-17, 3.99, 251 IP). Bork is giving us what we paid for.
  • Michael Willis (11-10, 4.79, 218 IP). For the first time, not only did no one lose 20 games for the Expos, an Expo had a winning record with more than 200 IP. And it was long time punching bag Willis who accomplished that task.

On the Farm
  • P Joaquin Andujar (9-13, 4.11, 208 IP, 216 K for Memphis (AAA)).
  • P Dennis Eckersley (11-8, 2.10, 163 IP, 167 K for Kinston (A); 4-0, 2.98, 45 IP 44 K for Quebec City (AA)).
  • P Mike Krukow (9-16, 5.14, 219 IP, 157 K for Quebec City (AA)).
  • OF Miguel Dilone (.321/.402/.364, 78 SB, 96 R for Kinston (A)).
  • IF Alan Bannister (.267/.388/.392, 26 SB, 93 R for Memphis (AAA)).
  • IF Roy Smalley (.284/.434/.443, 11 2B in 28 games for Quebec City (AA)).
  • C Butch Wynegar (.218/.284/.324, 4 HR, 17 RBI for the GCL Expos (Rookie)).

1974 Draft
1. IF Roy Smalley, Montreal
2. IF Jack Clark, Kansas City
3. OF Leon Roberts, St. Louis
4. IF Garry Templeton, Detroit
5. C Dale Murphy, San Diego
6. P Rick Sutcliffe, Milwaukee
7. P Pete Falcone, Philadelphia
8. P Mike Parrott, Oakland
9. P Mark Mercer, Los Angeles
10 P Ed Whitson, Minnesota
News From Around the League


In the National League, the Pirates (101 wins) broke the Mets' (92 wins) grip on the NL East, and the Braves (105 wins) coasted to another NL West title.

Atlanta's Ron Cey (.304/.41/.519, 32 HR, 30 SB, 131 R) took home the NL MVP. Fergie Jenkins (22-2, 2.24, 224 IP) was selected as the NL Cy Young winner. Atlanta's Jorge Orta (.305/.370/.484, 19 HR, 18 SB) was the NL Rookie of the Year.

It was status quo in the American League, with New York (103 wins) easily winning the East and California (96 wins) finishing in front of Oakland (93 wins) in the West.

The AL MVP was given to New York's Andre Thornton (.293/.359/.570, 44 HR, 10 SB, 130 RBI). The AL Cy Young went to Nolan Ryan (19-7, 2.02, 249 IP, 258 K). It was Ryan's 3rd consecutive year leading the AL in strikeouts. And for the 2nd consecutive season, a Kansas City batter won the AL Rookie of the Year--Leroy Stanton (.317/.375/.548, 36 HR, 104 R, 122 RBI).

In the League Championships Series, New York topped the Angels 3-2, and Atlanta bested Pittsburgh 3-1. For the 2nd year in a row, New York beat Atlanta 4-1 to win a 3rd straight World Series for the Yankees.

Houston's Frank Robinson hit his 500th HR and collected his 2500th hit. Billy Williams (CHI) and Willie Horton (DET) each hit his 300th HR. Jim Kaat (NYY) and Milt Pappas (BAL) each picked up his 250th win. Bob Gibson (STL) reached 3000 strikeouts. And Jim Fregosi (CAL) joined the 2000 hit club.
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1975 Recap

1975 was the season Montreal managed to crack the 100 loss barrier. Not only that, the 79-83 record was good enough to move out of last place in the NL East, finishing in 4th place.

Primary Lineup

C - Jim Essian (.254/.372/.322, 12 SB, 52 R) and Fran Healy (.265/.367/.392, 6 SB, 24 R). Essian was moved back to his natural position. Healy is better suited for a backup role.

1B - Jim Breazeale (.249/.319/.374, 11 HR, 48 RBI) and Bob Watson (.248/.322/.331, 2 HR, 19 RBI). Breazeale continued to scuffle. Watson was claimed off of waivers from St. Louis at the end of July.

2B - Rick Burleson (.331/.395/.437, 94 R, 80 RBI). The 24 year-old Burleson had his best season yet.

3B - Mike Eden (.240/.355/.322, 21 2B, 7 3B, 16 SB, 90 R). Essian was moved back behind the plate to make room for Eden, who lacks the power of a prototypical 3B, but has a tremendous eye and good speed.

SS - Roy Smalley (.249/.333/.398, 11 HR, 60 RBI, 104 games) and Tim Foli (.190/.233/.231, 113 games). After watching Foli struggle at the plate for more than month, 22 year-old Smalley was recalled from AAA Memphis (where he was hitting .320/.406/.556 with 11 HR after 49 games).

LF - Jim Rice (.351/.414/.663, 46 HR, 34 2B, 122 R, 148 RBI). What a breakout season for the Expos' star. The first triple-crown winner since Cincinnati's Rick Monday in 1967. Rice was named the NL MVP. He also won his 2nd Gold Glove.

CF - Orlando Alvarez (.288/.388/.428, 10 HR, 58 RBI). Alvarez was claimed off of waivers from Boston at the end of Spring Training. There is some mild excitement that we have finally found the answer to the persistent CF issue.

RF - Dave Collins (.310/.392/.400, 27 2B, 32 SB, 97 R). Robert Cole's contact skills were not developing and his defense was deteriorating. So Collins was acquired at the beginning of the season from the Cardinals in exchange for P Joaquin Andujar.

Pitching
  • Frank Bork (13-16, 4.54, 248 IP).
  • Bill Kirkpatrick (9-13, 4.58, 242 IP).
  • Alan Griffin (15-11, 5.08, 236 IP). Griffin was signed as an undrafted rookie in 1971. He becomes the first Expo to win 15 games.

On the Farm
  • P Dennis Eckersley (8-8, 2.85, 155 IP, 158 K for Memphis (AAA)).
  • P Mike Krukow (3-3, 68 IP for Memphis (AAA)). Krukow had elbow surgery and missed 6 months.
  • OF Miguel Dilone (.289/.372/.374, 42 SB, 59 R, 86 G for West Palm Beach (A); .259/.339/.317, 32 SB, 31 R, 56 G for Quebec City (AA)).
  • OF Hosken Powell (.325/.393/.480 for West Palm Beach (A)).
  • IF Alan Bannister (.288/.357/.419, 31 2B, 28 SB, 94 R for Memphis (AAA)).
  • C Butch Wynegar (.292/.385/.379 for Lethbridge (Rookie)).
  • P Dick Ruthven (3-1, 1.86, 58 IP for Memphis (AAA); 4-3, 3.97, 66 IP for Montreal).

1975 June Draft
1. IF Carney Lansford, Milwaukee
2. OF Andre Dawson, Los Angeles
3. IF Lou Whitaker, Kansas City
4. P Dick Ruthven, Montreal
5. P Lee Smith, Cleveland
6. P Dave Stewart, Cubs
7. OF Willie Aikens, Chicago
8. C Keith Moreland, Cincinnati
9. OF Barry Bonnell, Minnesota
10. P Don Robinson, Houston
News From Around the League

In the National League, Pittsburgh (104 wins) won an easy division title over the Mets (87 wins), while the Reds won a surprisingly competitive West over Houston (84 wins), San Diego (84 wins), San Francisco (84 wins), and Atlanta (81 wins).

As mentioned, Montreal's Jim Rice was voted the winner of the NL MVP. New York's Tom Seaver (21-8, 2.56, 253 IP) won his 4th NL Cy Young. San Francisco's Ivan de Jesus (.327/.404/.442, 28 SB, 111 R) was the NL Rookie of the Year.

The New York Yankees (106 wins) coasted to yet another AL East title (Cleveland (86 wins) being the closest competition). A team other than California won the AL West when Oakland (92 wins) finished in front of California (90 wins) and Texas (90 wins).

The AL MVP was taken home by New York's Cesar Cedeno (.359/.447/.540, 21 HR, 73 SB, 107 R). The AL Cy Young was won by Burt Hooton (20-9, 2.84, 288 IP) of Texas, who also had the AL Rookie of the Year in John Balaz (.276/.348/.447, 17 HR).

In the post-season, New York beat Oakland 3-0, and Pittsburgh topped Cincinnati 3-2. The Yankees then won their 4th straight World Series beating Pittsburgh 4-2.

1975 was the year of the strikeout for milestones. Jim Maloney (BAL) notched his 3000th. Chris Short (PHI) picked up his 2500th. And Al Downing (ATL), Don Sutton (HOU), and Bob Bruce (HOU) all topped 2000 strikeouts. Joe Torre (ATL) got his 2000th hit.
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1976 Recap

The work and waiting involved in building an expansion club may be finally paying off. The Expos had their first winning season in 1976, finishing at 85-77, which was good for 3rd place in the National League, behind only the two division winners.

Primary Lineup


C - Jim Essian (.225/.312/.313, 3 HR, 41 RBI), Tim McCarver (.265/.319/.314), and Fran Healy.

1B - Jim Breazeale (.210/.261/.360, 13 HR, 41 RBI) and Fran Healy (.230/.310/.286, 1 HR, 32 RBI). After veteran catcher Tim McCarver was claimed off of waivers from the Yankees in the spring, Healy was given a chance to play some at 1B, as Breazeale continued to disappoint. This didn't work out, as Healy struggled defensively and his bat is over-exposed as a starter.

2B - Rick Burleson (.305/.361/.398, 9 HR, 26 2B, 18 SB, 107 R). Burleson had a slow start to the season as he was dealing with wrist problems. But once he was healthy, he heated up greatly, hitting .401/.452/.576 in September/October. He's made himself into one of the better 2B in the league. He hasn't won any Gold Gloves, but that will be true as long as Bobby Grich is playing 2B for the Pirates.

3B - Mike Eden (.251/.334/.327, 24 2B, 14 SB, 67 R). Eden's bat regressed to league average. His lack of power is becoming more concerning at 3B.

SS - Roy Smalley (.310/.397/.533, 31 2B, 27 HR, 100 RBI). Smalley has solidified his role in the middle of the lineup along side Rice. His SS defense is worrisome, however. There has been some discussion about using Eden as more a utility player, moving Smalley to 3B, and re-inserting Tim Foli (.234/.265/.320, 2 HR, 19 RBI) at SS.

LF - Jim Rice (.349/.401/.586, 35 2B, 7 3B, 32 HR, 116 RBI, 104 R). It's difficult to follow a triple-crown season, but Rice had another season just as good, although without the triple-crown. He was, however, named NL MVP again, and he won his 3rd straight Gold Glove.

CF - Orlando Alvarez (.303/.357/.444, 28 2B, 15 HR, 67 RBI). The search for a CF would appear to be over, at least for the moment.

RF - Dave Collins (.331/.414/.478, 23 2B, 12 3B, 24 SB, 65 R). Collins missed a couple of months with concussion symptoms after a collision at 2B.

Pitching

Over the winter, young pitcher Alan Griffin had an accident and fractured his spine. A serious injury, but he's been making good progress, and there is a chance that we'll see him on the mound next spring. Dennis Eckersley was called up in late June. Jack Fisher was a waiver claim from Atlanta in 1975. Al McBean was a waiver claim from the Mets also in 1975. Both had dealt with some injuries last season.
  • Frank Bork (12-14, 3.58, 239 IP).
  • Jack Fisher (15-8, 2.72, 235 IP).
  • Dick Ruthven (13-12, 4.35, 215 IP).
  • Dennis Eckersley (6-3, 3.12, 110 IP).
  • Al McBean (6-3, 22 SV, 3.12, 72 IP).

On the Farm

P Mike Krukow (12-12, 4.36, 212 IP for Denver (AAA); 1-1, 2.67, 30 IP for Montreal)
C Butch Wynegar (.290/.359/.395, 8 HR, 74 RBI for West Palm Beach (A)).
C Bruce Benedict (.325/.421/.463, 6 HR, 42 RBI for Lethbridge (Rookie)).
OF Hosken Powell (.322/.409/.490, 15 HR, 91 RBI for Quebec City (AA)).
IF Alan Bannister (.316/.381/.422, 26 2B, 30 SB, 56 R, 91 G for Denver (AAA)).
OF Miguel Dilone (.265/.324/.331, 54 SB, 71 R for Quebec City (AA)).

1976 June Draft

1. P Mike Scott, Philadelphia
2. P Jack Morris, Detroit
3. IF Alan Trammell, Los Angeles
4. OF Rickey Henderson, Boston
5. C Mike Scioscia, Cubs
6. C Ron Hassey, Milwaukee
7. IF Wade Boggs, Montreal (did not sign)
8. P Floyd Bannister, Minnesota
9. P Rick Honeycutt, St. Louis
10. IF Tom Herr, White Sox

Tough break missing our 1st round selection, but we just couldn't convince Boggs to forgo college and sign with us. We do like the look of catching prospect Bruce Benedict, whom we selected in round 2.

News From Around the League

After a couple of seasons missing out, the Mets (104 wins) got back on top in the NL East, finishing well in front of Montreal (85 wins). Atlanta (92 wins) won the West over Cincinnati (83 wins) and Houston (83 wins).

As already mentioned, Montreal's Jim Rice won his 2nd NL MVP, and New York's Jon Matlack (18-10, 1.97, 224 IP) won his 2nd NL Cy Young. Eddie Murray (.280/.360/.480, 27 HR, 101 RBI) of Cincinnati was NL Rookie of the Year.

The New York Yankees (who else?) won the AL East with 107 wins, finishing well in front of Cleveland (82 wins). The Angels (92 wins) were back on top in the West, ahead of Oakland (88 wins) and Minnesota (87 wins).

Minnesota's Sixto Lezcano (.358/.449/.595, 24 HR, 32 SB, 105 R) was named the AL MVP. Lezcano was drafted in the same draft (1971) as Rice. New York's Jim Kaat (22-5, 2.53, 270 IP) won his 2nd AL Cy Young. Oakland's Claudell Washington (.293/.352/.447, 14 HR, 25 SB) was the AL Rookie of the Year.

In the post-season, the Yankees beat the Angels 3-1, and the Braves upset the Mets 3-1. The Yankees then won the World Series 4-2. New York has won 5 straight and 6 of the last 7. Atlanta has lost to New York in 3 of the past 4 World Series.

Jim Kaat (NYY) won his 300th game, while teammate Mel Sottlemyre won his 200th. Dick Ellsworth (CHI) and Ray Culp (PHI) also each won their 200th game. Ray Culp collected his 2500th strikeout, while Tom Seaver (NYM) picked up his 2000th strikeout. Jim Ray Hart (SF) got both his 300th HR and his 2000th hit. Rod Carew (DET), Dick Allen (PHI), and Pete Rose (SD) are the other new members of the 2000 hit club.
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Old 01-29-2019, 08:51 AM   #13
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Winter 1976, Expansion Draft

Editor's note -- we are now all caught up and will be posting updates in "real time".

The baseball world's biggest focus this off season has been on the American League expansion. After the 1969 expansion Seattle Pilots had moved to Milwaukee in 1970, the City of Seattle filed suit against MLB for breach of contract. To settle things, Seattle is getting a new expansion team for 1977, the Mariners. To keep things even, the Toronto Blue Jays are also being added.

The first 10 expansion draft selections:

1. OF Reggie Smith (BOS), Toronto (.279/.341/.438, 185 HR, 1258 G, 3 time all-star)
2. OF Ellis Valentine (CAL), Seattle (.326/.382/.480, 17 HR, 83 RBI in AA in 1976)
3. P Jim Nash (OAK), Seattle (123-120, 3.65)
4. P Andy Messersmith (CWS), Toronto (68-83, 4.77)
5. IF Lenny Randle (NYY), Toronto (.268/.356/.339, 48 2B, 29 SB, 355 G)
6. P Sam McDowell (CLE), Seattle (124-105, 2.95, 6 time all-star)
7. P Luke Walker (DET), Seattle (62-56, 4.43)
8. C John Stearns (BAL), Toronto (.243/.322/.342, 57 2B, 352 G, 1 time all-star)
9. P Clinton Burr (TEX), Toronto (10-11, 3.89, 197 IP in 1976)
10. IF Julio Cruz (KC), Seattle (.315/.394/.406, 13 2B, 13 3B, 39 SB, 84 R in AA in 1976)

Montreal Notes

With the introduction of free agency in this off season, there are two Expos of note who are no longer under contract: P Michael Willis (Career: 46-80, 4.86, 175 GS) and 1B Jim Breazeale (Career: .240/.261/.360, 121 HR, 414 RBI).

Our rotation (in pencil) at the moment would be:
  • Jack Fisher (15-8, 2.72, 235 IP)
  • Frank Bork (12-14, 3.58, 239 IP)
  • Dennis Eckersley (7-4, 2.69, 110 IP)
  • Dick Ruthven (13-12, 4.35, 215 IP)
  • Alan Griffin (injured, DNP)/Bill Kirkpatrick (5-10, 5.45, 142 IP)

There are still some questions concerning Griffin's health, so we would like to add to our pitching depth via free agency.
.
A hole which we desperately need to fill is at 1B. Right now, 22 year-old Mike Ondina is the only 1B on the 40-man roster. He hit .303/.406/.506 with 11 HR in 72 games for Denver (AAA) in 1976, but he has only 47 plate appearances for Montreal. So we will definitely be looking at 1B in free agency also.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:32 AM   #14
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What happened to Juaqin Andujar? Last I see him mention is in 74 at AAA
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DD Martin View Post
What happened to Juaqin Andujar? Last I see him mention is in 74 at AAA
Buried in the 1975 recap, Joaquin Andujar was traded in April 1975 to the Cardinals in exchange for RF Dave Collins. Andujar (14-11, 3.40, 233 IP) was a regular in the Cardinals' rotation in 1976.
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Old 01-30-2019, 02:39 PM   #16
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Expos, Yankees strike a deal

November 15, 1976

Montreal a step toward filling the hole at 1B today when we finalized a deal with the Yankees. We'll be sending to New York P Mike Krukow and C Butch Wynegar in exchange for 1B/OF prospect Warren Cromartie.

The 23 year-old Cromartie is a player we've had our eyes on for a while, ever since he was selected 24th overall by the Yankees in the 1974 draft. Playing in 1976 for Syracuse (AAA), Cromartie hit .363/.414/.659 with 38 HR, 21 SB, and 139 RBI. In the minor leagues, Cromartie has split his time pretty much equally between 1B and CF.

Giving up both Krukow and Wynegar was a tough asking price, but in return we are getting a player that contractually still has 7 years of team control remaining. And we are quite high on Cromartie being able to take over 1B for the Expos. Having said that, Cromartie will be a rookie in 1977 (he had 67 at-bats with the Yankees at the end of 1976, hitting .284/.310/.433 with 2 HR). So we are still in the market for a veteran, right handed hitting 1B who we can pair with Cromartie.


l-to-r, Warren Cromartie, Mike Krukow, Butch Wynegar
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:20 AM   #17
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Where Are They Now -- Al Downing

After being selected in the Expansion Draft from Cincinnati, Downing was the Opening Day starter for Montreal in 1969. He spent 2.5 years as a staff ace for the Expos, compiling a record of 23-41 with a 3.84 ERA for a team that lost more than 100 games each season. In July of 1971, Downing was traded to the Atlanta Braves, who were in the midst of their first pennant race since 1959. Downing performed spectacularly for Atlanta down the stretch (10-1, 2.95 ERA) as the Braves won their first NL West title.

Originally, Downing had come up through the Yankee organization and had a breakout season in 1965 (22-6, 2.02 ERA, 259 IP, 248 K). That off season, Downing was traded from the Yankees to the Reds along with 1B/OF Joe Pepitone in exchange for pitchers John Buzhardt and Rudy May and OF Johnny Callison.

Downing started the 1966 season strong (11-2, 2.57 ERA) before injuring his shoulder in June and being shut down for a few months. Downing did come back and pitch in the post season to help Cincinnati win a World Series.

Downing struggled the next couple of seasons before being selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft. Since being traded to Atlanta, Downing has had a career resurgence. In 5.5 seasons with the Braves he has a 94-46 record with a 3.20 ERA, bringing his career totals to 194-123, 3.19 ERA. In 1976, Downing led the NL in wins (18). 1977 will be Downing's age 35 season. With a few more years performing at his current level, Downing could be looking at a Hall of Fame caliber career.


Al Downing
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:42 AM   #18
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Free Agency Update -- January 3rd, 1977

The Expos were in on three key players in free agency: 3B Sal Bando, P Bill Stoneman, and C/1B Cliff Johnson.

In late December, Bando signed with Houston, and Stoneman and Johnson agreed to contracts with the Expos.

Cliff Johnson debuted as a 19 year old with the Cubs in 1967 and was the Cubs starting catcher for the next 10 years, winning one Gold Glove and appearing in three All Star games. For his career, he has hit .250/.323/.407 with 166 HRs. Johnson's best year was in 1970 when he hit .300/.366/.521 with 28 HR. He has been extremely durable also, averaging 139 games per season. Johnson's bat has slowed down over the last couple of years. The plan with Johnson is to have him catch a couple of games a week and have him play at 1B a couple of times a week.

Bill Stoneman was drafted by the Mets in 1965 and made his debut for New York in 1968. He was traded twice in 1971, first from the Mets to the Pirates, and then from the Pirates to the Phillies. He has a career mark of 97-109 with a 4.12 ERA. He has averaged 218 IP/season over his 9 year career.


l-to-r, Bill Stoneman, Cliff Johnson
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1977 Hall of Fame Class

17th January 1977


Hall of Fame voting results were announced today, and two players were inducted in their first year on the ballot: Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

Mays had a 20 year career with the New York/San Francisco Giants. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1951 (.274/.356/.472, 20 HR, 68 RBI). He won the NL MVP award in 1954 (.345/.411/.667, 41 HR, 110 RBI) and 1964 (.360/.456/.769, 45 HR, 84 RBI). He played in 17 All Star games and won 6 Gold Gloves. His career line: .313/.390/.584, 2683 Hits, 555 HR (3rd).

Aaron had an 18 year career with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. He won the NL MVP in 1957 (.322/.378/.600, 44 HR, 132 RBI). He played in 16 All Star games and won 4 Gold Gloves. His career line: .304/.359/.518, 3115 Hits (10th), 520 2B (15th), 502 HR (10th).


l-to-r, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:58 PM   #20
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1977 Spring Training

2 March 1977


Spring Training starts today. There can be some genuine excitement among the Montreal fan base, as I think there is good chance that Montreal wins 90 games this season. Unfortunately, there is also a good chance that 90 wins would still leave us 10 games behind strong New York and Pittsburgh clubs in the NL East.

Let's take a look at the roster construction as we head into the Spring.

Batters

C - Jim Essian (.225/.312/.313)
C - Fran Healy (.230/.310/.286)
C/1B - Cliff Johnson (.249/.333/.381)
1B - Warren Cromartie (.284/.310/.433)
2B - Rick Burleson (.305/.361/.398)
3B - Roy Smalley (.310/.397/.533)
SS - Tim Foli (.234/.265/.320)
IF - Mike Eden (.251/.334/.327)
IF - Alan Bannister (.239/.292/.373)
LF - Jim Rice (.349/.401/.586)
CF - Orlando Alvarez (.303/.357/.444)
RF - Dave Collins (.331/.414/.478
OF - Gil Flores (.225/.275/.245)
OF - Ronald Roller (.247/.293/.287)
OF - Jerry White (.250/.302/.300)

At this point I would expect Eden to beat out Bannister for the utility IF job with Flores and Roller as the 4th and 5th OF. Flores is out of options and Roller is the only true CF among the trio of Flores/White/Roller. Flores can also play some 3B.

Pitchers

SP Jack Fisher (15-8, 2.72)
SP Frank Bork (12-14, 3.58)
SP Bill Stoneman (12-12, 2.98)
SP Dennis Eckersley (7-4, 2.69)
SP Dick Ruthven (13-12, 4.35)
SP Alan Griffin (injured, DNP)
RP Al McBean (6-3, 3.12)
RP Bill Connors (6-6, 5.40)
RP Douglas Barker (5-5, 5.61)
RP James Horsch (11-9, 4.16)
RP Bill Kirkpatrick (5-10, 5.45)
RP Robert Weisenberg (3-0, 3.24)
RP Charles Holle (2-6, 4.30)

This is the first time there's really been competition on the Montreal pitching staff. Barring injury, the top 5 will open the season in the rotation. Griffin didn't pitch at all last year, so he'll probably start the year in Denver. McBean/Connors/Barker are pretty set in the bullpen. So that leaves Horsch/Kirkpatrick/Weisenberg/Holle left to compete over the final 2 spots. Horsch is only one of that group with an option remaining. Both Horsch and Kirkpatrick can fill-in in the rotation when needed.
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