Elmer Lach and the Rocket, looking for that pitch down the middle, the one they can drive deep into centre field.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season is firing up , and I think I say it every year, but geez I miss the Expos.
The Canadiens won when they absolutely had to, beating the New York Rangers 4-1, and so many players stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the park, it was like watching Warren Cromartie and Andre Dawson take batting practice.
It feels good to be proud of the guys instead of wanting to send them all to Calgary.
The line of Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole, and David Desharnais combined for nine big points – Max with 2 goals and an assist, Cole with 3 assists, and Desharnais with a goal and 2 assists. And at the end, after the siren had sounded, the fans gave them the three stars and deservedly so.
But a couple of others also had big nights, two whom we might never have guessed. Peter Budaj in nets was solid, and came through in fine fashion. He could’ve been a star if Max’s line wasn’t so darned dominant.
And another who could’ve been a star was none other than Scott Gomez, who was flying all over the place, skating miles, making nice plays, and setting up Michael Blunden beautifully.
If Gomez can play like that every night, his sins will eventually be forgiven. But I’m not going to get carried away here. It was one good game for the much-maligned Alaskan, and I refuse to get hoodwinked. (what a great word – hoodwinked). I also don’t like his laughing and kibitzing, which he does even with opposing guys on faceoffs, and I think the Rocket would like to punch him in the face if he could.
Newcomer Rene Bourque also played well, and it’s nice what he brings. He’s big and strong, is good with the puck, and he’s a powerful skater. When he gets motoring he reminds me of Cole, and he changes the look of the team in a great way. Suddenly the Montreal Canadiens got bigger and stronger. It’s what I’ve been praying to Sprague Cleghorn for, for months now.
Of course, for every yin there’s a yang. Travis Moen injured his leg and hopefully it’s not serious. And Randy Cunneyworth showed he means business when he sat Lars Eller for all of the second period after Eller’s weak coverage near the goal led to the Rangers scoring. You gotta play tough and wrap up your man, however it takes. It’s not Woodstock/peace and love out there. And Andrei Kostitsyn also felt the wrath of Randy after lacklustre play.
That’s fine. These are grown men. They know their team needs an all-out effort now, and they’ll pay a price if they don’t give their all. I mean, if I’m caught sleeping at work I hear about it.
Eller saw ice time in the third, and on one occasion his rising shot struck Mathieu Darche in the throat that looked serious for a few minutes. Thankfully Darche was back out soon after.
The guys played well tonight. Travis Moen and NY’s Stu Bickel tangled after the draw for some reason, Hal Gill sprawled to break up a play and hopefully he’s not too sore in the morning, and PK Subban gave Tomas Kaberle shit for making too many passes back to him on the power play.
It was such an important game to win, and it’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Okay, that’s a bit much, but you know what I mean.
Shots on goal – 29 each.
I have Cole and Desharnais in my pool.
Next up – Wednesday, when Alex Ovechkin and the Caps come to town. Once again, no problem, right?
I miss the Expos.
I miss Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines and Tim Wallach and Steve Rogers.
During the 198o’s, I almost followed every pitch. The Expos were one of baseball’s best teams, and for a nice stretch during these times, they were always in the thick of it come September.
I listened to Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider on my truck radio as I drove here and there out of Ottawa. And I watched as Rick Monday’s home run spoiled the Expos chances of advancing to the World Series that September of 1981 which became known as Blue Monday.
There was Andre Dawson, Ellis Valentine, Chris Speier, Scott Sanderson. And of course a great catcher and a man who loved the limelight, Gary Carter.
I miss Rodney Scott, Larry Parrish, Dick Williams, Woody Fryman, Bill (Spaceman) Lee.
But the Expos are now the Washington Nationals, and I pay absolutely no attention to them at all. The Expos are gone. End of story.
And or me, the real reason the Expos aren’t in Montreal anymore is because the Big O was a ghastly place, a giant orange cave that echoed and swallowed you up. The seats were set in on a gradual slope, so even though you might be only 20 rows up, it seemed like you were a mile away.
The track that was used in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal surrounded the playing field, so it created not only a lousy un-baseball-like atmosphere, but also made it that many more feet from the stands, even, I think, from the dugouts.
So no one went. Most games were far from sellouts because the atmosphere wasn’t worth the hassle of driving there and parking. Attendance was dismal in Montreal, and Expos owners lobbied the city to build a nice baseball stadium downtown, (Olympic Stadium was way out in the east end), but were denied, and the next thing you know, they were gone.
I suppose Montreal will never see another major league team because usually, once you lose it, your chances are gone.
But we had them for awhile, and they sure were good.
It’s late afternoon, and I’m home after a long, hot day at work. I’ve been up since 3 am, and all I want to do is drink some beer and watch television. So I’m pulling out this paper I found in a stack of papers, and I’m going to use it today and maybe even some more tomorrow. I know it’s cheating.
But you might like it!
The original title was “Why Athletes Can’t Have Real Jobs.”
Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson on being a role model. “I wan’ all dem kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I wan’ all the kids to copulate me.” (Dennis’ note: Andre got crossed up on a mix between ‘copy’ and ’emulate’ for those of you who didn’t get it.)
New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season. “I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”
And, upon hearing Joe Jacobi of the ‘Skins say, “I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl,” Matt Millen of the Raiders said: “To win, I’d run over Joe’s mom too.”
Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: “He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings.”
Football commentator and former player Joe Theisman, 1996. “Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.”
Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh: “I’m going to graduate on time, no matter how long it takes.”
Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: “You guys line up alphabetically by height.” And, “You guys pair up in groups of three, then line up in a circle.”