Vlad Jr. ends the series in style
Simply put; you could not have found a better way to end a ball game in Montreal than how things played out Tuesday night at the Olympic stadium.
The crowds were down in size from the monstrous gathering that squeezed through the turnstiles last year, but fair play - last year's preseason battles took place on a weekend whereas this years contests had a home Habs game to contend with, and no matter how awful the Canadiens are this year - and they are awful, that is still the hottest ticket in town. Then consider that this seasons appearances are in town on a Monday and a Tuesday night and people are seriously reluctant to venture away from their television sets and iPhones this early into the week.With all data accumulated and accounted for; getting twenty-five thousand fans into seats on backto-back nights is sort of a success.
But enough of that! Let's set the stage: we're in the bottom of the ninth and the Jays are at bat. It has been a tight three-up and three-down battle all evening and the score is tied at nil. It's looking as if the night is going to end in a deadlock, seeing as the pre-season allows for no extra innings. The Blue Jays bats are swinging and hitting but nothing of substance has come from it. Base hits have been few and far between for both squads, with the Cardinals coming closest, stranding a man on third. Like a fairytale or a childhood schoolyard fantasy, where the kid, ball in one hand and bat in the other, is telling himself "It's the bottom of the night, two outs and up stepsVladimir to the plate". In this scenario, it is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that is up - son of the last true star and hero the Montreal Expos ever had before being torn away from us in the nineties. With a thunderous clap, wood meets leather and everybody in the stadiums knows by the sound that ball is going, going, gone! Over the fence and far away. Like father like son - the games final pitch is blasted into orbit by a member of the Guerrero family in the city that so badly wants its team back. The only possible way this yarn could have been better, is if the logo of the front of the winning jersey tonight, read Montreal.
On both nights, the people in the stands had a message to chant to whomever may be listening. Somebody. Anybody. The message as clear as fine crystal "We want Expos". All these years on - caps and shirts and flags still fly the colors of our defunct major league team and the vox populi is that we want it back. And we want it back now!
Vladimir Guerrero Jr celebrating home after game winning home run