|The Last NL East Race|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on September 30, 2004
The Expos’ season has been utter dismay so far, to say the least. They have been in last place since April 15th, basically the entire season. They are owned by Major League baseball and cannot do anything to help their team - literally. Former Expo Orlando Cabrera, now in the Boston spotlight, perhaps says it best: “Last year…we were tied for first place for the wild card and we can’t have September callups [that would have cost $50,000 per player]. We couldn’t do any trades. We couldn’t go after anybody. The team that won the wild card won the World Series. We had the possibility to win and they don’t care. They don’t want us to win.” They were promised a new home about seven times in the past two years, as recently as finding out in “mid September [of this year].” But Commissioner Bud Selig has never formulated a plan that relates to a new Expos home, opening up rumors that he wants to make the Expos such a poor franchise by 2006 that the only option for them will be contraction.
As bad as the Expos have had it, the Mets could displace Les Expos for last place, which would be the third consecutive season that that’s happened. On July 15th the Mets were fourteen games ahead of the Expos, and only one game out of first place. Then the decline began, despite the additions of starting pitchers Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano, along with outfielder Richard Hidalgo. On August 5th they were seven games ahead of the orphans from the north and that number stood at 2 games on September 20th, the day before a three game series between the two in which the Mets took 2 of 3 games.
With a payroll of over 95 million, the New York Mets should be better than this, as the Expos have a payroll less than half of the Metropolitans’. Alas, they are just barely better than the Expos.
The Mets and Expos meet for the last series of the season. Everyone needs to be cheering for the Expos to take over fourth place as one of the feel-good stories of the 2004 season. Oh, and hopefully we can see some votes for Livan Hernandez as Cy Young and Jose Vidro for MVP. Anything to get these guys some recognition, which they most wholeheartedly deserve. Go ahead and join me, you know you want to. GO EXPOS!