Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tim Scott Autographed Card

After a full day of Spring Cleaning, what better way to dream of the summer than by thinking back to the 1994 Montréal Expos... and checking #54 from my Expos Numbers Project with this card that relief pitcher Tim Scott signed in disappearing blue sharpie:
 It's card #265 from Leaf's 1994 Donruss set.

Scott spent parts of 1993 and 1996 and the entire 1994 and 1995 seasons with the Expos. His 1993 and 1994 stats with the team were similar in most categories:
1993: 32 appearances, 5 wins, 2 losses, 1 save, 19 walks, 35 strikeouts, 3.71 ERA
1994: 40 appearances, 5 wins, 2 losses, 1 save, 18 walks, 37 strikeouts, 2.70 ERA
Notice the discrepancy in the ERA and you have one of the reasons why the Expos had the best record in the Majors when the players went on strike. One that led to the team losing a bunch of money, and its first official fire sale, with the likes of Larry Walker, John Wetteland, Marquis Grissom and Delino DeShields leaving a team who could no longer afford to keep them.

Scott himself was traded to the San Francisco Giants with whom he was unable to replicate his Montréal numbers; and it was more of the same in 1997 with the San Diego Padres (7.85 ERA in 14 games) and Colorado Rockies (10.13 ERA in 3 games), forcing him out of the MLB altogether at that point.

He played in the minors until 2001.

Maybe it's the humidity, maybe it's the water, maybe it's the ladies and the strip clubs or the fact that alcohol flows freely in La Belle Province - but there was something about baseball in Montréal that made players perform better here than they had been able to elsewhere, where the team may very well have given the Oakland Athletics a run for their money in the yield-for-spending department, year in and year out, before either fizzling out elsewhere or becoming recognized as the very best in their profession (Wetteland and Pedro Martinez come to mind).

That 1994 team stays alive in my heart and mind, but with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera now retired, I now know a grand total of zero ball players currently playing. I cannot for the life of me root for the Toronto Blue Jays, and while every year I feel it'd be natural for either the New York Yankees or the A's to win, I never even bother to try to find out.

And, for the record, no, I do not think having a baseball team play in Montréal is viable in this day and age. We have the Montréal Impact in the MLS and the Montréal Alouettes in the CFL struggling to survive on their own terms, and the NHL's Montréal Canadiens filling the sports landscape all year round, even when they fail to make the playoffs - which may be the case this season.

The only other league that could probably make money here would be the NFL, but Montréal now being a second-rate city, if Toronto doesn't get one, we sure as hell never will.

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