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Different worlds. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
Different worlds.
In a slightly different universe, I would've been speaking French today. Instead, I wound up using the words "sherpa" and "goomba" in the same sentence.

Let me explain.

Barely 24 hours ago, major league baseball returned to Montreal for the first time in almost a decade, and 20 years after the owners and players ripped the heart out of the city's then 25 years of baseball tradition by shutting down the season in a stupid season-ending strike in the one year the Expos were quite probably the best team in the sport. Following that debacle, the team drifted listlessly among a number of uncaring owners, the league itself being the last of them, threatening to "contract" the franchise out of existence before finally selling it to a DC ownership group that has disavowed most of its first quarter century of existence.

Few- beyond some dreamers, one vocal former Expo and at least one blogger-NaNo author ::waves:: - give hope to any prospect of baseball returning to the royal mountain of Quebec. But this weekend brought some for all of us.  As exhibition season ends, MLB teams tend to play their final pre-season games closer to home, and last year this weekend's two-day series between the Mets and Blue Jays was announced as the return of the game to Stade Olympique.  I'd kept an open tab in my browser with ticket info, and an open mind about finances, until just a few days ago about getting oop noorth to see this return. (Even Eleanor was maybe in for it; her company had planned a sales-contest-winning trip to see an Expos game at the end of the 1991 season, when she was very Em-preg, but the trip wound up moved to Toronto, then a season-long sellout, and we wound up at a play rather than at Play Ball that night.)  Alas, this past week got crazy, and I was left to watching this afternoon's second contest from our own living room- honoring those vanquished-by-labour-dispute heroes of 1994 before the game, and then producing a mostly pitchers' duel that Toronto won.

I'd have loved to get up to see both the team and our dear friends from PQ- and maybe, if this becomes either an annual pre-season ritual or, even better, a return to the majors, we can do that in the future.  That stadium will not work- it's too big, too decrepit, and too susceptible to injury (as at least one unfortunate fan found out last night)- but a smaller, more outdoor and baseball-friendly venue would. I even named the thing in the Book Wot I Wrote last year, in which Tampa's good but unsupported team comes to Quebec to the joie de vivre of an admiring public.

You'll have to read it to find out. I have a new possible angle on moving that story along, btw #mystery.

----

Instead, Eleanor and I did come close to the border today, but on the Ontario side of things.  We wound up in Niagara Falls NY in a short but successful quest to replace her brand new computer.

It died last night at the all too young age of about 10 days.  Our salesperson, closer to home, told us it could simply be switched out for an identical unit since it had been so soon, but neither her store nor any other in our county had an in-the-box unit to sell.  But the Pine Plaza store in Niagara County did- and so we boogied up Niagara Falls Boulevard to seek it out.

NFB was once the main drag into The Falls back when they were a much bigger deal, especially in the Honeymoon Capital of the World business. Dozens of once-sultry motels still line it on both sides, most degraded into chintz if not worstz. (My favorite: the Bit-o-Paris, which could really use a bit-o-renovation- although it still proudly proclaims a "Bit-o-Paris Annex" outbuilding that is somehow even more depressing.)  Yet that wasn't the weirdest thing we saw: no, that belongs to what may be the weirdest restaurant combination in the state:

Himilaya Indian Restaurant and Pizza

Hence, the comment about needing to go in there with both a sherpa and a goomba.

And on that note, to all of you, I say, goomba for the  night....

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/199890.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
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Comments
glenmarshall From: glenmarshall Date: March 30th, 2014 03:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I recall grabbing a quick lunch at an Indian-run Italian restaurant in Erlangen, Germany. I got some spaghetti bolognese, and a local bottled beer. Not speaking German, nor Hindi, and them not speaking English, I ordered in my barely-adequate Italian. The spaghetti sauce tasted of garam masala.
cafemusique From: cafemusique Date: March 30th, 2014 07:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I missed the second game, due to the travesty of an exhibition match I was attending (Baltimore Orioles at Norfolk Tides) where it was very rainy and where they decided on an unusual rule to limit game length. I'm not sure if it was pitch count or number of batters, but several innings ended with less than three outs, including the home 5th, when the entire crowd booed as the field emptied, despite the Tides having the bases loaded and none out. (Considering that we paid a premium over the usual AAA ticket price and were sticking it out despite almost constant rain, the least they could have done was had the PA announcer explain what unique rules they had chosen. I understand that it's raining and it's an exhibition game and nobody wants injuries right before the regular season starts.) I left at that point, beating the traffic before the game went into a rain delay in the middle of the 6th, never to be resumed. The only thing saving me from a blistering blog post was that despite the game lasting 5.5 "innings," they offered all ticketholders an exchange for any Mon-Thurs Tides game in April, including this Thursday's Opening Night game.

Oops...getting back to what you were saying...I did watch Friday night's game on TV and it brought back a lot of memories. I grew up three hours from Montreal, and so my love of baseball on radio was formed listening to Dave Van Horne and Duke Snider on AM with the Expos games. I never did make it to a game there (though my wife and I have been to the Biodome, just outside the Big O twice, though long after the Expos had departed to three hours from where we live now), and eventually shifted allegiance to the Jays and the DH rule. (And now have somehow ended up as a dual Jays/Orioles fan...bad enough to root for two teams in the same league, but the same division?!?)
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: March 30th, 2014 10:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the AngelO's have a history of being classy about these things.

Until the mid 90s, in-season exhibitions between parent and AAA child were annual scheduled events. They finally got written out of the deal after the 94-95 strike got settled, but the final games were still allowed to go on, including the O's first appearance at downtown Rochester's beautiful new park.

Albert "Joey" Belle didn't want to come out and play. He organized a team protest about showing up at all, and when the players were forced to come to the game, he and most of his mates (except for Ripken, who'd STILL be out there signing autographs if anyone was left out) had a hissy about it. They played the entire game in their nameless BP uniform tops to cut down on the collectible value of any photos, and then in a "compromise," they were given the night off after one at-bat each. Joey got the biggest ovation of the night- when some nameless Red Wing struck the bastard out.

By the bottom of the ninth, it was basically the AAA Red Wings against a bunch of A-baller Frederick Keys, and the game was tied. The announcer told us the "Orioles" had graciously agreed to One. Extra. INNING! in hopes of not going home with sister-kissing spit in our mouths.

Did someone break the tie? Damned if I remember. It wasn't like there were any major league players out there by then.
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