By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
If Stephen Bronfman and Dollarama’s Rossy family have been looking for advice on how to get a franchise back in Montreal, then they have probably chatted up Peter Bavasi.
Yes, Peter Bavasi, the founding president of the Blue Jays, a former president of the Cleveland Indians and a former general manager of the San Diego Padres.
Bavasi, 74, forms part of Bavasi Sports and one of his fortés has been to provide strategic advice to cities seeking Major League Baseball teams, including the successful franchise pursuits in St. Petersburg, Fla. and Washington.
When the Expos were moved out of Montreal to Washington following the 2004 season, Bavasi helped MLB executives and subsequent ownership groups with the move and he assisted the Tampa-St. Petersburg ownership people. Bavasi’s partners include brothers Bill, Chris and Bob and sister-in-law Margaret Bavasi. After he left the Blue Jays following the 1981 season, Bavasi directed the international sports practice at Hill & Knowlton and was president of ESPN SportsTicker, a leading supplier of instant sports news and information.
I’ve tried getting a hold of Bavasi to chat -- with no success. I emailed him, I sent a postal letter to him at his San Diego home and I left him a phone message.
NOTES: The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is looking for museum tour guides and site maintenance workers for the coming season. Check with director of operations Scott Crawford. It’s also a good time to get involved in being a sponsor for the hall of fame. Induction weekend in June includes the Opening Pitch reception in Toronto, a celebrity golf tournament and banquet and the induction ceremony along with an on-site street festival sponsored by the Blue Jays ... The lineup at Exposfest in Montreal April 2 keeps getting better and better. Al Oliver and David Palmer have just been added to a star-studded roster of attendees that includes fellow Expos’ alumni Bob Bailey, Jeff Reardon, Andre Dawson, Dennis Martinez, Cliff Floyd and Rondell White. Former major-league closer Eric Gagné will also be on hand. Bill Young and I will be there selling our 1994 Expos’ book Ecstasy to Agony for $10. The fund-raiser organized by Perry Giannias and his family remembers Kat Demes, who died a few years ago at a very young age due to a brain disorder Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma ... Former Expos outfielder Ken Singleton emailed me this week to say this about his long-time agent Ron Shapiro, who has written the best-selling book The Power of Nice: “Ron is more than my agent. He is my friend. He has represented me since 1977. He still does all my TV contracts. In Montreal, Cookie Lazarus was my agent.’’ The classy Singleton has been a Yankees’ broadcaster in recent years on the YES Network ... Stuart Ashton of McLean’s Pub in downtown Montreal is attempting to lure Cooperstown Hall of Fame member and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tim Raines to do a book signing at his bar March 30 as part of a Q & A in conjunction with Chapters/Indigo and Harper Collins Publishers. Raines’ book Rock Solid: My Life in Baseball’s Fast Lane is due out that weekend, which is also the time when the Blue Jays will host the Pirates in a two-game series at the Big O to end spring training.