Gallagher: I'm OK with Nationals wearing Expos uniforms
July 5, 2019
By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
I'm OK with it.
I'm in concert with what the Washington Nationals are doing July 6. They are honouring the Expos by wearing 1969 throwback, powder-blue uniforms and I don't have any qualms with this scenario.
I wish the Nationals had announced this special day months ago because I might have attended. But I have a book signing lined up that day so I'm staying in Canada. They sure didn't give much notice time.
The idea that the Nationals want to pay homage to the Expos on this day is better than them not doing anything at all. It's a momentous event, showing appreciation for the dormant Expos franchise.
Sure, many Expos fans have no connection to the Nationals, who became the Expos successors following the 2004 season. In many ways, the Nationals have pretty much forgotten the Expos except for some days when they have nights honouring the likes of Andre Dawson and Tim Raines.
It’s believed that this is the first time the Nationals have worn Expos’ gear since they began playing in Washington in 2005.
The Nationals had nothing to do with sending the Expos to Montreal. Washington merely wanted a MLB franchise and MLB owners and then commissioner Bud Selig decided to transfer the Expos to Washington following the 2004 season. To fully blame the Nationals and to poke fun at them all the time gets a bit stale.
I can see Expos fans being upset because they have lost their team so they take their anger and frustration out on the Nationals. I get it but this gesture of the Nationals with their promotion Come Celebrate the 1969 Expos is wonderful in this the 50th anniversary year of the Expos founding.
Many Expos fans from Canada and the U.S. are expected to attend the July 6th game, one of them being Craig Morton of Peterborough, Ont.
"I'm going to the Expos Day game, in Expos gear of course,'' Morton said in a Facebook post. "I was planning to go anyways as part of a Washington visit on the way back from the Carolinas. As controversial as it is for some Expos fans, it's a pretty remarkable coincidence for me.''
The video (above) of Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer warming up in an Expos game in a side bullpen session as a prelude to his start July 6 has gone viral. It’s kind of cool actually. We can assume that pulling on the Expos uniform will be a thrill for Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who played for the Expos from 1988-91.
Just a few weeks ago, Martinez’s tenure was in jeopardy with the Nationals about 10 games below .500 but his players have rallied to save the gipper’s job. The Nationals boast the best record in baseball since May 24.
If you’re not going to Washington for the July 6th game, you can watch it on MASN, the cable network that carries Nationals and Orioles games.