Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend observations from MTL

We'll confess straight away to not having seen much of the Jays' weekend sweep of the Orioles, as we spent the weekend shopping, drinking, eating, drinking, cavorting, drinking, smoking, drinking, traipsing and drinking our way around Montreal. So you can take this recap for what it is worth.

Seeing is believing
We followed most of the series through our Blackberry, but we were fortunate enough to catch the telecast of the last innings of Saturday's walkoff win. We're not sure that we would have believed that Rod Barajas could score from second on a single if we'd read it on the pitch-by-pitch recap, but there he was, rumbling home to score the winning run at a speed you could have timed with a sundial. That's the kind of season this Jays team is having.

(And as for Aaron Hill, who hit said single: M!V!P! M!V!P! M!V!P!)

Believing the hype
We live in a world of hyperbole. Frankly, everybody exaggerates about everything all the time. And so with that in mind, we can say this: the smoked meat at Schwartz's Deli absolutely lives up to the advanced billing. We're not sure that we could ever eat an smoked meat sandwich anywhere else after savouring for ourselves how absolutely magnificent the real deal tastes.

And speaking of hype, we're glad to see that Robert Ray, the object of our recent overstated affections, delivered just enough to keep the Jays in Saturday's game. We expect that he'll get another start or two before the cavalry returns, so here's hoping that he can keep his walks down, hold the fort and improve on his first Major League appearance.

Les Expos ne sont plus là
Here's an odd observation from the weekend: We saw more Blue Jays caps than Expos caps in Montreal this weekend. We're not saying that our isolated observation is in any way representative of reality, nor are we insinuating that Montreal has somehow embraced the team from Toronto since the departure of their own team.

Still, it seemed odd to see that many Jays casquettes in Montreal, and frankly, it made us sad all over for the way that the 'Spos left town.

More on the Expos-Blue Jays connection
A question for the commenters: Al Oliver was the best player to play for both the Blue Jays and the Expos. Discuss.

Ending on a happy note
First place! Pennant!

43 comments:

jw said...

Brad Wilkerson. Obviously.

andré said...

Maybe it's because it's been a couple of years since I've been there, but The Corned Beef House on Adelaide tastes about as good as Schwartz's. Different, but equal in pleasure.

Maybe Schwartz's is 2-3% better. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. You are in the best position to judge this, however.

Layth said...

Brad Fullmer!

Anonymous said...

Michael Barrett!

furcifer said...

Richmond was outstanding. Magic number 135.

Anonymous said...

Darrin Fletcher? (see also: Worst colour commentators)

the expos said...

When the 'Spos left town I took a few years off cheering for a team to let it sink in.

Now I'm a Jays fan though, and I'm a true blue fan, but of course its not the same......

eyebleaf said...

Fletcher is the best colour commentator ever. And the best Blue Jay and Expo ever.

Tao of Stieb said...

Fletch is a good candidate, as is Fullmer to a lesser extent.

Also: Matt Stairs and Scott Downs.

But none of them bent the bill of their cap quite like Oliver, and none of them wore number 0. (Which is pretty much what we base our love of Oliver on.)

The Ack said...

Why is there no gravy & cheese on those french fries?

I'm going to have to think long & hard about this Ultimate Jayspo question....

Anonymous said...

Al Oliver was a great player, but I think the premise of the question is silly if we say he's the best player to be both an Expo and Blue Jay... the majority of his career (and his best years) were in Pittsburgh. It's like saying the greatest Expo of all time is Pete Rose.

Tao of Stieb said...

@ Anon 12:09

Yes, the premise of the question is silly. Would you expect anything more from us?

Also, Scoop's best season was likely 1982 with the Expos. Career highs in OPS, total bases, doubles, homers, and finished third in MVP voting.

Bring on the silliness!

Anonymous said...

Damaso Garcia?

Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that the Corned Beef house should never be mentioned in the same sentence as Schwartz. 200-300% better is more like it.

Their smoked meat is rather bland and pretty average in my books. I also find their Corned Beef to be rather lackluster and you can getting a better sandwich at Katz Deli up north on Dufferin near Yorkdale or Pancer's on Bathurst near Wilson.

Anonymous said...

Well, if silliness is the name of the game... Otis Nixon!

infieldfly said...

Use Stairs in case of emergency. No contest.

mathesond said...

Mitch Webster!

Anonymous said...

Been to Schwartz's a few times, even brought back 5 pounds on a plane once. The plane smelled great. But the hands down, not even close, winner is Katz's Deli in NYC. It's in the Lower East Side and was where Meg Ryan gave every guy a boner in When Harry Met Sally. Get the Rueben.

Layth said...

David Segui - best player on the juice that played for both clubs.

As well just show a little love for the Expos. I was born on "Blue Monday" just in time for my Dad to step out and watch Rogers give up that crushing dong!

Tao of Stieb said...

There's an Expos post coming soon, so lots of love is on the way.

Nixon and Segui are interesting candidates, although Nixon really didn't do much for the Jays. (Aside from grounding out to Timlin in the 1992 Series clincher.)

Other names to come to mind: Tony Batista, Graeme Lloyd, Rob Ducey, Sandy Martinez, and Michael Barrett.

Slim pickings, we know.

Also worth noting: Tom Cheek also broadcasted Expos games before coming to the Blue Jays.

Anonymous said...

I haven't followed baseball in so long (since 1994, as a matter of fact) that i still automatically scroll down to check the national league and how the expos are doing.

saw my first full game since 94 yesterday. gee whillickers i've been infected by your enthusiasm.

furious

Darren Priest said...

What's your mustard of choice, Tao? I like a reuben with with hot mustard. I might have to pick up some of that on the way home -- although what I can get around here for smoked meat will be a pale comparison.

Stedron said...

I'll just say this.......

That roast beef looks a hell of a lot more appetizing than the roast beef I watched rocking a pole when I went to Montreal.

Tao of Stieb said...

When it comes to watching the ladies in Montreal, we've come to understand that your best bet is to sit on a Crescent Street patio and watch the ladies strut on by.

The lovely Montreal ladies wear only slightly more clothing that les danseuses, and they are far less likely to have biker tattoos and meth mouth.

Anonymous said...

Tomo Ohka????????


My guess probably Ted Lilly if pitching a few games as a callup counts

Anonymous said...

Ok, Al Oliver did have a career year in 1982, but it was one of just two seasons there, and he didn't do anything spectacular with the Jays in '85.

Tao of Stieb said...

Yes. But he did wear number 0. And he bent his cap bill to absurd degrees.

That's gotta be worth something.

Alex said...

could be pedro if jays injuries continue

Stedron said...

Meth mouth has it's perks. Teeth can be dangerous.

Voodoo Matt said...

Fletcher the Catcher. No doubt about it. Always loved watching him be the anchor of the Expos' running game. (Anchor in the sense of a heavy thing that holds something immobile)

Beau said...

Duders, hot peppers on a reuben = boner explosion

corned beef house is tasty, schwartz's is a must go though.

Joanna said...

Didn't Zaun play both Jays and Expos? He was a drunk as an Expo and got dumped, but didn't his Jay years erase that?

And maybe my pathetic Pedro dream will come true and he will be the best to play for both.

One of my fav Pedro stories was how he invited Vlad Guerrero (just off the Dominican farm) to live with him and helped him get used to life with Les Quebecois.

Tao of Stieb said...

Zaun was dropped by the Expos in Spring Training and never played a big league game with them. So he doesn't count and neither does Jose Canseco.

Darren Priest said...

It looks like there are two guys in umpire uniforms sitting in the Action zone behind the plate at tonight's game. They appear to be cheering for Cleveland.


Should there be cheese on a reuben?

Tao of Stieb said...

Yes, swiss cheese on a Rueben.

A Rueben, unlike a club or a philly steak sandwich, is very easy to screw up. Bad meat, bad sauce, or lousy saurkraut...so many ways to mess it up.

We've stopped ordering them because they so often disappoint.

Anonymous said...

I too have only recently come back to baseball after being a Long time 'spos fan.

Once they began the folding process i was out of MLB.Dave Van Horne used to talk me to sleep during the summers...... no wonder I'm a wreck. Let's repress that one again.

I hated the Jays when they won their WS's, i had just moved to Brampton from Montreal as a 12 yr old. Though, the Felix Potvin jokes never got old...moving on from the therapy stuff, The Doc and this current core group of players has gotten me back to being an everyday fan, for the most part anyway, that and the fact that they're essentially the only team i can watch regularly on tv.

94' will burn in me loins for life, well that or that thing i should probably get checked out. Anyway, I think at this point I'd cherish a current Blue Jays WS as I would have with the Expos.

Just a weird feeling changing teams. Has anyone had to do this? Maybe you know what I mean and can tell me what soap will scrub this dirty feeling off.

Bruno Von Rottweiler said...

@DP, those two umpire weenies? They must be Cleveland fans! Anyhow, they were annoying/amusing to look at!

SP said...

Al Oliver?? Dude, you guys are old.

Darren Priest said...

@my good buddy Bruno: I couldn't help but wonder if they were from another crew or if they bought ump uniforms because they have unfulfilled dreams that are too sad to contemplate.

@Tao. Yeah, because of your picture, I bought the ingredients for a reuben, but I skipped the swiss cheese because I wasn't sure. Even though my sandwich was just grocery store fare, I thought it was pretty dang tasty. The one type of Rye bread they sold at the Sobeys near my house was weird though.

What? This is supposed to be a baseball blog? Oh, my bad. Tao, start a food blog!

Bruno Von Rottweiler said...

MY dad is from Australia oddly enough and his favorite sandwich is a Rueben! This is from a guy who ate meat pies and steak and eggs mind you! So I've gained an appreciation for that sandwich beyond belief. NYC has some great ones and some diners do that justice as well in the tri-state area(NJ-NY-Connecticut) as well. Anyway, food is an apropos off topic because of that loss yesterday! Wow whatta tease that was......

David said...

I've always liked the Jays, so the transition from my beloved wasn't that hard to make, albeit after a couple of years of mourning. 94 straight up murdered baseball in Montreal, and it's slowly dying in the rest of the province, which is a damn shame.

On another note, Schwartz rules, and to all visitors to our fair city, don't be afraid to explore other areas, Crescent is all right, but Mont-Royal, St-Denis, Prince-Arthur are also worth a look.

Cheers!

David said...

Oh, and Wilkerson.

Anonymous said...

Lots of Toronto students in McGill/Concordia = lots of Jays hats