Charlie Bousculer Presents

Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Lee Smith, Montreal Expos, Future Hall of Famer

In Expos Greats, Expos Reminisce on March 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

When looking for someone to write about future Hall of Famer Lee Smith’s tenure with the ‘Spos, Last Expos Standing turned to Oren Phillips, Founder of the “Put Lee Smith in the Hall of Fame” Facebook Group. The group currently has 315 members and counting, here is what Oren has to say…

Though Lee Arthur Smith’s tenure in Montreal was short, his impact on the history of the Expos can’t be denied. The final stop of a historic career in 1997, Smith joined a Expos bullpen that featured current prisoner Ugueth Urbina along with an assortment of lesser known bullpen arms. His presence on the team brought an air of greatness with 473 saves already on his resume. In 25 games Smith racked up 5 saves with a less than stellar ERA of 5.82. With a team going nowhere, Lee knew it was time to hang up his spikes and did so as the all time saves leader. Now some might say he was hanging on for too long and brought nothing to the Expos, lets not forget other former greats who made Montreal a stop on their farewell tour such as Gary Carter, Graig Nettles, Pete Rose and one time prisoner Ron LeFlore. In a career that should be recognized in Cooperstown, Lee Smith made the most of his time in Canada and for that the Expos organization owe him a debt of gratitude.

Adieu to O.C.

In Expos Greats, Expos Reminisce, Exposed, Last Expo Standing on March 1, 2012 at 3:18 am

  Last month, Expos shortstop Orlando Cabrera (1997-2004) hung up his cleats. While the O-dog was never named to an all-star team he made a name for himself in his post-spos career as good luck charm for playoff bound teams. O.C. retires ranked tenth in Expos history with 877 hits, tenth in total bases (1333), and 8th in doubles (214). In 2001 he became the first Expos SS to earn a Rawlings Gold Glove. He followed that up by leading the N.L. in errors the following season with 29. In his final full season with Montreal, Cabrera led the team in doubles (47), RBI (80), and stolen bases (24). He was a two-time Expos player of the year (2001 & 2003), but in 2004 as Nomar Garciaparra watched Derek Jeter leap into the stands to make an overrated catch and the Red Sox came calling.  A colossal three team trade was completed which sent Nomar to the Cubbies, O.C. and Dougie Alphabets to the Sox, and Brendan Harris and one of the Alex Gonzalezes to the Expos.  Cabrera made all Bostonians forget about Nomah by batting .379 in the Bosox miraculous 2004 ALCS comeback. He parlayed this performance into a free agent deal with the Angels, for whom he played in the ’05 and ’07 playoffs. Cabrera had a 63-game on-base streak in 2006, which is among the top five streaks of all time. In 2007, he won his second gold glove, however in the off-season the Angels traded him to the White Sox for starter Jon Garland. During the next three seasons, Cabrera would appear in the playoffs for each team he played for: White Sox (2008), Twins (2009), & Reds (2010). In 2011 he joined the defending champs the San Francisco Giants, but alas the pairing would not result in a playoff appearance. In total O.C. appeared in 37 playoff games (none as an Expos) and he batted .228 with 18 RBI. According to baseball-reference his career totals compare to Tony Fernandez and Garry Templeton and that sounds about right.