MONTREAL – Professional athletes tend to best remember the teams with which they win a championship. Replica Wholesale Shoes . A bond is forged for life. A group gets together, slogs through the adversity of a long season, plays its best when the games matter most and shares the glory of its achievement. The 1994 Montreal Expos didnt win the World Series. Nobody did. A players strike saw to that. But theres this lingering feeling among the nearly two-dozen players and coaches who gathered to celebrate their special team that they would have been champions, that the 1994 Expos would have secured a third-consecutive world championship for a Canadian-based team. “I think thats the one thing that sticks around too much,” said Cliff Floyd. “If youd played it out, youd feel better about it. If we lost you still feel better about going and getting the opportunity to play. When you dont play it out you wonder what if wed gotten the opportunity to play in the playoffs.” “We built a special bond in 1994,” said Marquis Grissom, a two-time All-Star in a 17-year career. “It didnt just start in 94, it started in 1990, in 1989-1990 when we were all in spring training trying to make the team. It just festered all the way up to 94 to where we all came together for one common cause and that was to win a World Series. We didnt expect to do anything less.” Championship baseball teams need a lot to go right. They must do the obvious, like outpitching and outhitting and outscoring their opponents on more nights than not. Emerging clubs - that Expos team was still so young - must also experience breakthrough moments. Floyd, a rookie that year who would go on to play 17 seasons in the big leagues and make an All-Star Game, provided such a moment. It was June 27. The Expos were hosting the then-National League East-leading Braves. Floyd blew open a close game with a two-out, three-run home run in the seventh inning off of future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux. Montreal won the game and closed to within a game-and-a-half of the division lead. By the time the strike started a month and a half later, the Expos led the Braves by six games in the standings. “I think about that a lot,” said Floyd. “I think about when I walked up to the plate that day. I think about what was on my mind that day. I just told myself get a good pitch to hit. The type of team we had then, the expectations and what I did in the minor leagues, they were showcased in 94 but I just said if I can just help us go out and win some games, you dont know what games or how important theyre going to be when you do it but that was one of the biggest moments of my life was for me to get that home run.” Felipe Alou pulled the strings from the dugout. Hell be 79 in May and he speaks of the 1994 team like a proud father. He is, in a literal sense, because his son, Moises, was among the clubs many young stars. Charged with cultivating that entire unit, two decades later Alou marveled at the talent the franchise had assembled. “The 1994 club was hard to compare with anybody because we had three closers, we had incredible starting pitching and we had speed, power and defence,” he said. “Not too many teams can say that and they were young. They were getting better.” Surely the manager deserves some credit? “Anytime you have a team like that youre a good coach,” said Alou. Much has been theorized about the breakup of the team in the aftermath of the strike. Larry Walker, a could-be Hall-of-Famer whos yet to be voted in and would like an Expos cap on his plaque if the day comes, didnt want to leave. He signed with Colorado when the strike ended and embarked on a tremendous 10-season run with the Rockies before wrapping up his career in St. Louis. “There wasnt a contract on the table for a lot of us and the game kind of dictates that and you move on,” said Walker. “Its the nature of the game. I didnt leave because I hated anybody or hated the city or anything crazy like that. I know theres been some dumb stuff written about it from what Ive been told but I was just another ballplayer trying to win. We had a winning franchise that got broken up.” Grissom insists a group of top-end players went to ownership to try to persuade the group to keep the young core together. “We took it upon ourselves to try to go upstairs and tell them, hey, well take less money to stay together,” said Grissom. “We dont know how much less that would have been but, really, the strike took effect on us and there wasnt anything we could do. Even if wed taken less money I still dont think we would have stayed here.” There are more gray hairs. In some cases, the bellies are bigger. But the memories came flooding back, the reunion a chance to ask the “what if?” question one more time. If this weekend accomplishes nothing else, its reminded the powers of Major League Baseball that Montreal is a baseball town. Right now theres no ownership and no stadium for the franchise pipe dream but at least one man is hoping that the energy that still surrounds the 1994 Expos will contribute to the momentum to bring a team back to Montreal. “I believe that if we ever get a team back here it will be because of the 1994 team,” said Alou. “That is what the people in these communities, Montreal, Laval, the cities around here, they are holding on to the 1994 club. They believe that this memory, they talk about it. We are here, the 1994 team. Its not the 1993 or the 1995, its the 1994. The people hope and I hope that that club that was so good will help bring baseball back to this city.” Air Jordan 30 Sale . -- Maxence Parrot of Bromont, Que. Puma Shoes Sale . According to USA Today the Finns have tapped forwards Jarkko Immonen and Sakari Salminen to replace injured forwards Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula at the Sochi Games. https://www.wholesaleshoesforcheap.com/air-jordan-28-sale/ . The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the leagues scoring champion, got hot. ARLINGTON, Texas -- Eric Sogard and the Oakland Athletics finished off their answer to a three-game sweep by Texas on the West Coast last week. Emphatically. Jesse Chavez allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, Sogard matched his season total with three RBIs on Wednesday night and the Oakland Athletics completed a sweep in Texas with a 12-1 rout of the sloppy Rangers. Yoenis Cespedes had two doubles, scored twice and drove in two runs for the As, who scored 10 runs combined in the third and fourth innings to complete the sweep in a series that started with the teams tied atop the AL West. "We didnt enjoy them coming in sweeping us and then losing the last two in Houston," Sogard said. "It kind of really made us wake up a little bit. Our pitching was fantastic and we were able to put some runs on the board." The Rangers matched a season high with four errors, including one of two by shortstop Elvis Andrus on what could have been an inning-ending double play in Oaklands seven-run third. Chavez (2-0) walked one and struck out eight, allowing only Prince Fielders soft line-drive single to right-centre field in the first inning. The As improved to 6-0 in his starts. "Weve seen that game a few times already this year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Quality stuff all the time. Mechanics are terrific. Keeps guys off balance." Robbie Ross (1-2) gave up 11 hits and 10 runs in 3 1-3 innings, the shortest outing of the left-handers first season as a starter. Just six runs were earned because of Andrus second error in Texas fourth straight loss. "It snowballed on me quick," Ross said. "This is one of those games where you want to forget about and move on. Thats what everyone tells me." Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris had three hits each among a season-high 17 for Oakland. Two of Norris hits were infield singles on choppers to Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre and played big roles in Oakland building a quick 10-0 lead. The burly catcher hustled to beat Beltres throw for the fifth straight Oakland hit in thee third. Air Max 2019 Sale. Two runs scored on the next one an inning later. Craig Gentry came home as Beltres throw skipped past Fielder, and right fielder Alex Rios got the second error on the play when his throw to try to get Cespedes at home went to the backstop. Andrus, who went 0 for 2 before coming out after five innings and has one hit in his past 28 at-bats, had his other error in the first inning when Josh Donaldsons routine grounder jumped up and hit his hand and the throw went several feet over Fielders head. "Theres going to be times either defence or offence are not on the same level," Andrus said. "Today was both." Cespedes had a two-run double for a 3-0 Oakland lead in the third before the first of Norris infield hits. Callaspo followed with an easy grounder to Andrus, but the ball went between his legs into centre field. Sogard later made it 7-0 with a two-run single and added an RBI single in the fourth as Oakland outscored Texas 25-4 in the three games. "It seems like there was carry-over every game," Melvin said. "The quality of our at-bats throughout the whole lineup. Everybody contributed. Thats when were at our best." Coco Crisp hit his third homer of the season, a solo shot to right field in the sixth for a 12-0 lead. It was the only homer of the series in a ballpark thats never had a three-game set without at least one home run. Texas ended the shutout in the eighth when Josh Wilsons double off reliever Luke Gregerson scored Leonys Martin. NOTES: As RHP A.J. Griffin had elbow-ligament replacement surgery in Houston on Wednesday, becoming the second Oakland starter lost to the season-ending procedure this year. Jarrod Parker underwent the same surgery before the season. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said Shin-Soo Choo would return to LF on Friday at the Los Angeles Angels. Choo was DH for the second straight game after being out of the starting lineup for a week with a sprained left ankle. ... Josh Reddick walked in the third to snap Ross streak of 21 1-3 innings without a walk. ' ' '