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The 1994 Montreal Expos: Victims of Conspiracy?

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  • The 1994 Montreal Expos: Victims of Conspiracy?

    With all the talk about how the 1994 Expos were robbed of a chance to win their first World Series, there seems to have been one thing that hasn't been touched.

    Now there's a sports author by the name of Brian Tuohy who has written a book called "The Fix Is In: The Showbiz Manipulation of Professional Sports". His book alleges that a large number of sporting events were fixed, like for example the fact that fron 1949 to 1989 a lot of WS went the full seven games. Now if you're wondering what I'm coming up to, well here's the 800-pound gorilla so to speak.

    The 800-pound gorilla, or basis for this post, is whether there was a conspiracy to keep the Montreal Expos from winning the 1994 World Series. In the interest of disclosure, the main reason I brought this up was that there was some talk on another baseball message board about whether MLB and the players union deliberately allowed the 1994-95 strike to happen. But its only now that I figured it would be asked on this board.

    The question is this: did both MLB and the players' union deliberately conspire to allow the strike to last into 1995 in order to not only deny the Expos a chance at World Series glory but also ensure that neither the Expos nor the two-time champion Blue Jays would ever seriously contend for postseason play for the forseeable future?

    If that is true, then here's a possible motive. Those who would gain the most from this strike would be the American TV networks, who had apparently lost money from the previous two fall classics won by Toronto. The allegation is that the American TV networks did not want a Canadian team winning it again in 1994. After the strike, as we all know, neither the Expos nor the Blue Jays have even made it to the playoffs since (ten years later, of course, the Expos headed south for D.C.):dismay:

    Now I admit this is all speculation. So what would you think of this hypothesis?

  • #2
    Seems rather implausible, as there were many indications long beforehand that the strike might be a long one. Plus I don't believe the owners and players would willingly choose to lose the revenue they did in 1994 and subsequent years. Moreover, the drop-off in fan interest would be detrimental to advertising revenue in any case, and this was an entirely foreseeable consequence of cancelling the World Series.
    Last edited by tinseltown; 09-14-2010, 11:38 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Big Mike View Post
      With all the talk about how the 1994 Expos were robbed of a chance to win their first World Series, there seems to have been one thing that hasn't been touched.

      Now there's a sports author by the name of Brian Tuohy who has written a book called "The Fix Is In: The Showbiz Manipulation of Professional Sports". His book alleges that a large number of sporting events were fixed, like for example the fact that fron 1949 to 1989 a lot of WS went the full seven games. Now if you're wondering what I'm coming up to, well here's the 800-pound gorilla so to speak.

      The 800-pound gorilla, or basis for this post, is whether there was a conspiracy to keep the Montreal Expos from winning the 1994 World Series. In the interest of disclosure, the main reason I brought this up was that there was some talk on another baseball message board about whether MLB and the players union deliberately allowed the 1994-95 strike to happen. But its only now that I figured it would be asked on this board.

      The question is this: did both MLB and the players' union deliberately conspire to allow the strike to last into 1995 in order to not only deny the Expos a chance at World Series glory but also ensure that neither the Expos nor the two-time champion Blue Jays would ever seriously contend for postseason play for the forseeable future?

      If that is true, then here's a possible motive. Those who would gain the most from this strike would be the American TV networks, who had apparently lost money from the previous two fall classics won by Toronto. The allegation is that the American TV networks did not want a Canadian team winning it again in 1994. After the strike, as we all know, neither the Expos nor the Blue Jays have even made it to the playoffs since (ten years later, of course, the Expos headed south for D.C.):dismay:

      Now I admit this is all speculation. So what would you think of this hypothesis?
      Yeah, I am sure all of the labor issues were created to keep a single small-market team out of the WS despite damaging attendance figures across the majors, causing an uproar in the sports world, eliminating a W.S., and killing what was a bunch of guys chances to break long-lasting offensive records that would have been advertising gold. And I am sure they were so confident that the Expos would hold off the Juggernaut Braves, win two playoff series in the NL and beat a superior AL team that this all seemed like a productive idea. All with the idea in the back of their minds that they could move the team to D.C. 10 years later. Come on, I know humans have a built-in device that tries to find universal meaning in all situations, but really?
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      • #4
        I've done a lot of reading about what happened to the Expos over the years and a conspiracy against them in 1994 has never been mentioned. I don't believe there was a conspiracy, but I imagine you'll find a few Expos fans who do believe that this is the case.
        Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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        • #5
          Everyone: This is something that I have thought about for some time and remembering how good that team was makes me think of three words: THEY WERE ROBBED!!!

          The 1994 Expos had everything going their way and a pennant winner or perhaps a WS Champion in Montreal may have done wonders for Baseball in Montreal but instead the team gradually was dismantled
          and I recall opinions elsewhere that the fans never got totally over what happened in 1994 and it was the beginning of the end of Baseball in Montreal...I do agree with that view...

          Imagine three consecutive Canadian WS Champions and how things might have been if there was a Montreal-Toronto WS in 1994...

          LI MIKE

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Long Island Mike View Post
            Everyone: This is something that I have thought about for some time and remembering how good that team was makes me think of three words: THEY WERE ROBBED!!!

            The 1994 Expos had everything going their way and a pennant winner or perhaps a WS Champion in Montreal may have done wonders for Baseball in Montreal but instead the team gradually was dismantled
            and I recall opinions elsewhere that the fans never got totally over what happened in 1994 and it was the beginning of the end of Baseball in Montreal...I do agree with that view...

            Imagine three consecutive Canadian WS Champions and how things might have been if there was a Montreal-Toronto WS in 1994...

            LI MIKE
            Speaking of Montreal-Toronto, if the Phillies hadn't held off the Expos in 1993, Montreal would've faced Atlanta in the NLCS that year and possibly might've won their first NL pennant. Ergo, the aformentioned Montreal-Toronto World Series would've occured a year earlier.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Big Mike View Post
              Speaking of Montreal-Toronto, if the Phillies hadn't held off the Expos in 1993, Montreal would've faced Atlanta in the NLCS that year and possibly might've won their first NL pennant. Ergo, the aformentioned Montreal-Toronto World Series would've occured a year earlier.
              That would've been a dream season for Canadians like me, but a nightmare for MLB, who monitor TV ratings so closely. I would've loved to have seen that though.
              Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Long Island Mike View Post
                Imagine three consecutive Canadian WS Champions and how things might have been if there was a Montreal-Toronto WS in 1994...

                LI MIKE
                Toronto was way out of contention in 94. After winning in 92 and 93 there was a hangover.

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                • #9
                  This is classic conspiracy theory nonsense. Without a shred of evidence this position is being advanced. Try to remember that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. To posit something because someone might gain from it is not any form of evidence. To even think the players union and owners would agree to lose hundreds of millions of dollars so they wouldn't have to broadcast a WS with a Canadian team is simply ludicrous. They are the two greediest entities in the history of organized sports.

                  Oh, and Toronto wasn't within sniffing distance of the playoffs.
                  Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                  • #10
                    I think the 94 Expos were a long way from winning the World Series, The season still had almost 2 months to go, and then there were three rounds of play-offs to get through. I think the 1994 Indians had as good a chance as the Expos had tot win the World Series.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                      I think the 94 Expos were a long way from winning the World Series, The season still had almost 2 months to go, and then there were three rounds of play-offs to get through. I think the 1994 Indians had as good a chance as the Expos had tot win the World Series.
                      Very true. But it's a shame that the Expos never had the opportunity to finish that season to find out.
                      Check out my Canadian baseball history blog called "Cooperstowners in Canada": http://www.kevinglew.wordpress.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cooperstownersincanada View Post
                        Very true. But it's a shame that the Expos never had the opportunity to finish that season to find out.
                        Them and every other team.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EdTarbusz View Post
                          I think the 94 Expos were a long way from winning the World Series, The season still had almost 2 months to go, and then there were three rounds of play-offs to get through. I think the 1994 Indians had as good a chance as the Expos had tot win the World Series.
                          It never ceases to amaze me how many people I've seen swear that the Expos were guaranteed to win the WS in '94.

                          As for the conspiracy that the season was cancelled to prevent the Blue Jays or Expos from winning again, it's almost not worth responding to. Why would MLB do irrepairable damage to their image like they did with the '94 strike just to prevent another Canadian WS winner?
                          RIP - HGF [1937-2009]

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brewcrew82 View Post
                            It never ceases to amaze me how many people I've seen swear that the Expos were guaranteed to win the WS in '94.

                            As for the conspiracy that the season was cancelled to prevent the Blue Jays or Expos from winning again, it's almost not worth responding to. Why would MLB do irrepairable damage to their image like they did with the '94 strike just to prevent another Canadian WS winner?
                            I didn't say there was a conspiracy. I myself seriously doubt that MLB would be dumb enough to deliberately try to keep the Expos out of the Fall Classic. Now, there were reports that the TV networks in the states were believed to have sustained losses in the two years that the Jays won in 92 and 93. I will say that if MLB and its TV network partners had conspired to instigate a strike, I guarantee you, it would've raised a very embarrasing and huge stink with both sportswriters and fans on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.

                            'Nuff said, as Michael "Nuf Ced" McGreevey of the Royal Rooters of Red Sox Nation would've said if he'd been around in 1994.

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                            • #15
                              Networks had been losing money on MLB for years. When CBS won the broadbasting rights from NBC (the last contract that ran out in 93) NBC said they would lose money on the deal. That was before the Jays won the World Series. 1994 was a new contract at a much lower rate than prior years.

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