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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Expos, In 2:42

27 November 2009

In Twitteronia, @Montreal_Expos passed along an amazing clip of an early-90s Expos-Mets game at the Big O.


–Denis Casavant and Rodger Brulotte on the French-language call, sharp as always. Casavant was the solid play-by-play man, while Brulotte was the excitable color commentator. Once this play ends (and I won’t spoil it, because you might have this game queued up on TiVo 17 years later), Brulotte launches into his patented “Yell the player’s name three times routine.” That same summer, we rejoiced to my favorite Brulotte call of all-time, “Barberie! Barberie! Barberie!”, in honor of a walk-off bloop single by forgettable Expos utility infielder Bret Barberie.

And if you think that name sounds familiar, it should. Quasi-annoying FOX pre-game vixen and hawker of many goods Jillian Barberie (nee Reynolds) is Bret’s ex-wife. Yes, that’s right — she got her name from a baseball player who was too scrubby to start for the Expos.

–The game being called in French, period. MLB lost a quirky, fantastic bit of culture when the Expos moved away. No more “circuit” (home run), “voltigeur de centre” (center fielder), or in the case of this clip, “piste d’avertissement” (warning track).

–The cavalcade of Expos players in on the celebration is truly remarkable. You’ve got legends like Gary Carter and Dennis Martinez, up-and-coming stars like Larry Walker and Marquis Grissom, and unforgettable randoms like Greg Colbrunn and (current Tampa Bay Rays coach) Tom Foley. Picking out the faces in the home plate scrum was my favorite part of this clip.

–The crowd at the stadium is as typical as you’ll ever see for an Expos game. The fans that are there generate a tremendous amount of noise when the big play occurs. But we know the stadium’s half-empty, because the camera pans to the bleachers in left-center as the ball takes flight — and there’s not one living soul sitting there.

–Finally, the clip itself is clearly someone’s shoddy VHS recording, and it too perfectly illustrates the plight of the Expos. The first minute and a half shows a stirring walk-off win in front of a delirious home crowd. The tape then suddenly cuts to the closing credits of a Radio-Canada broadcast, a ho-hum 6-4 loss to the Cardinals. The cheesy music and awful graphics playing over the sight of Tim Wallach missing a Todd Worrell fastball by a foot serve as a painful reminder of a wasted youth.

I mean…Go Spos!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jared Book permalink
    27 November 2009 4:31 pm

    Brulotte’s call the player’s name three times is classic, but my favourite was after Jose Vidro got a game winning or tying hit, Brulotte just lashed out into the American national anthem screaming simply “Jose can you see!”

    I wish I still had that tape.

  2. felix514 permalink
    27 November 2009 5:22 pm

    I once contacted RDS to inquire about the state of their Expos archives, and if they were planning to ever put it out on DVD, but never got an answer. With 2 new books in French published this year about the Spos, one can only hope that some kind of DVD would be on the way.

  3. Jonah permalink*
    27 November 2009 7:16 pm

    They’d certainly get my business, Felix!

    Jared, never heard that, but hilarious. Loved when Rodger burst into spontaneous English.

  4. piratebb permalink
    2 December 2009 2:37 pm

    The expos certainly added to the enjoyment of watching baseball.Thanks for bringing these memories out Jonah.

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