Originally Posted by TorontoDrew
This statement is just absurd. Yes the Jays voted in line with the rest of the league to relocate the Expos but it was a failing team back then and it was a business based decision. To say the Jays spent their first 25 years trying to drive out the Expos could not be further from the truth.
The demise of the Expos is on the shoulders of Montrealers and the Expos organisation/ ownership. Full stop. However, I stand by my previous statement - the Jays played an active role in the demise of the Expos.
The Jays entered MLB on the backs of the Expos' on and off-field success. Prior to 1977, Toronto was nowhere on MLB's radar but the Expos/ Bronfman actively helped them land a team - they thought it would be good for baseball in Canada to have two teams. Well, little did Charles know the Jays would eat them alive.
The Jays MO was to dominate the media market in Canada which they accomplished to the point where an Expos game was essentially impossible to find on TV and even radio at the end. They left Montreal after the 2004 season but, in reality, it was much earlier than that.
As already mentioned, the Jays voted to contract the Expos. Yes, at that point there was nothing they could have done to help Montreal and, yes, abstaining or voting against that motion would have been a very complicated political move. But the fact of the matter is, they voted for contraction which, of course, opened up tremendous marketing opportunities for the Jays.
I'm not naive. I understand the nature of business. That it's cut-throat at times, that there are no friends in business and all those other cliches. But what irks me is that the Jays never looked to work with the Expos. They never saw the common good of keeping baseball alive in Montreal. All they seemed to see was the advantage of Montreal disappearing from the Canadian baseball map. And that's a shame for a team that exists only because baseball was a success in Montreal in the first place.