Day 1 of 4 – Visited America and the bartender made me cry

27 Oct

I still think Americans are the friendliest people in the world even though on Friday the bartender made me cry. And by “the” bartender I mean the guy that was tending the bar where I was having a beer two days ago. The United States is a nation with over 300 million inhabitants – there’s no way a single individual could serve drinks to all those people. Even Superman with all his speed would still have to wait for the mortals to place their orders.

Um, yeah. I think I'll have something with lemon in it?

Um, yeah. I think I’ll have something with lemon in it?

Anyway, here’s what happened. The GF and I are in Boston for the weekend and on Friday after the long drive from Ottawa, all I wanted to do was talk to some random stranger about baseball. I’d been growing my playoff beard for about eight weeks now and was eager to try it out (the baseball finals are on right now and the local team is playing). So we’re sitting at the bar of some random watering hole in Boston’s South End (sound’s dirty I know, but it’s not) and I casually ask the dude behind the bar, “So, other than the Red Sox, which baseball team is closest to here?” to which he immediately replied, “the Montreal Expos.”

I had expected this to be a happy trip and without warning this complete stranger brought back some of the saddest memories of my life. As a single tear rolled over my cheekbone and got lost in my beard, I explained to him that the Montreal Expos moved to Washington a few years ago. And he was all like, “Oh, yeah, I used to go up there all the time but I don’t follow baseball that much any more.”

In 1994, about six weeks before the playoffs were to begin, the Expos with one of the lowest payrolls of any team had the best record in Major League Baseball. Never having won a World Series title, this was to be their year. And then there was a strike, they cancelled the playoffs, and the following season they lost all their players to free agency or trades or whatever happens in baseball after all your players have career seasons and you can’t afford to pay them and then the team moved to Washington.

Ugh.

Think Moneyball but with five players being selected for the 1994 All Star game. And I’m still sad.

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