Manfred: ‘I’m certainly open to’ team in Montreal

Posted: 01/04/2017 in MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Rob Manfred isn’t holding his breath about Major League Baseball in Montreal, but he isn’t saying no.

Following a report Wednesday that a group of investors had satisfied the league’s conditions to bring a team back to the city, Manfred revealed Thursday the idea of a resurgence in Montreal has weighed on his mind.

“We’ve thought about Montreal a lot. We’ve had conversations with potential owners. The mayor of Montreal, I think, could be fairly characterized as a rabid baseball fan,” Manfred said on CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney” show. “I’m not closed to the idea that we could return to Montreal – again, in the event that we get to relocation or expansion. I’m certainly open to that idea.

“But obviously the issues, largely facility issues, that led to the Expos leaving would have to be addressed before we’d be comfortable returning.”

The Expos played in Montreal for 35 years before uprooting in 2004 to Washington D.C. where they became the Nationals. As Manfred alludes, however, the franchise’s final seasons were plagued by mismanagement as the club failed to find funding for a new ballpark, leading to the league taking over the franchise outright in 2002 and then playing some home games in Puerto Rico in 2003.

Baseball fans in Montreal will get another taste of big-league action this weekend, as the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates will visit the city to begin a two-game series Friday at Olympic Stadium.

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