Major League Baseball will again return to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium for a third straight year, as the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox will wrap up spring training there next year on April 1-2.
While the specifics of the game are interesting and the two teams should be a solid draw at the Big O, the big story once again will inevitably be whether or not Montreal deserves another shot at MLB ball. Yes, Jonah Keri will be out with his stories about skipping school to see the Expos, and Warren Cromartie will likely be pushing market research showing that Montreal can support a Major League Baseball team.
All of those sideshows will be meaningless, however, sans one big part of the equation: some deep pockets that can survive a few years of playing at Olympic Stadium while a new downtown ballpark is constructed. Now, those deep pockets could certainly be attached to the pants of a current ownership group — hey, Stuart Sternberg, talk of a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark has certainly died down — or they could come from Montreal business community. But let’s face it: the return of the Blue Jays next spring to Montreal will be a little like Groundhog Day unless something solid happens in the offseason that moves Montreal’s MLB dreams a little closer to reality. So far we won’t see a regular-season series at the Big O under the 2016 schedule recently released; let’s home Rob Manfred continues to be impressed with Montreal’s passion for the game.
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