Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Games in Montreal Will End '17 Spring

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Games in Montreal Will End '17 Spring

Article excerpt

The Pirates will sail north of the border next year, capping their 2017 spring-training schedule with two exhibitions against the Toronto Blue Jays at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. They will play at 7:05 p.m. March 31 and 1:05 p.m. April 1, days before their April 3 season opener in Boston against the Red Sox.

The series, announced Wednesday by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, will mark the fourth consecutive year baseball has returned to the former home of the Montreal Expos. Crowds numbered 106,102 for the Blue Jays' 2016 spring series against the Boston Red Sox.

Manager Clint Hurdle recalled watching Rusty Staub - nicknamed "Le Grande Orange" - in his Expos days, and Hurdle made a handful of starts at Olympic Stadium as a player.

"They had some good teams," Hurdle said. "Then, it went the other direction, where it wasn't a lot of excitement in the stands. It got hard. You had to really focus and maintain [concentration]."

The Pirates' previous game in Montreal was July 11, 2004, three months before the Expos were extinguished. Hall of Famer Willie Stargell cracked the longest homer hit at Olympic Stadium, a three-run blast off right-hander Wayne Twitchell May 20, 1978 that went an estimated 535 feet.

General manager Neal Huntington got his start with the Expos in 1992, entering scouting reports into a computer. He later served as a video advance scout and the assistant director of player development.

In Montreal, the Pirates will reunite with former teammates Russell Martin, J.A. Happ and Francisco Liriano, who all are Blue Jays now.

TIME TO MOVE?

Hurdle has heard fans and analysts clamoring for Starling Marte, not Andrew McCutchen, to start in center field. And it just might happen one day. But Hurdle isn't yet convinced Marte's skill set isn't better suited for PNC Park's cavernous left field, where his legs and arm play perfectly. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.