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The W - Baseball - Buy the Montreal Expos.
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Super Shane Spear
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Sector 7 Slums

Since last post: 1594 days
Last activity: 1594 days
#1 Posted on
http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/schwarz_alan/1338567.html

Bud Selig says he is "open to any possibility" with regard to the fate of the Montreal Expos.

But he probably hasn't considered this.

A group of renegade college students at the University of Pennsylvania have begun a Buy The Expos drive on the Internet that is gaining momentum faster than Jeffrey Loria hands out pink slips. Pledges have topped $100,000 in two weeks and are heading skyward, the ultimate goal being the price Major League Baseball paid Loria for its lease with the option to fold -- $100 million. As of Thursday night 92 people from Sacramento to Sweden had pledged anywhere between $1 and $11,000 to own a piece of the club. At its current rate of growth the kitty will crack $500,000 by the end of the month and hit the magic $100 million mark in late March.

Selig could not be reached for comment.

"I'm astonished by how it's going," said Jesse Spector, a 20-year-old Penn senior who hatched the idea with two friends a few weeks ago. They each put in $15 and since have upped their stakes to $150. Spector said they would have bid more but, "none of us have real jobs. Two of us want to be sportswriters and Jon's a Communist."

So much for income potential.

Enter the Internet.

Spector set up a website (www.sas.upenn.edu/~spectorj/expos.html) that solicits commitments from anyone wishing to invest. Pledges came mostly from Spector's fellow writers at the school newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian, and his Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers. Then his parents tossed in $100 each. Even his Aunt Elaine said she was in for $10.

But then it took off. Donations of all sizes began coming in, like the $37 Penn punter Ryan Lazzeri committed (for his uniform number) and the $89 from Spector's roommate Matt Mugmon (for his favorite hockey player, Alexander Mogilny). The total hit the six-figure mark in a little over a week. Mon dieu!

The website also polls investors to determine where the Expos should play next season. (Washington D.C. was leading at 34 percent, with Brooklyn and Las Vegas running second and third and Montreal well back of the pack.) The key feature, though, is raising commitments to present to Major League Baseball. "A friend of mine in London pledged 25 pounds," Spector said. "I did the calculations and figured he's in for $36, pending market fluctuations."

Though no money will be collected until the bell rings at $100 million, no one has made a mockery of the plan by committing more than $11,000. Should some yahoo pledge $30 million or something -- and his last name isn't Cuban -- Spector said, "I'll ask if they have $30 million. This is Penn, after all. We've got a lot of smart Wharton people around." Come to think of it, some already run teams: Phillies president Dave Montgomery went to Penn, as did White Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.

Having pledged just $150 each, Spector and his original ownership team knows they will someday have to cede operational control to someone else. Positions are up for grabs, though someone apparently has already called Youppi!, the Expos' team mascot. "I'd like to be GM," Spector said, "but we'll see what kind of a job Omar Minaya does this year. Jose Canseco? C'mon, it's the National League!"

Minaya could also not be reached for comment.

Alas, this plan is not without one major complication: It's against the law, specifically the Securities Act of 1933, which reads, "It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to make use of any means or instruments of transportation or communication in interstate commerce or of the mails to offer to sell or offer to buy ... any prospectus or otherwise any security, unless a registration statement has been filed as to such security ... "

This indeed is a little bigger than Bill Veeck inviting fans to be manager for a day. And while the Green Bay Packers (Selig's favorite football team, deliciously) are publicly owned by 111,000 shareholders in all 50 states and several foreign countries, that arrangement is somewhat more on the up-and-up. Think the government doesn't care about some raving college kids? In 1981, when a columnist for the same Daily Pennsylvanian wrote a missive effectively praising John Hinckley's attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan, the student was all but dragged away from the newspaper offices by federal agents and probed in ways we'd rather not imagine.

But there's hope here. First, this concerns the Montreal Expos. "Is it legal under Canadian law?" Spector wondered. And besides, four people who work at the House of Representatives have invested. So friends exist in Washington.

More may be out there. Keith Wasserstrom, a lawyer specializing in securities law and partner at the Miami firm of Hogan & Hartson (and a Penn '89 grad to boot) said that not only is the SEC somewhat preoccupied with that Enron thing, but, "There's always interest in upsetting the baseball antitrust exemption," Wasserstrom said. "And there's talk of getting a team in the Washington area. If it helps get the club to Washington, you know, they might back off. They want to take the afternoon off and go to some day games."

Are Spector and his growing legion playing games? As the commitments careen toward seven, eight and maybe nine figures, one has to wonder. There have already been some good omens: Penn basketball player Dan Solomito put up $400 and soon thereafter hit a three-pointer against Dartmouth that put the Quakers at the painfully-rare-in-the-Ivy-League point total of 100, earning free cheesesteaks for the thousands of spectators in the Palestra stands. "See?" Spector yelped. "Good things happen when you invest in the Expos."

Sometime next month, as word spreads, 100,000 people might have committed themselves to this venture. "We might need to play our games in Michigan Stadium," Spector said, "just to seat all the owners."

To unseat 29 others, it's worth a shot.




"Nobody loves the custodian. I come and I sweep and vacuum for you. When you're in the mood to go to the bathroom, I even disinfect it for you! This is the thanks I get?!? All who defy me shall be dis-infected!"
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#2 Posted on
Well hell, if I gave the Packers $200 for a share, I can certainly drop $150 on the Expos. ;-)



CRZ
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ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 47 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#3 Posted on
They have moved their website:

http://buytheexpos.poptopix.com

They are up to over $1.5 million. I doubt if this will ever amount to anything, and even if it did, collection is going to be tough (I've committed to a small amount, but if they ever call for the money, I'm going to need to see some darn good verification that it is the real deal). I still think it is pretty funny though.
SerWolfe
Landjager








Since: 11.1.02
From: st louis

Since last post: 4215 days
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#4 Posted on
hey i committed a small amount and that's because i respect the history of baseball.... we do not need any contraction.... save the expos!



I've got two words for ya!
evilwaldo
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Since: 7.2.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3410 days
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#5 Posted on
I put in for $200. Anything to thumb my nose at Bud Selig.





"This entire thing we're involved with called the world is an opportunity to exhibit how exciting alienation can be."

"Speed" Levich - Waking Life
Chris Protege
Haggis








Since: 2.1.02
From: Los Angeles, California

Since last post: 4421 days
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#6 Posted on
$50, and I'll probably pledge more if I finally get a steady source of income and/or this becomes closer to reality. I thought it was funny the ESPN article said they'd be at half a million by the End of February and it's already like $1.7 million.

Hmm, I really should have bought Packer stock already.

Chris
Saruman
Salami








Since: 25.1.02
From: Kirksville, MO

Since last post: 4458 days
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#7 Posted on
$100. If I somehow get rich and can put in more, can I be the GM?




Insert clever comment.
spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 11 hours
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#8 Posted on
I'm in for $100, and I'm hoping to be 3rd base coach. Then I can scratch myself and say it's a sign for the runner.

Oh, and as of today, it had topped 2 million.

(edited by spf2119 on 28.2.02 1331)
There, I feel better now.
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
Being an unemployed just of college student - I put down for $15, but did manage to get $100 out of my mother, and $100 out of my uncle.

I'd like to see them stay in Montreal - but only because it's still a daytrip for me to head down to see them.

I like what they're doing with the team. The older players (Canseco, Lance Johnson) have more than enough experience to teach the new kids - and maybe rejuvanate their careers. I'm a little annoyed David Cone blew them off as hard as he did, considering the hard times he's come by since his perfect game, but I guess not everyone can be happy up here.

If they finish .500, I'm proud of them. I haven't been excited about the Expos in YEARS, but the new GM just seems SO optimistic - so I am too.




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SerWolfe
Landjager








Since: 11.1.02
From: st louis

Since last post: 4215 days
Last activity: 4215 days
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#10 Posted on
i would like to see them stay there too..... i mean the expos are well... the montreal expos.... i just cant see them moving.... the only problem is their shrinking fan base..... maybe if the team shows some major improvement and EFFORT then the fans might start coming to see games...



I've got two words for ya!
TheCow
Landjager








Since: 3.1.02
From: Knoxville, TN

Since last post: 2452 days
Last activity: 2452 days
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Y!:
#11 Posted on
I don't think the problem with the Expos is from the fans; rather, it's from the management. If your boss didn't care about his job, would you care about yours? Probably not, since in the world of baseball, the odds of you getting your boss' job after he gets canned are virtually nil; in all likelihood, you wouldn't care about yours - nobody would notice, right? That's the problem that the Expos have - at best, indifferent management; it may even be closer to apathetic. Given this, would you want to pay money for a team where the (current) owners don't even care about the product?

And as for this idea... that has to have been the greatest thing heard all year. I'm putting in some money, although I'm not sure how much yet - expenses are kind of tight. (In other words, broke ass.)
SerWolfe
Landjager








Since: 11.1.02
From: st louis

Since last post: 4215 days
Last activity: 4215 days
AIM:  
#12 Posted on
ok.... so if management is the problem..... then maybe this new batch of management can help turn things around.



I've got two words for ya!
Busyman14
Cotechino








Since: 24.2.02
From: Weston, Florida

Since last post: 4425 days
Last activity: 4410 days
#13 Posted on
It's a nice idea, but I don't think this will amount to anything. That said, I pledged $20 bucks.

-Alex
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 307 days
Last activity: 4 days
#14 Posted on
Why the hell would anybody want to own the crappiest team in Major League Baseball? And they're French! They suck on TWO different levels! Ah well, it's your money... Still, I may sink a twenty into that just to keep the Expos around for free comedy. Well...it's not gonna be free anymore...but, you get the idea. VIVA LES EXPOS!



Holden: Judging by the buzz, that movie's gonna make some serious bank.
Jay: What buzz?
Holden: The internet buzz.
Jay: What the f*ck is the internet?
[Holden (Ben Affleck) & Jay (Jason Mewes) in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back]
MarchOfThePigs
Salami








Since: 10.2.02
From: Sudbury, Ontario

Since last post: 4478 days
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#15 Posted on
I think the Expos should just run $1 hot dog night every night, more fans seem to show up when the hot dogs are cheap. I can't say I am an expos fan, but I would rather see them stay in montreal. Afterall, they are Canada's first MLB team, and I saw my first MLB game ever in Montreal. Expos V. Phillies. Terry Mulholand pitched for the Phillies, can't remember much about the expos team at the time, i was really young, but i do remember that Buck Rogers was their manager. I still have the program kicking around somewhere.



Prying open my third eye.
SerWolfe
Landjager








Since: 11.1.02
From: st louis

Since last post: 4215 days
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#16 Posted on
there you go.... get people to donate some of the food... sell it for cheaper prices .... then ask the fans to donate some of what they would have spent on the food!



I've got two words for ya!
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 3 days
#17 Posted on
I'm already in for $200.

My first order of business as new part owner will be to retire Tim Wallach's number 29.



Q: If you could have interviewed Marvin Gaye, where would you have proposed to meet and what would you have asked him?

A: I would have met anywhere as long as it was before his father shot him. I would have asked him, "Hey, don't you think there's some chance that your father might shoot you? To death, I mean?"


www.Gordie.ca
squiz
Salami








Since: 5.1.02
From: Dover, NH

Since last post: 1123 days
Last activity: 226 days
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#18 Posted on

    Originally posted by MarchOfThePigs
    I think the Expos should just run $1 hot dog night every night, more fans seem to show up when the hot dogs are cheap. I can't say I am an expos fan, but I would rather see them stay in montreal. Afterall, they are Canada's first MLB team, and I saw my first MLB game ever in Montreal. Expos V. Phillies. Terry Mulholand pitched for the Phillies, can't remember much about the expos team at the time, i was really young, but i do remember that Buck Rogers was their manager. I still have the program kicking around somewhere.


As someone who attended many Expos games a few year ago, I can safely say that Hot Dogs are not the primary concession. However, discount the Molson, and then you may have some extra stragglers showing up.

Or they could do something like they do here in KC. After every Friday night game, they do a nifty firworks show, which attracks a number of whole families coming to they game, and are easily the most attended games of the week.




"Disillusioned words like bullets bark as human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark to flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much is really sacred."
- Bob Dylan
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 6 days
Last activity: 4 hours
#19 Posted on
For the past two years, my pals and I have taken the train up to Montreal for a few days of just hanging out in a cool city and watching baseball. Seats are amazingly cheap in Montreal (obviously); we got tix about six rows behind home plate for $10 Canadian! Sure, there's almost nobody there, but those that do attend the games are real baseball fans; it's a great perspective on the action.



I was born in a manger, like that other guy. You know, he wore a hat?
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
Seats are amazingly cheap in Montreal (obviously); we got tix about six rows behind home plate for $10 Canadian!

Yep, my buddy and I are taking a one day road trip up to Montreal this summer when the Jays are in town. Tickets are next to nothing - so most of our expenses are gonna be on food and gas. Cheap tickets make the experience that much more enjoyable.




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If you want to get really radical, make the 30 MLB teams into three 10-team leagues like European soccer. One 'premier' league, a secondary league and a lower division team.
- Big Bad, A radical idea (2003)
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