MONTREAL – Professional athletes tend to best remember the teams with which they win a championship. Lane Johnson Eagles Jersey . A bond is forged for life. A group gets together, slogs through the adversity of a long season, plays its best when the games matter most and shares the glory of its achievement. The 1994 Montreal Expos didnt win the World Series. Nobody did. A players strike saw to that. But theres this lingering feeling among the nearly two-dozen players and coaches who gathered to celebrate their special team that they would have been champions, that the 1994 Expos would have secured a third-consecutive world championship for a Canadian-based team. “I think thats the one thing that sticks around too much,” said Cliff Floyd. “If youd played it out, youd feel better about it. If we lost you still feel better about going and getting the opportunity to play. When you dont play it out you wonder what if wed gotten the opportunity to play in the playoffs.” “We built a special bond in 1994,” said Marquis Grissom, a two-time All-Star in a 17-year career. “It didnt just start in 94, it started in 1990, in 1989-1990 when we were all in spring training trying to make the team. It just festered all the way up to 94 to where we all came together for one common cause and that was to win a World Series. We didnt expect to do anything less.” Championship baseball teams need a lot to go right. They must do the obvious, like outpitching and outhitting and outscoring their opponents on more nights than not. Emerging clubs - that Expos team was still so young - must also experience breakthrough moments. Floyd, a rookie that year who would go on to play 17 seasons in the big leagues and make an All-Star Game, provided such a moment. It was June 27. The Expos were hosting the then-National League East-leading Braves. Floyd blew open a close game with a two-out, three-run home run in the seventh inning off of future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux. Montreal won the game and closed to within a game-and-a-half of the division lead. By the time the strike started a month and a half later, the Expos led the Braves by six games in the standings. “I think about that a lot,” said Floyd. “I think about when I walked up to the plate that day. I think about what was on my mind that day. I just told myself get a good pitch to hit. The type of team we had then, the expectations and what I did in the minor leagues, they were showcased in 94 but I just said if I can just help us go out and win some games, you dont know what games or how important theyre going to be when you do it but that was one of the biggest moments of my life was for me to get that home run.” Felipe Alou pulled the strings from the dugout. Hell be 79 in May and he speaks of the 1994 team like a proud father. He is, in a literal sense, because his son, Moises, was among the clubs many young stars. Charged with cultivating that entire unit, two decades later Alou marveled at the talent the franchise had assembled. “The 1994 club was hard to compare with anybody because we had three closers, we had incredible starting pitching and we had speed, power and defence,” he said. “Not too many teams can say that and they were young. They were getting better.” Surely the manager deserves some credit? “Anytime you have a team like that youre a good coach,” said Alou. Much has been theorized about the breakup of the team in the aftermath of the strike. Larry Walker, a could-be Hall-of-Famer whos yet to be voted in and would like an Expos cap on his plaque if the day comes, didnt want to leave. He signed with Colorado when the strike ended and embarked on a tremendous 10-season run with the Rockies before wrapping up his career in St. Louis. “There wasnt a contract on the table for a lot of us and the game kind of dictates that and you move on,” said Walker. “Its the nature of the game. I didnt leave because I hated anybody or hated the city or anything crazy like that. I know theres been some dumb stuff written about it from what Ive been told but I was just another ballplayer trying to win. We had a winning franchise that got broken up.” Grissom insists a group of top-end players went to ownership to try to persuade the group to keep the young core together. “We took it upon ourselves to try to go upstairs and tell them, hey, well take less money to stay together,” said Grissom. “We dont know how much less that would have been but, really, the strike took effect on us and there wasnt anything we could do. Even if wed taken less money I still dont think we would have stayed here.” There are more gray hairs. In some cases, the bellies are bigger. But the memories came flooding back, the reunion a chance to ask the “what if?” question one more time. If this weekend accomplishes nothing else, its reminded the powers of Major League Baseball that Montreal is a baseball town. Right now theres no ownership and no stadium for the franchise pipe dream but at least one man is hoping that the energy that still surrounds the 1994 Expos will contribute to the momentum to bring a team back to Montreal. “I believe that if we ever get a team back here it will be because of the 1994 team,” said Alou. “That is what the people in these communities, Montreal, Laval, the cities around here, they are holding on to the 1994 club. They believe that this memory, they talk about it. We are here, the 1994 team. Its not the 1993 or the 1995, its the 1994. The people hope and I hope that that club that was so good will help bring baseball back to this city.” Brent Celek Eagles Jersey .com) - Andrew Shaw scored twice and the Chicago Blackhawks thumped the Arizona Coyotes, 6-1. Riley Cooper Jersey .Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford broke their Canadian record to win the pairs competition Saturday at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Pistons will get a third crack at the Milwaukee Bucks when the two Central foes clash Friday at The Palace. The Pistons and Bucks have split two meetings so far. Milwaukee has lost three straight and 12 of the last 16 trips to Auburn Hills, Mich. Detroit and Milwaukee will meet one more time this season on Jan. 24. Pistons big man Andre Drummond is averaging 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds against the Bucks this season. Detroit is mired in a six-game losing streak and dropped a 104-98 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, as D.J. Augustin posted 19 points to lead the hosts. The Pistons got 17 points from Josh Smith, Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Drummond grabbed 13 rebounds and is averaging 17.0 points and 13.0 boards in his last three games for Detroit, which led 51-48 at halftime and had a 73-72 edge heading into the final 12 minutes. Los Angeles led by 11 at one point in the fourth quarter and Smiths layup made it 93-91 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Its just frustrating for me that I couldnt find a way, either in terms of defensive scheme or in terms of something to run offensively to help our guys a little bit more doown the stretch, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. Todd Herremans Eagles Jersey. It was Detroits fourth straight loss at home, where it is 2-5 this season. The Pistons are in the midst of playing seven of eight games at The Palace. Pistons guard Brandon Jennings (thumb) is questionable Friday and has missed the previous two games. He is averaging 16.0 ppg this season. Milwaukee has won two in a row after losing back-to-back games and won for the seventh time in 10 tries with Wednesdays 103-86 victory at Minnesota. Brandon Knight and Larry Sanders scored 15 points apiece and Giannis Antetokounmpo ended with 13 for the Bucks, who shot 47.1 percent. The Bucks had seven players in double figures and won for the third time in the last four road games. Bucks rookie Jabari Parker scored 11 points. Our second group (late in the third) got defensive-minded and rebounded the ball, said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. In the beginning of the fourth quarter, (the starters) picked it right back up. We found a way to win on the road. 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