Not just in Montreal baseball history...Bill Lee is possibly the most eccentric dude maybe in baseball history. You gotta factor in guys like Dock Ellis, and Dick Allen maybe...but Space is the cookiest fellow probably in the history of major league baseball. I heard Woody Harrelson that dude from Cheers was trying to a sell a script to hollywood to star in a Bill Lee movie...so maybe might even happen.
We talked Cromartie last week and how he was the in my opinion the heart of those old teams. There was a few guys like that, not necessarily the highest echelon of talent but real gamers and Rudy types you know? Gamer type guys, good clubhouse type guys on those Dick Williams era teams. All these guys got pushed out when Fanning took over for Dick Williams in 81.
|Me and the Space ridin' in a benzo (minus the benzo)|
A domino effect took all these guys off the team by the end of 1983. When Williams quit the new guy who took over as interim manager was Fanning and then the next year it was Bill Virdon. When a new guy comes in they want to make everything in their opinion and their image like they're some kind of deity of the team...and what they did was literally dismantle a winning team. They destroyed Dick William's winning Expos and made a new inferior unit. Jerry White (who had some epic hits in the 81 playoffs) was sent packing and they called up Ken Macha, Cro was platooned with a jabroni by the name of Jim Wohlford. Rodney "Cool Breeze" was flat out released, they just bought out his contract and sent him packing. Now this where Spaceman comes in...now he doesn't get released...he notices they are effectuating this ridiculous dismemberment of the Expos and he just stops showing up, he flat out walks off the team in protest in 1982. Here's a quote from his book after he finds out the Breeze got his pink slip that is pretty good...
"I wrote Fanning a message which read, 'I'm going to Brasserie 77, if you want me come and get me.' I ripped my game uniform right down the middle, went to Brasserie 77 and draped little Quebec flags around a picture of Rodney Scott. The customers loved it."
The next week, he got a call from Chief Frosty Deer to play in the Kanawake Softball League and signed on with them to finish the 82 season.
He was blackballed from baseball after that.