So, earlier today I watched part of MLB Network's replay of game 5 of the 1981 NLCS between the Dodgers and the Expos.
One thing that stuck out to me [other than how ghetto their stadium Stade Olympique looked] was a comment made by the broadcasters that likely made sense at the time but time proved to be horribly inaccurate was something along the lines of that Expos team being more than a one time playoff team and that they were going to be highly successful in the 80s.
Well.......that didn't exactly work out for them. While they were not the bottom feeders that they eventually became [they only had two losing seasons in the '80s], it brought to light that the Expos/Nationals have been one of the more star-crossed and success deprived franchises in baseball.
In addition to their tendency to only make it to first place in strike-shortened seasons' it just seems to be either one thing or another
Anyways, I was looking at their baseball-reference page from that year and it's tough to see how the playoffs would ultimately evade them for the ensuing years let alone 28-plus years.
This was a team that had lots of young players who contributed to this team and players who played well up in Montreal for at least the next few years after '81.........
For their starting line up they had one hall-of-famer [Gary Carter] two perennial all-stars, with at least a case for the hall of fame [Tim Raines and Andre Dawson] that were surrounded by a bunch of players who had solid consistent careers [Tim Wallach, Larry Parrish, etc.]
On the pitching side they had veteran ace Steve Rodgers [who unfortunately gave up the series-losing home run] and younger players such as Bill Gullickson, Scott Sanderson, Charlie Lea and Bryn Smith...plus they had Jeff Reardon closing out the games for them.......in other words, if they would have had another young player or made another free agent aquisition things may have turned out better and they may have followed up on the promising start that the 80's had for them
Taking a look at what this team and the high expectations/great things expected out of this team......it makes things look like the 1980s Expos were a forgotten dynasty.....the dynasty that never happened....whether their '81 NLCS loss just took a lot out of them or if it was something along the lines of being just one or two veterans away from taking them over the top......these Expos teams seem to be one where you could spend hours in what-if speculation............but it wouldn't do anything to change what has already happened,