Montreal Metros

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Montreal Metros
Founded in 1989
Montreal, Quebec Flag of Canada.svg.png
Montreal-Metros.png
Team logo
Montreal Metros M.png
Secondary logo
MTL-jerseys-2021.png
Team Uniforms (Home/Away)

Affiliations
League Bull League
Subleague Lake League
Division East
Team Info
Name Montreal Metros (1991-present)

Other nicknames Les metros

Previous names Vancouver Metros (1989-1990)

Previous locations Vancouver, British Columbia (1989-1990)

Colors Noir, vert, gris

              

Owner Kevin Wilson

General manager Kevin Lucas
Ballpark
Ballpark Metros Ballpark (1995-Present)
Former BullDome (1991-1994)
Titles
Bull Cup championships (4) 2007, 2011, 2014, 2018
League pennants (7) 1995, 2007, 2011, 2013—2014, 2017—2018
Division titles (15) 1995, 2002, 2006—2011, 2013—2014, 2016—2017, 2022—2023, 2025
Playoff appearances (17) 1995, 2002, 2006—2018, 2022—2023, 2025



The Montreal Metros are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The team competes in the Bull League playing in the Lake League (LL) East division. They play their home games at Metros Ballpark.

The team was originally formed as the Vancouver Metros in 1989, and are considered a founding club of the Bull League. The team relocated to Montreal for the 1991 season when the Lake League was first formed, and together with the Boston Brawlers, are one of only two teams to have never changed their name or league/division alignment since then. Because of their longevity and success, they have the most LL East division titles of any franchise, with 12.

The team all-time win-loss record at the end of 2021 was 1390-1142 (.549). The Metros have won four Bull Cup championships and had 15 playoff appearances.

History

1989-1994: Early years

The Metros were first formed in 1989 as the Vancouver Metros in the former Central League's west division. After two brief seasons, the team moved to Montreal. The Metros name was kept because of Montreal's association with having one of the oldest subway transit systems in Canada — "metro" means subway in French.

After the 1991 reorganization, the team found itself as a charter member of the Lake League's East division (where it has remained ever since). Together with the Boston Brawlers, the Metros are the only other team to have remained in the LL East division since it was formed, and also along with Boston, are among the few teams to have never changed their nickname since 1991 (the others are the Ohio Oxen, Seattle Salts, California Tidals, and Nevada Speeders).

The team struggled at first to find success, and in the early years after the Bull Cup championship was introduced (91-92-93) never finished above .375.

1995-2001: Highs and lows

When the Bull League reorganized and expanded in 1995, the Metros immediately found themselves dealing with success. Through the efforts of solid pitching from a core of starters such as Marty McSouthpaw, Nick Evert, Walter Constillo and Dontbea Fool, the team led the LL in lowest runs allowed per game, at 4.2, with plenty of offense to cover. Their hitters combined to lead the LL in home runs, triples, hitting, and were second in runs scored per game at 5.5.

The Metros took out the Ohio Oxen in the best-of-five LLCS, 3-1, but crashed into the Richmond Ravens in the Bull Cup series, suffering a 3-0 sweep in that best-of-five set. But the Metros made a clean sweep of the major awards, including the MVP (Scotty McLawson), Sandy Koufax Award (Marty McSouthpaw), Rookie of the Year (McLawson again), and the relief pitcher's Woodchuck Trophy (Kelvin Singleton).

Their 1995 success would not be repeated anytime soon, however, as by the next year, despite the addition of stars such as Chuck Provost (who had set the all-time batting average record for an 80-game season of .444 in 1995), slugger Mike Stetser, and the speedy Larceny McSteal, the Metros found themselves slipping further behind teams like the Kingston Battlements and the Chicoutimi Cinquantes.

By 2001, the club hit rock bottom, with a 35-45 (.438) record, finishing in last (4th) place in the division, and tied for the fewest team home runs with the impotent Toronto Ducks.

Although the 34-year-old McSouthpaw still headed the rotation, and with a winning record of 6-2, the bad pitchers were just too bad, and the big offensive names like Provost and others left the team. In Provost's case, the team option was voided after he failed to hit over .300 for the first time in his career, and could only produce a meagre nine doubles. Others came and went in a successive string of roster instability the gradually drove the team into the basement.

2002-2006: A fresh reset

The disappointment of the 2001 campaign quickly evaporated the next year, when the 2002 edition of the Metros, complete with several fresh, young faces, launched themselves back to the top of the division again. A 22-year-old center fielder, Damian Garcia, featured prominently on the team, now in his third year with the club. Garcia led the team in steals, and was among the top hitters in other stat categories. Matt Fischer, a 27-year-old right fielder, and Hideshi Kaneshiro, a 26-year-old third baseman, provided steady offense. Some incredible defense was supplied by 23-year-old Alexis Ramirez, who did not hurt in the lineup either, hitting .263 and leading the team with 27 doubles.

Some of the veterans pitched in again, as well. Diminished outfielder, 38-year-old Carlos Angel was re-cast as a DH after the league introduced the DH rule that season, and hit .290, walking 98 times and scoring 60 runs. Long-time first baseman, 34-year-old Silas Clark tied for the team lead in home runs with 9, but also led in batting with a .305 average. A slew of great pitching kept the club on the top of the LL in fewest runs allowed per game (3.7), most complete games (12), most shutouts (tied with New York at 6), and most saves. A total of 23 of those saves belonged to Mike Black, who earned the Woodchuck Trophy that year.

What's more is that the Metros poor 2001 showing gave them a premium draft pick in the 3-round 2002 draft. With it, they picked up Garth Goyle as the 4th overall pick. Goyle would later prove to be the best player to come out of that year's draft. The 2002 Metros finished 51-29 (.637), in first place, and although they were washed out in the LLCS by Hamilton, they had demonstrated that they could compete once again.

The next two seasons, though, fans and front office staff were not so sure, with two successive second place finishes where the team was a full 11 games behind the division leaders, Chicoutimi, who went on to win the Bull Cup in the second year, 2004. In 2005, the team again finished in second place, tied with Kingston, behind ascendant Chicoutimi who captured their second Bull Cup in a row.

But the next year, the Metros turned a corner and were back on top. Alex Viramontes, a product of their scouting organization who was signed out of Cuba as a 16-year-old, had his first full season with the Metros now at age 21, hitting .277 with 9 homers, 55 RBIs, and 49 runs scored in 80 games, one of the brightest young rookies on the team. Another rookie, Sohichiro Waki, slashed .299/.372/.611 and picked up the Rookie of the Year award that season. Veteran base thief and contact man Dave Norman led the team in batting with a .346 average, and not far behind him was 24-year-old Joe Street, at .323, a first round draft pick from just 6 years previous. But the real story was the impressive rotation, featuring a seasoned Paul Stone, who was 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA, Floyd Corbett, who was 9-3 and 3.61, and lefty Glenn Panther, who finished 7-5 and 3.77.

Ohio managed to knock out the Metros in the first round of the playoffs, but with the introduction of wild cards for the playoffs the next year, the Metros were sure to make many more appearances in the postseason.

2007-2018: Cementing success

In 2007, the Metros finally did it. They parlayed their first place finish into a second club Bull Cup championship appearance. Despite an additional playoff round added after the introduction of two wild cards in each league, they broke through and swept both New York and Toronto in the first of two LL Elimination Round games, and in the LLCS. They met the Richmond Ravens to contest the Bull Cup in the final round, losing just one game to the Ravens and taking the best-of-five series 3-1.

The Metros had massive help from their offense, which boasted MVP shortstop Joe Street, solid hitting Viramontes, young up-and-coming stars Danny Mendez and Jordan Garcia, along with former top 10 prospect and five-time all-star Francisco Erazo, who was signed before the season to a four-year, $81 million deal, that was deemed worth every penny.

Having won a first Bull Cup, the team was determined to do it again, and did so in 2011, then again in 2014. During their run of success between 2007 and 2018, when they won their fourth Bull Cup, the Metros never finished lower than 2nd place, or with a worse win-loss record than .549 (2012). Along the way, they set the LL record for team win percentage, at .744 (in the 2016 season). At the time the team won their fourth Bull Cup, tying the Ohio Oxen, only New York had won more championships, with five.

By now, the Metros roster was littered with talent. On the pitching side of the ledger, 2-time Sandy Koufax Award winner Judson Martel anchored a star-studded rotation that included Ron Alder, Caleb Patton, and Danny Tirado. Closer Jon Courteau, who cruised through the season to accumulate 20 saves, finished second in Woodchuck Trophy voting. On the batting side of the ledger, Orlando Garza was a hitting machine, slashing .347/.409/.472 and with 32 steals. Garza had four 5-hit games during the year, and also won the Bull Cup MVP Award. Left fielder Jose Ramirez hit .301 on the year, including a 21-game hit streak.

Continued success was almost guaranteed as the team cemented themselves as Lake League team to be contended with. But the reorganization that brought the Ravens organization to Minneapolis would upset the LL apple cart, as a new sheriff arrived in the league to regulate the Metros and the rest of the teams.

2019-present: Rebuilding

The high-flying Metros collapsed in shocking style the very next season, ending 2019 in dead last in the LL East, with a 73-89 (.451) finish in the first year of the 162-game schedule. Garza and Ramirez were still top performers in the league, but other than Alder, the pitching was mediocre at best, with Sandy Koufax winner Martel and young gun Alex Martinez both breaking even at 12-12 and 11-11 respectively, and the bullpen ERA reaching ugly highs.

The Metros offense sunk to second worst, behind the Toronto squad that managed to make their first playoffs in years only on the back of their insane pitching. The metros pitching wasn't bad overall, but it wasn't good enough, with 5.2 runs given up per game, compared to the ineffectual 4.9 runs scored per game on average.

As the league rolls through the 2020, another down year is taking shape and the players are a year older overall, with some now into very expensive contracts.

General managers

Montreal Metros General Managers
Years Name Record Notes
2017-2021 Danny Desrochers 332-354 Desrochers took over when the Metros were on the tail end of a 13 consecutive season playoff run which saw them achieve 3 Bull Cup championships before their 2018 Cup victory. But the next three seasons saw a first-to-last drop for 2019 and 2020, and only marginal improvement for 2021. Desrochers was widely regarded as having botched his managerial responsibilities when he failed to submit a Rule 5 draft list in the 2021 Rule 5 draft. Despite bitter protestations, his demeanor towards the rest of the league saw him fired and permanently banned from the Bull League.
2022-present Kevin Lucas The extremely successful former Chicago Pit Bulls GM brought that team to 11 playoff appearances between 2002-2016, before taking a year off and then being appointed United States summer college GM in 2018. A year after Metros GM Danny Desrochers took over at Montreal, Lucas was appointed Assistant GM, replacing Dustin Racine at the post, but was second chair for three declining years under Desrochers following their 2018 Bull Cup championship. Now, with Desrochers gone, Lucas hopes to turn the team around for 2022.

Rivalries

    See article: Bull League rivalries

Boston Brawlers vs. Montreal Metros

The Brawlers have developed a long-standing Lake League East division rivalry with the Montreal Metros, who are the only other team that they have shared the division with for their entire history, both teams having been in the LL East since 1991.

Since 2018, when head-to-head records began being formally kept, the Brawlers have a 52-33 win-loss record (as of the end of 2021). They have met just one time in the LLCS, in 2011, when Boston entered as a wild card. Montreal won the series 3-2 and went on to take the Bull Cup that season. Montreal has 12 division titles compared to Boston's two.

Awards and other achievements

Player awards

Carl Simms MVP Award

    See article: Carl Simms MVP Award

Sandy Koufax Award

    See article: Sandy Koufax Award

Rookie of the Year Award

    See article: Rookie of the Year Award

Woodchuck Trophy

    See article: Woodchuck Trophy

Team Records

For career hitting percentage records, 2,000 plate appearances are required. For career pitching percentage records, 500 innings pitched are required.[1] [2]

Statistic Single season record Career record
Player Record Year Player Record
Batting average Orlando Garza .346 2020 Jose Ramirez .320
On base percentage Jose Ramirez .440 2021 Carlos Angel .453
Slugging percentage Jose Ramirez .645 2021 Jose Ramirez .589
Games Carlos Escobedo 162 2020 Orlando Garza 750
At bats Orlando Garza 598 2021 Orlando Garza 3,100
Runs Jose Ramirez 100 2019 Orlando Gara 499
Hits Orlando Garza 201 2020 Orlando Garza 982
Doubles Orlando Garza 47 2020 Orlando Garza 201
Triples Jose Ramirez 12 2021 Jose Ramirez 49
Home runs Jose Ramirez 44 2021 Garth Goyle 153
Runs batted in Jose Ramirez 146 2021 Garth Goyle 511
Stolen bases Orlando Garza 70 2019 Orlando Garza 238
Earned runs average Ron Alder 3.94 2019 Ricky Terrazas 2.26
Wins Ron Alder 17 2019 Rod Matos
Paul Stone
71
Losses Jamie Jones 20 2019 Danny Tirado 47
Saves Mitchell Nicols 38 2021 Bobby Moore 61
Games pitched Mitchell Nicols 71 2021 Bobby Moore 233
Games started Judson Martel 33 2019 Paul Stone 144
Complete games Matthew Box
Ron Alder
Judson Martel
8 2021
2019
2019
Danny Tirado 31
Shutouts Judson Martel 4 2017 Judson Martel 9
Innings pitched Judson Martel 252.0 2019 Danny Tirado 1,013.1
Strikeouts Judson Martel 246 2019 Ricky Terrazas 1,002

Hall of Fame Players

Players listed in bold were inducted in a Metros uniform.

Montreal Metros Hall of Famers
Player Pos. Years with Metros Inducted
Barry Bats RF 1995 2013
Silas "Thrill" Clark 1B 1997-2005 2015
Chuck Provost 2B 1996-2000 2012
Bill Schaffer RF 2003 2009
Ricky Terrazas P 2008-2015 2019
Eric Tessier C 2012-2013 2019
Paulo Tilano 3B 1995 2013

Championships

Montreal-BC-2007-2011-2014-2018.png
Bull Cup champions
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2007 Succeeded by:
New York Minutemen
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2011 Succeeded by:
California Tidals
Preceded by:
California Tidals
2014 Succeeded by:
Calgary Inferno
Preceded by:
Calgary Inferno
2018 Succeeded by:
St. Petersburg Admirals
Lake League pennants
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes (1993)
1995 Succeeded by:
Kingston Battlements
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2007 Succeeded by:
New York Minutemen
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
2011 Succeeded by:
Kingston Cannons
Preceded by:
Kingston Cannons
20132014 Succeeded by:
Hamilton Crusaders
Preceded by:
Ohio Oxen
20172018 Succeeded by:
Minneapolis Ravens
Lake League East division titles
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes (1993)
1995 Succeeded by:
Kingston Battlements
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
2002 Succeeded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
Preceded by:
Chicoutimi Cinquantes
20062011 Succeeded by:
Kingston Cannons
Preceded by:
Kingston Cannons
2014 Succeeded by:
Kingston Cannons
Preceded by:
Kingston Cannons
20162017 Succeeded by:
Rimouski Fighting Moose
Preceded by:
New York Dragons
2025 Succeeded by:
Current title holders

Minor League Affiliations

Montreal Metros Minor League Affiliates
Level Team League Location
AAA Portland Timberwolves Cow League Portland, Oregon
AA Cedar Defenders Heifer League Cedar, British Columbia
A Sarnia Shock Calf League Sarnia, Ontario
Short Season A Montpelier Meteors New England League Montpelier, Vermont
Rookie Vero Beach Metros Florida Rookie League Vero Beach, Florida

References

  1. Chicago Pit Bulls: Batting Leaders. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_14_batting_leaders.html. 2020/01/01. Accessed: June 17, 2019.
  2. Chicago Pit Bulls: Pitching Leaders. BNN. http://bullleague.org/public_html/bull-league/reports/html/history/team_14_pitching_leaders.html. 2020/01/01. Accessed: June 17, 2019.