The Jays and Mets to play two exhibition games in Montreal next spring

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Shi Davidi reports that the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets will play two exhibition games in Olympic Stadium in Montreal next spring:

The contests, to be held right at the end of the pre-season, will bring big-league baseball back to the Big O for the first time since the Expos left for Washington after the 2004 season. Hosting games in Montreal makes sense under the Blue Jays’ strategy of building a country-wide fan-base.

And makes sense if they want to put the kibosh on the nascent “bring baseball back to Montreal” stuff we’ve been hearing lately. Which, no, I don’t think will  go anywhere any time soon, but if you’re the Jays you’re better off trying to claim as much territory as possible before that ball gets rolling so as to try and extract something from MLB if and when something happens.

As for Montreal: I’m curious as to how Olympic Stadium is doing these days.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”