Expo Valentine will try to make that spare

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ellis valentine (2)

 * Former Montreal Expos RF Ellis Valentine will host a bowling event at Forum Bowling in downtown Montreal April 2 as part of the Cincinnati Reds-Montreal Expos visit to the city. Proceeds go to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal with former Expos Jerry White and Al Oliver as well as media personalities taking part.

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Valentine & Co. bowling for Montreal women’s shelter and other baseball news
By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network

Former Expo Ellis Valentine is gearing up for another charity event in Montreal the same weekend when the Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds hook up for a two-game exhibition series at Olympic Stadium.

Valentine has organized a bowling extravaganza at Forum Bowling in downtown Montreal April 2 with proceeds going to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. Valentine will be firing balls down the lanes along with former Expos Jerry White and Al Oliver, media personalities Jonah Keri, Terry Haig, Dave Kaufman, Richard Griffin and Annakin Slayd and actors William deVry and Rebecca Staab, among others.rebecca stahl

The public is invited to participate by buying tickets to play with one of the celebrities. The event starts at 6 p.m. and includes 10 frames of bowling and an autograph session. For more information, call Forum Bowling in the Montreal Forum at 514-933-6786. There are still many spots open to join one of these celebs.

The Jays and Reds tangle April 3 on a Saturday night and then come back the next afternoon. So far, about 65,000 tickets have been sold in total. Last year, about 97,000 saw the Mets and Jays.

Notes: Just recently, former Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie tweeted to complain about the hassles he got at the Canada/U.S. border en route to driving to Mesa, Ariz., the new spring-training home of his new team, the Oakland A’s. When former Jays teammate Jose Bautista saw the tweet, he tweeted back with about a half dozen smiley faces to try and cheer Lawrie up. Talking of Bautista, Jays teammate Marcus Stroman was impressed when he found out that Bautista had been at the Super Bowl in Arizona and somehow made it back to the East Coast somewhere to hit the gym? “Role model,’’ Stroman tweeted about Bautista getting around the country so quick.

Back to the A’s, Oakland had trained at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for decades but the A’s got coaxed into moving stateside to a new state-of-the-art Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, a town which also hosts the Chicago Cubs each spring at Sloan Park. The Arizona State Devils’ baseball program will be relocated to the Phoenix park vacated by the A’s.

Talking of Lawrie, wonder if any members of the Toronto media will fly all the way to Arizona to do a story on him to see if he has anything controversial to say. He’s probably glad he won’t see any Toronto media out there. Same goes for Melky Cabrera, who will be going to Camelbackmelky caberea Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., spring-training home of both his new team, the White Sox, and the Dodgers. Problem with Cabrera is that he claims he does not speak English good enough to communicate with the media. Same with former Expo great Vladimir Guerrero. I could never understand that when the majority of Dominican players over the years like Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou and Jose Bautista can speak very understandable en anglais.

Here’s an interesting trivia item and love story: the longest running spring-training home is Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., which has hosted the Detroit Tigers since 1966. I still remember charming Municipal Stadium in West Palm Beach, Fla., long-time home of the Expos before they moved to Jupiter for the 1998 season. It was always a ritual to cross the road after filing stories to quaff a few drinks at the legendary Crazy Horse Tavern now long gone … Former GM Omar Minaya is believed to be the third Expo alumnus to join the Major League Baseball Players Association. Expos pitching great Steve Rogers has been with the PA for decades and for a long stretch so was infielder Tony Bernazard, who longer works there. Minaya became senior advisor to PA executive director Tony Clark.

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