Call Felipe Alou. The former manager of the Expos is confined to his home in Florida with his wife Lucie and their daughter Valerie. Fishing misses him, but he’s not complaining. “I have not had to undergo operations this year !” he says, laughing.
His voice is good and his memory intact. It is physically it is harder. During the series of two games between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cardinals of St. Louis at the olympic Stadium last year, Felipe moved with a cane. There was a surgery to his knee.
He had to come back to Montreal in may for an evening celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Expos, but he found himself back at the hospital. It was more serious this time.
Routine exams showed that he had the arteries are severely blocked. Felipe felt no symptoms, but he had to see immediately. Open-heart surgery had to be performed.
“I can’t say that I feel 100% every day,” he said.
“It’s still in the normality of things when people approach 85 years of age (he will be 12 in may). I can no longer make the things that I used 25 years ago.
“After I had been operated on in the heart, doctors have suggested me to continue to walk with a cane. I don’t use it always, but often when even. I’m getting used. ”
Felipe Alou has many times repeated that he was a happy man when he was surrounded by members of his family. To the left, his daughter Valérie, who has seen the light of day in Laval, on the right, his wife, Lucie Gagnon and his son Felipe jr. About Valerie, she is a lawyer in a law firm in Tampa.
Always to the employment of Giants
Felipe did not remain cooped up at home for so much. As a consultant for the San Francisco Giants, he attended regularly to the games of the Marlins in Miami for building banks of information on players in the major leagues.
It’s also going to be fishing until the marinas and the beaches of Boynton Beach close because of the COVID-19.
Alou was the time to go fishing when he led the Expos.
When it was not with her late father-in-law Charlie Gagnon, or the commentator of the machs Expos Jacques Doucet, it was with a Guy Pagé, a former columnist of fishing of the Journal de Montréal.
“We were very good friends,” he says.
“It is, unfortunately, deceased, but that’s life. We’re all going to die one day. ”
Felipe and his wife Lucie are established in Boynton Beach, near West Palm Beach, Florida.
Felipe goes fishing ever since. In his native country, the dominican Republic, young people learn to fish when they start to walk. The baseball follows after.
Alou was 21 years old in 1956 when he made his debut in the network of club-school of the New York Giants, who had hired on as a player standalone.
Two years later, he was part of the first edition of the San Francisco Giants, which counted in its ranks a man called Willie Mays.
“I kept in contact with many players of this team for several years, but no more than four or five today,” he says again.
In 1972, he experienced the first strike of the players while he was with the New York Yankees. And will always be remembered as he led the Expos when another strike of the players came to destroy the hopes of the fans to attend a first world Series in Montreal, in 1994.
At the time, where he managed the Expos, Felipe has had the happiness to lead his son Moises.
Until then, the classic fall had never been cancelled despite the world wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, and the seven first labour dispute between players and owners.
“Several people speak to me in 1994 by the times that run “, he says.
“I’m glad I no longer wear the uniform. Baseball is a business for players and coaches. At the time they are talking, they don’t know if they will work on this year. There is no certainty that they will be able to do it next year either.
“The context has nothing to do with what we experienced in 1994. We do not know the enemy against which it fights. The solution is not in the hands of the baseball, but between those of God, of nature, and scientists who seek an antidote to counter the disease. ”
What does the future hold ?
A tiny microbe with the destructive force of a nuclear weapon destroyed the planet. People die by the thousands and the economy is struggling.
The sports industry is no exception.
“Our daughter Valerie, a lawyer by training, who work in the area of baseball operations for the Giants, is at home with us,” stresses Alou.
His son Luis Rojas, who has been promoted to manager of the New York Mets in special circumstances in January last, he wonders if he will be at his post the next year.
Let us recall that it was the successor to Carlos Beltran, who was forced to leave his post in the wake of the scandal of the theft of signals by the Houston Astros in 2017.
Beltran had been hired not later than the 1st of November last.
It will be interesting to see, moreover, how the Astros will come out when the baseball will resume its rights. Several players were swearing of having their head when the story broke.
But today, all that seems to be of great insignificance.
In the time where it fessait hard…
In 1973, Felipe Alou has played in 19 games with the Expos. He has known the beautiful, days of Our Loves at Jarry park. During his career, he has also worn the colors of the San Francisco Giants, the Braves of Milwaukee and Atlanta, of the Oakland, the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. In 7907 at bat, he has fashioned an average of ,286.
Felipe Alou had undergone an operation prior to the last year. It was for a neck injury suffered at the time where the contacts were allowed in baseball. And it fessait hard in the time where Alou was playing.
“I slid in the second goal to break double games and I fonçais on the receiver in order to score points,” said the honourable mister.
“We get all kinds of injuries, but baseball was played as well. People said that it caused fights, but if I had not done that, I would not have been faithful to my style of play. We played this way as soon as we were all taught to play.
“I was used also to play every day. That has been the case during almost the whole of my 17 seasons in the majors. ”
An incident of too
Alou has seen great rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers, a rivalry that began when both teams were established in the New York market (the Dodgers had a storefront in Brooklyn), and continued when they moved on to the Pacific coast.
A day of the month of August 1965, the famous pitcher Juan Marichal, Giants, struck Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with a blow of a baseball bat on the head. The incident occurred after Roseboro had brushed against Marichal in the head by returning the ball to his pitcher, the legendary Sandy Koufax.
“I was no longer with the Giants since I had been traded to the Braves (then in Milwaukee) in the previous year,” recalled Alou.
“However, this incident was due to occur. It was a matter of time. I felt bad because Marichal is dominican, just like me. These days, a player who would pose such a gesture might be banned for life. ”
In addition to being ejected from the game, Marichal had hit a 10 day suspension, which had been shortened to eight days since the Giants contended for a double during this period.
The major league baseball he was subjected to as a fine of 1750 $, a vertex at the time, which is an amount approaching 14 500 $ today.
As for Roseboro, he needed 14 stitches to the head and missed two games. He had filed a lawsuit of $ 110 000 for the damages, but he received a 7500 $.
In 1975, the Dodgers have hired Marichal as a free agent, a decision that has displeased their followers. Then at retirement, Roseboro had forgiven his attacker and he had been warned the fans to do the same.
In addition to the contacts on the goals and the plate, the pitchers were not ashamed to reach for the hitters. It was dangerous.
“The style of the game formerly was not appropriate, but it was accepted. It was part of the game, ” says Alou.
“Nowadays, players are more accommodating. I understand the measures that have been adopted to prevent the contacts on the goals and the marble.
“The teams pay large salaries to players, and they don’t want to lose them because of contacts that are avoidable. “