On the day Don Abundio died, Felipe Alou's Expos had the best record in baseball. Nine days later the 1994 season ground to a halt. This spring, in baseball's new economic climate, the Expos let free-agent Walker go and traded Grissom, Wetteland and ace Ken Hill. Felipe Alou, like Sisyphus, had to start over again. And he did so in typical Alou fashion—without complaint and with diligence. Heading into last weekend his young team, which had the lowest payroll in the major leagues on Opening Day, was 23-19 and only four games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East race.
Maybe one day it will happen again. Moises Alou is only 28, and 16-year-old Felipe Rojas, who plans to start calling himself Felipe Alou when he signs with a major league team or goes to college in the U.S., bears the mark of greatness. At the end of April, Jay Alou, the ex-violinist and former jayvee baseball player, was told by the Expos to consider another line of work. He's thinking about getting a master's in physical therapy. But maybe 13-year-old Luis Emilio Rojas, Felipe Rojas's brother, a stocky kid who already shows good hands and uncommon power, will abandon third base and try the outfield for at least a couple of innings.
In the year 2005 a major league outfield somewhere might read, from left to right, or right to left: Alou, Alou, Alou.
The saga is not over. With Familia Rojas-Alou, there are still plenty of fish to fry. On a brilliant day last October, Felipe Alou took little Felipe, the third Felipe, the nephew of Matty and Jesus Alou, the cousin of Mel Rojas, the half brother of Moises Alou and the grandson of Don Abundio and Doña Virginia, down to Goat Point. For the first time in his life, the 2½-year-old boy picked up stones and threw them into the blue-green Caribbean, like his father and uncles and brothers had before him.
The kid has an arm.