Redbirds thrilled to be out of Boston hotel, back home

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are thrilled to be sleeping in their own beds again because their trip to Boston last weekend was frustrating in several ways.

Not only did St. Louis lose the first two games of the World Series, the team's hotel was in Quincy, Mass., about a 30-minute drive from Fenway Park. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was clearly angry about it.

"It was real disappointing," La Russa said. "That's why I suggested that we make the Boston hotel in Jefferson City (Mo.). Boston should have taken care of it."

Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, is about 90 miles west of St. Louis. The home team is responsible for arranging accommodations for the visitors, and the Cardinals set up the Red Sox at a hotel only blocks from Busch Stadium this week.

Red Sox spokesman Glenn Geffner said major league baseball reserved 250 rooms in downtown Boston and that 100 rooms had been set aside for the visiting team. But he said the hotel pulled back its 100 rooms a few weeks ago and the Red Sox then set up an alternate hotel.

The lowlight for La Russa came when the team bus arrived at the hotel around 2 a.m. on Sunday after an 11-9 loss in Game 1. The hotel arranged to keep the dining room open for the Cardinals' private use, but they weren't happy with the menu.

"We walked in there and there was pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and wings," La Russa said. "So, that was our guys' first World Series experience."

General manager Walt Jocketty referred to the spread with disdain as "bar food." He also said it was nearly impossible to hail a cab from the hotel.

The Cardinals were told no downtown hotel had enough rooms to accommodate their traveling party because of a large weekend regatta, the Head of the Charles.

MARQUIS MATCHUP: Cardinals right-hander Jason Marquis is still scheduled to start Game 4 on Wednesday night against Boston, even though he pitched in relief Sunday.

Marquis worked a scoreless seventh in Game 2, his first inning out of the bullpen this season. The team was not happy with his previous two starts in the postseason.

"One of the best things that happened yesterday was to get him out there and get him a little work," manager Tony La Russa said Monday. "With two days off, he'll be ready to go."

Marquis said Sunday was supposed to be his bullpen day anyway.

"I sort of used it as a tuneup in my mind. It should be no problem for Game 4," he said.

Marquis made two starts in the playoffs, allowing six runs in 8 1-3 innings. He started Game 2 of the division series against Los Angeles, then was bumped to the No. 4 starter in the NLCS and World Series.

St. Louis believes Marquis tipped his pitches in the NLCS. Another option could have been Dan Haren, who has been effective in relief.

HIGHLY RATED: Boston's 6-2 victory Sunday got a 15.9 fast national rating and 24 share, the highest-rated Game 2 since Atlanta's 4-3 victory over Cleveland in 1995 got a 19.4/31.

Boston's 11-9 win in Saturday's opener got a 13.7 fast national rating, the highest for an opener since a 14.2/26 for Game 1 in 1999 between the New York Yankees and Atlanta.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a telecast, and the share is the percentage tuned to a telecast among those households with televisions on at the time.

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