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MLBeat: Hackman off roster
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League Championship Series
10/09/2002 7:34 pm ET 
MLBeat: Hackman off roster
By Matthew Leach /

During the regular season, Luther Hackman was 5-4 with 4.11 ERA. (Scott Rovak/ Cardinals)
ST. LOUIS -- What was good news for pretty much everyone in Cardinal Nation was bad news for right-handed reliever Luther Hackman.

In order to activate Woody Williams, who will be St. Louis' Game 2 starter in the NLCS, St. Louis had to leave someone else off of the series roster. That turned out to be Hackman. The Cardinals kept Garrett Stephenson on the roster, just in case Williams has a recurrence of his side/ribcage injury and the team needs another starting pitcher.

"I just talked to Luther about it," manager Tony La Russa said, "and it's purely, even though we have confidence that Woody can come out there (Thursday) and pitch well, be healthy, pitch effectively, all that stuff, there is a chance that he could warm up and not go very far, or even get scratched. So we just thought we should protect (ourselves) with another starter like (Jason) Simontacchi. And that's Garrett.

Back to "I even told (Hackman), if it comes down to Woody at the end of this series and we're going on to the next one and taking Woody, it would be revisited. And if we didn't have the issues with Woody, we probably would have stayed with Luther."

Williams was originally scheduled to pitch in the Division Series against Arizona, but he had to cut short a workout the day before the series, and he was scratched from the roster. The veteran right-hander has been bothered by pain in the area of his left side/ribcage. It is similar to, but not the same as, the strained left oblique that landed him on the disabled list twice in 2002.

Lineup decisions: With lefty Kirk Rueter on the mound for the Giants, La Russa elected to start right-handed hitter Eli Marrero over lefty J.D. Drew in right field. Both Marrero and Drew have had troubles with Rueter, but La Russa preferred the right-hander.

In addition, Miguel Cairo got the start at third base in place of injured Scott Rolen, with Albert Pujols keeping his usual spot in left field.

    Eli Marrero   /   C
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Hit chart
Braves site
"Rueter's tough on our lefties and righties both," La Russa said. "But I think Eli should play right field and he's gonna hit in the second spot. He and J.D. have alternated there a little bit. And then after what Cairo did the last couple days (in the Division Series), I think he should play third.

"The other way would be to maybe play Eddie (Eduardo Perez) in the outfield and play Pujols at third, which we thought about. Because Miguel, I think he'll do a good job for us today, but he's really been a factor off our bench. And that's something we lose when he starts the game."

World Series tickets: The Cardinals will begin selling World Series tickets on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8 a.m. CT. If St. Louis plays in the Fall Classic, Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) will be held at Busch Stadium. All three games would have scheduled start times of 7 p.m. CT.

Tickets can be purchased online at, as well as at the Busch Stadium ticket office and via phone. Ticket prices range from $60 in the bleachers to $145 for outfield terrace box seats. Once all those tickets are gone, standing room tickets will be sold at $40 apiece.

Hello, coach(es): Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight, a good friend of La Russa's, attended Game 1 and was on the field for pregame workouts. Knight was also joined by Tech baseball coach Larry Hays. Knight visited with first baseman Tino Martinez, trainer Barry Weinberg and La Russa, among others.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for He can be reached at This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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