10/26/2004 7:18 PM ET
World Series Game 3 Hot Sheet
Ten things to consider before Tuesday's game
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
|Workers at Busch Stadium set up the Taco Bell target in the left-center-field bleachers. (MLB.com)
ST. LOUIS -- The World Series moves to Busch Stadium for Game 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, with the Boston Red Sox holding a 2-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Here is what people around the Series are talking about:
1. Swinging in the rain
Showers have been steady all day in St. Louis, with light rain continuing as of 7 p.m. ET and expected to continue at least up to the scheduled 8 p.m. ET game time. If the game is played, then there will be severely soggy conditions in uncovered areas; the Busch warning track gets particularly muddy. Just for the record, a postponement would be the 19th in World Series history, and it would mean pushing back these three games so that Game 5 would be in St. Louis on Friday -- normally a travel day during a seven-game series.
2. Thinking 410 feet outside the bun
Hungry? Taco Bell, in partnership with Major League Baseball, has placed a giant bull's-eye target with the words "Free Taco Here" approximately 410 feet from home plate at Busch. Participating restaurants will give a free crunchy beef taco to anyone in America if a player hits the 12-foot-by-12-foot sign during Game 3. The Cardinals and Red Sox have combined for 32 homers this postseason, and this one would need to fly to left-center, beyond the 372-foot marker on the wall and over the bullpen to make the nation's taco lovers happy.
3. Take it EEEEEEEEasy
Many people are wondering how exactly the Red Sox have a 2-0 series lead after committing four errors in each of those wins. Kevin Millar knows as well as anyone, and he explained it all in his regular MLB.com column: "We made four errors in Game 1 and another four in Game 2, and we still won. This is what it's about. Billy Mueller (three errors in Game 2) is over there battling as much as he can with that wet grass, and it's cold. Mark Bellhorn made that error and Curt Schilling looked at us and said, 'Let's go. It's my turn to pick you up.' That's what teams do, pick each other up, and Curt Schilling did that by making the pitches he needed to."
4. But the view is better
Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked before Monday's workout at Busch how his club looks at a 2-0 series lead and whether recent history helps its approach. "I've never been ahead 2-0 in a World Series," Francona replied. "Never had been down 3-0, either. I think we have a pretty good perspective in that clubhouse. I know I've said this over and over again and you're tired of hearing it, but we just show up and try to win. ... If you get up 2-0, there's no reason to look at it any different."
5. An idiotic statement
Jeff Suppan started his career with Boston a long time ago and returned to the Sox late last year as a member of their AL Championship Series roster. After Monday's workout, he was asked what he thought about that "bunch of idiots" he will face. "They're definitely idiots," he said, laughing. "No, they're a very relaxed, aggressive team. They do things well and feed off each other. Now that they have Billy Mueller back, last year's batting champ, that helps them. You just have to go out there and get 'em."
6. Womack and Marquis update
If the game is played, then Tony Womack will be batting seventh for the Cardinals and Edgar Renteria will be at leadoff for the fourth consecutive postseason game. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had said Monday he was looking at two lineups, one with Womack in the 7-hole and one with him back in his customary leadoff spot, but that he would wait to see how has progressed from the lower-back spasms that first appeared in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series. La Russa also said he will start Jason Marquis on the mound for Game 4, adding that the right-hander's brief appearance in relief Sunday helps rather than hurts. "He does best when he's had some activity," La Russa said.
7. Talking about the Curse, Part I
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz wrote that he doesn't believe in the "Curse of the Bambino," and he was even more sure that it's blather after watching what happened the past weekend. "In the olden days, if the Red Sox mugged the baseball at the rate of four errors per game, merciless rivals would have made the Bostonians pay by jacking homers over the Green Monster, or scoring by repeatedly slapping seeing-eye singles through fielders' legs," he wrote. "And now? The Red Sox could be playing defense with oven mitts and lobster-pot tongs, and the Cardinals couldn't capitalize."
8. Talking about the Curse, Part II
Others won't believe it's over until they see it, of course. Thomas Boswell wrote in the Washington Post: "On those rare occasions when the Yankees stink and Boston somehow does win a pennant, then they lose the World Series -- always in the seventh game and usually through some self-inflicted blunder." In the meantime, the Red Sox seemed like they were having fun on Monday. Pedro Martinez was celebrating his 33rd birthday here at Busch, so he will be a little older out there on the mound in Game 3.
9. Sign of the times
"Sign Man" is well known around Busch, and his latest offering before gametime was a sign that featured renderings of Pedro Martinez, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez -- with the words: "FORGET YOUR DADDY. WHO'S YOUR BARBER?" Meanwhile in the Red Sox clubhouse during the rain, Bronson Arroyo was talking about his braided mane: "I was having dinner with a Japanese businessman while we were in New York for the Yankee series, and he said, 'No, you grow your hair long, I'll put you on billboards in Japan like David Beckham.'" Arroyo said that to avoid attention in Boston, "I have to put a hat on to walk my dog down the street."
10. If you go down to the river
The Cardinals are 6-0 at home in this postseason, and there will be a roaring, red crowd waiting to greet them when they take the field for Game 3. Does Francona think this will make a difference? "They can't swing," he said of the fans. "If our pitchers make pitches, it doesn't matter what the fans do. But I'm sure (the Cardinals) will be more comfortable here."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.