Theater Of The Absurd

The big Florida sleepover

Baseball

September 12, 2004|By Joe Christensen

The Florida Marlins' wild-card surge was interrupted by Hurricane Frances last weekend, but they did get a little quality bonding time.

As the Category 2 storm blew 70 miles to the north, several members of the team and their families hunkered down at Pro Player Stadium - for four days. It wasn't quite as bad as it sounds, though, as the group had hot saunas, big-screen televisions and spaghetti dinners.

Josh Beckett slept in the umpires' dressing room. Ismael Valdez, Matt Treanor and Armando Benitez slept on air mattresses.

"All the comforts of a country club," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "We never lost power. We had seven or eight TVs going, saunas. We'd walk out periodically to check for damage. ... They even brought in the cook. It was almost like a five-star restaurant."

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