(Second) Rate the IL Hotel: Toledo edition

Time once again folks for America’s fastest-growing sensation this side of Slinky, Pet Rock and Justin Bieber’s ego, Rate the IL Hotel!  And here’s your host, Jason Benetti!!!!


Well thank you.  It’s a pleasure once again to bring you the best and worst of the International League’s lodging.  Today, though, the title of the program isn’t exactly proper.  Today’s episode should be labeled:  Audit the IL Hotel.  To “rate” the Park Inn Toledo for this trip would be to brand it based on one possible outlier of an experience.  So, place your own rating on the Park Inn based on our experience from Friday and Saturday.


The Chiefs finished their series with Columbus on Friday night at 7 P.M.  As Kevin and I packed the equipment, I said to Kevin, “I have a bad feeling about this bus ride.”  “Bad feeling how?,” he asked.  I wasn’t sure.


When I got on the bus, I learned how.  Chiefs athletic trainer/maven of everything Atsushi Toriida told me that our bus–the one carrying the equipment–would be traveling first to the ballpark in Toledo, then to the hotel.  That didn’t seem like too much of a diversion; the Park Inn is a five minute walk from Fifth Third Field.  Ah, but there was the rub.  The Park Inn didn’t have enough rooms for all of us, so the whole team was staying the night across the border in Monroe, Michigan.


For those who have never been to Monroe, here are a few facts I learned on the trip:


*It is roughly 20 miles from Toledo.

*It contains a Quality Inn.


Here are a few facts I learned later:


*Christie Brinkley was born there.

*It is home to the War of 1812’s River Raisin Battlefield.

*The River Raisin is a body of water not established by Sun-Maid.


During our trip, a few things worth mentioning happened:


1) We learned everything we could possibly want to know about Ryan Tatusko, in a Twitter Q and A.  Check out his Twitter page @RyanTatusko.

2) Four movies were played, none of which I can name.

3) Our bus, at one point, stopped at an abandoned gas station.  The purpose here, we were told, was to allow one of our two bus drivers to stretch.  Inventors:  There is a market for a bus captain’s seat which allows for dexterity exercises mid-trip.  Please develop this.  Preferably before we leave Columbus Sunday night.


Seven-plus hours from departure, We arrived at the field in Toledo to unload the equipment as the sun came up in Lucas County, Ohio.  After the clubhouse attendants finished heaving player bags onto a cart, we were on our way to Monroe.  About 25 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot of the Quality Inn.  Randy Knorr told the players that the bus for the Park Inn Toledo would leave at 3 P.M.    With the time being 7:15, the best the players could do was about six-and-a-half hours.


It should be said that sleeping while the sun is out is as restful as a Nine Inch Nails live album.


We all stood up front and waited for our room keys, which Sushi (that’s what we call the trainer) dutifully handed out.  My key did not exist.  It needed to be made.  This gave me quite the opportunity to watch confused Chiefs leave and return to the lobby in search of their rooms.  Evidently, at the Quality Inn Monroe, some rooms are to the left of the desk, some are to the right and others are outside and around the building.  In the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, there’s a scene where investigators are trying to find Pierce Brosnan (Crown) in a museum.    Crown, though, has at least a dozen others dressed exactly like him.  So, the cops scramble all around the museum and eventually bump into each other and all the impostors.  That’s what the lobby looked like:  mass misdirection.


The genial woman at the front desk handed me a key and I rode the elevator to the fourth floor.  I walked through a stairwell (Yes, a mid-floor stairwell.  Convenient in case of, you know, a sudden urge to go downstairs while in a corridor) and hit the end of the hall.  I opened the door and was greeted my Vesuvial heat.  It was surprising that a tornado didn’t form in my doorway.  Nothing’s been more hot and cold since Regis and Kathie Lee’s relationship.


To remedy the situation, I blasted the room with icy breezes by turning the wall unit to “high cool.”  Once the room was a more moderate temperature (and before bed), I switched the unit to “low cool.”  Nothing changed.  High cool and low cool were the same.  Imagine if a waiter came to your table and said “How would you like your steak?  Red or scorched?”  This is not a way to endear oneself to a customer.


So, I turned the unit up to full blast for a few minutes.  I then switched it off and went to sleep.  A few hours later, I got back up and got on the bus to go to the Park Inn in Toledo, about 25 minutes away.  The rooms were ready and all was OK.  The Chiefs split the series in Toledo, no real harm done.


I learned later that, in an ironic twist, the Chiefs were left without a place to stay by the Park Inn because the hotel was overbooked by a convention of Jehova’s Witnesses, a group that, by lore, is fond of knocking on doors.


A regularly-scheduled edition of (Second) Rate the IL Hotel will appear soon.


Syracuse and Columbus start their series tonight at 7:05 at downtown Huntington Park as Yunesky Maya returns to the rotation.  Join us starting at 6:50 with the Clubhouse Show on The Score 1260 or online at www.thescore1260.com.






Is this critique written by Jason Hines or Duncan Benetti? If you guys have to go to places like Toledo and Norfolk by bus, you ought to get the Chiefs to at least book you into a Hampton Inn near the ballpark. I know the experience would be more pleasant. Of course, I don’t know how the other guests would take to having 25-30 guys checking in at 0400, but that’s another story.

Enjoy the writeups, Jason. That said, I’m a fan of tripadvisor.com.

Go Chiefs!!!

They’re ba-a-a-a-ack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Missed ya.

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