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WORLD SERIES * ANGELS VS. SAN FRANCISCO

Baker Goes to Schmidt for Game 1

October 17, 2002|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO -- Questions, questions, questions.

San Francisco Giant Manager Dusty Baker had only one answer Wednesday. Right-hander Jason Schmidt will open the World Series Saturday against the Angels.

Baker said he will use a four-man rotation, which will also include Russ Ortiz, Livan Hernandez and Kirk Rueter, but wouldn't reveal the order of the rotation.

Baker said that decision, along with the choice of designated hitters for the games at Anaheim and any roster moves, would be finalized in a meeting with his coaches later in the day.

After beginning the season at triple-A Fresno, Schmidt wound up 13-8 with the Giants with a 3.45 earned-run average. He struck out 196 and walked 73 in 185 1/3 innings. In the postseason, Schmidt is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA. Schmidt, who was scheduled to pitch Game 6 of the National League championship series if it had gone that far, beat St. Louis in Game 2, 4-1, holding the Cardinals to four hits and a run in 7 2/3 innings. Throwing 119 pitches, Schmidt struck out eight and walked one.

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San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has already thrown out the first insult of the World Series.

"Of course I would have rather had us playing New York," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Can you imagine the embarrassment if we lose to Anaheim?"

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The spirit of the postseason glows from San Francisco's City Hall. The building is lit up at night in bright orange for the duration of the World Series. With the contrasting background of the night sky, the scene matches the Giant colors of orange and black.

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Tickets for the games at Pacific Bell Park have been raised to more than seven times the regular-season rates, in some cases.

An upper-deck seat, normally $17, will run $125 for the World Series. Bleacher seats, normally $9 to $13, will go for $60.

And that's before the scalpers get hold of them.

Trying to avoid long lines of ticket seekers around the park, the Giants gave out numbered orange wristbands Monday. Seven thousand tickets went on sale Wednesday with another seven thousand being sold over the phone or online.

It didn't work. Fans without wristbands still camped out at the ballpark.

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The Giants are flying today and will work out at Edison Field from 5 to 7 p.m.

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