Series missing aces, but that’s OK with fans |

Series missing aces, but that’s OK with fans

When is the last time a World Series didn’t have an overpowering starting pitcher?

Take a look at the aces from the wild-card World Series, which begins Saturday in Anaheim: Jarrod Washburn of the Angels and Kirk Reuter of the Giants. Casual baseball fans probably haven’t heard of these guys and are more apt to know the team’s relievers: Robb Nen of the Giants and the Angels’ stopper Troy Percival.

Last year, it was co-World Series MVPs Kurt Schilling and Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks vs. Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina of the Yankees. The year before that it was Clemens and Andy Pettitte mowing down the Mets in five games.

Only two World Series after the Jose Rijo-led Reds’ four-game sweep of the A’s in 1990 haven’t involved the Yankees or Braves. Lavish-spending owners Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner have made sure there has been no shortage of pitching on their ball clubs.

Not since 1997 when current Giant starter Livan Hernandez, then pitching with the Florida Marlins, was voted the MVP has the series not contained a superstar pitcher.

And if memory serves me right, the Marlins’ seven-game thriller over the Indians was one of the best World Series in recent history, even though the TV networks must have hated it.

Because the Angels and Giants are more known for their hitting than their pitching, this year’s series figures to draw more groans from TV executives, while giving baseball fans what they want: lots of scoring.

Series tickets still available

Don’t give up on your dream of attending a World Series game at Pac Bell yet.

Today at 10 a.m., 7,000 tickets for three possible games at Pac Bell will be sold online and by phone. The golden tickets are available by calling (510) 762-2277 or at

The lucky ticket winners can purchase a maximum of four tickets and spread them over the Giants’ three possible home games as needed: four for one game, two for two games or one ticket for two games and two to the third.

Ex-Trib sportswriter is out of tickets

Matt O’Neill, a former Tahoe Daily Tribune sportswriter, must be the good-luck charm the Giants were missing. In his first season as the club’s special events coordinator, the Giants go and make the World Series.

O’Neill is also finding out that he has more friends than he had before the Giants made the playoffs.

“It hasn’t been too bad,” he said. “A lot of them know (World Series) tickets are hard to get.”

Giants have the Orioles to thank

Being a Baltimore Orioles’ fan I firmly believe that the Giants made the World Series for the first time in 13 years because of the whipping the O’s gave them in June in San Francisco.

The Giants only scored seven runs in losing two of three games to Baltimore June 21-23. After suffering through another losing season, I thought I’d sneak that in there, Giant fans.

Major-league team growing in Tahoe

Stateline’s roster of current Major League Baseball players has doubled with the addition of St. Louis leadoff man Fernando Vina — Orioles’ pitcher Scott Erickson is the other.

Adding them to retired slugger Dave Kingman (Glenbrook) and former Dodgers’ relief pitcher Mike Hartley and the South Shore is building a team loaded with pitching, power hitting and speed.

If I were Little League or Babe Ruth presidents looking for a 2003 fund-raiser, maybe a benefit Wiffle ball game could be arranged. Erickson and Kingman vs. Vina and Hartley. Considering some of the programs ESPN airs early in the morning, maybe it could be televised, too.

Sharks need to fix leaky goal

Is Dominek Hasek enjoying his retirement? Hopefully not. The San Jose Sharks could sure use a goalie after surrendering 11 goals in two defeats to start the season.

Detroit lit the lamp six times in their opener and even Vancouver became a high-scoring team with five goals against the Sharks on Saturday night. The Sharks have been touted as one of the league’s elite teams, but they’re missing something all Stanley Cup contenders have — a solid goalie.

— Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or at

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