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Early thoughts prior to Game One

AT&T
The field at AT&T Park is set for batting practice prior to Game One.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Where's Tom Jolls when we need him? It's positively salubrious out here by the Bay, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s as we get set for Game One of the World Series. The first pitch on FOX is at 8:07 as Barry Zito pitches against Justin Verlander.

The lineups are out and they look like this:

Detroit: Jackson, cf; Infante, 2b; Cabrera, 3b; Fielder, 1b; Young, lf; Peralta, ss; Garcia, rf; Avila, c; Verlander, p
San Francisco: Pagan, cf; Scutaro, 2b; Sandoval, 3b; Posey, c; Pence, rf; Belt, 1b; Blanco, lf; Crawford, ss; Zito, p

---Be sure to read my story in Thursday's paper on NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro, who was a Bison from 1997-2000. Scutaro was a deadline-day acquisition from Colorado.

"I had no expectations when I got here," he said. "As soon as you get traded, you start thinking about stuff out of baseball. family, where to live, packing quick. Days later, you start really seeing what's going on with the team, the teammates. After a couple days, I was thinking I had a very good opportunity to do something special with this team and to be in the playoffs."

---With no games played yet, there's no burning issues to ponder. A lot of the pregame time was spent talking to Game Two starters Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister, a Northern California native who grew up a Giants fan.

Bumgarner was downright churlish at times during his media session. Maybe he's got a right to be. A 16-game winner in the regular season, he got drilled twice in the playoffs. But he threw eight shutout innings in Game Four of the 2010 World Series in Texas so manager Bruce Bochy is going back to him.

"I feel good about Madison," said Bochy. "He's had a great year, he's done a great job for us since he's been up here, including postseason. This is a small sample on a couple hiccups he had earlier, and I think he's getting some much needed rest and some time to work on making a couple adjustments in his delivery. 

"Sometimes you get out of sync and it's better off taking a little bit of time and trying to sort that out, which he's done. So I look forward to watching him tomorrow."

---My favorite quote from Media Day was Jim Leyland's thoughts on managing star players: "Whether a guy is making $60,000 or $6 million or $16 million, if he was a good guy, he was a good guy. If he was a jerk, he was a jerk. I've got good guys. My superstars are good guys, and so are my other guys that aren't superstars. They're good guys.

"But I've believed that all my life. The economics of it has nothing to do with it; the superstar status has nothing to do with it. If a guy is a good guy, he's a good guy. If he's a jerk, he's a jerk. Fortunately I don't have any jerks."

---Nothing I've heard in the last two days changes my mind. Verlander is an unquestioned and almost unhittable ace. I like the Tigers tonight. Then we'll see.

---Mike Harrington

Twitter: @BNHarrington 

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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