10/19/2002 8:09 pm ET
Fox has the World Series covered
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
MLB on Fox kicks off coverage of the 98th World Series tonight, as pre-game coverage from Edison Field is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m (ET). MLB on FOX announcers Joe Buck, Tim McCarver will be back in the booth for the best-of-seven series between the Giants and the Angels. Kevin Kennedy will serve as the pre- and post-game analyst.
Fox is the exclusive network home of Major League Baseball's playoffs and World Series, the fourth between California teams and the first pitting a pair of Wild Card teams.
"I love the Wild Card," Buck said. "I don't have any reservations about saying that, and I think it's been good for baseball. I know people have disagreed with that in the past. But ... when you travel around and you see these games day after day throughout the course of the season, and you see teams falling out of the race as early as mid-July or early August, now you have something left for these teams to fight for. We have the two hottest, two best teams meeting in the World Series, and I think that's how it should be."
"With 30 MLB teams today, the Wild Card was necessary," Kennedy said. "Back in the '60s, with 16 teams, it was a different story. Now, it's easier to win divisions -- not to take one thing away from winning the four-team NL West or AL West. The Wild Card is great for the game, and the two hottest teams in the second half are in the World Series."
The Giants, who faced Oakland in the last World Series between Golden State teams in 1989, are making their third appearance since the franchise moved west from New York. The Giants haven't won a World Series since sweeping Cleveland in 1954.
The Angels are in the Fall Classic for the first time in their 42-year history. Buck, Kennedy and McCarver said they expect a close series.
"The Angels had 10 hits in two different innings against the Yankees and Twins," McCarver said. "Teams go two decades without having 10 hits in two innings during the regular season. The Giants may have the most overpowering pitcher in the game in Jason Schmidt. The game Schmidt pitched in St. Louis was like he was pitching to college team. And that's nothing against Cardinals."
"I think they're both great stories," Kennedy said. "The Angels were predicted to be third place this year, behind Oakland and Seattle. When the A's were winning 20 straight and should've blown that division away, the Angels were winning 16 of 17. The Giants were picked third by most guys, too. Here they are in third place at the All-Star Break; the Dodgers were in the drivers' seat with a 3 1/2-game Wild Card lead two weeks before the end of the season. The Giants win 17 out of their last 22, and it was absolutely incredible."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This article was not subject to the approval of Major League baseball or its clubs.