SAN FRANCISCO -- Rangers third-base coach Dave Anderson can't help but wonder what might've been.
Anderson was the head coach at the University of Memphis and landed his biggest recruit -- pitcher Matt Cain out of Houston High School in suburban Memphis. Of course, Cain never pitched for him. The Giants snatched him in the first round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.
On Thursday, Anderson will watch from the other side as Cain starts for the Giants in Game 2 of the World Series.
"Hands down, he would've been my biggest recruit," said Anderson, who had a 104-116 record at Memphis, his alma mater, from 2001-04. "He went to the same high school that my daughter went to and my son went to, so I know him really well. I could throw a ball from my house to the school back when I lived there.
"We'd seen him the summer before his senior year and got on him pretty hard then, signed him before school ever started that year. Then in springtime, he goes out and throws the ball pretty good. Next time he throws, a few more scouts out there. Next time he throws, few more, and the next time he throws, the place is packed with scouts."
By then, all Anderson could do was wish Cain well.
"I talked to him and his family at the time and said, 'If you get drafted high, I'll hand you the pen. Go ahead and sign,'" Anderson said. "It was the right move for him. Obviously, he's turned into a really good professional baseball pitcher."
Anderson watched Cain's growth.
"I saw him in the Minor Leagues when I was roving for the Dodgers and I saw him in Triple-A one game where he got into trouble throwing strikes," Anderson said. "How was he going to fix it? He was going to throw harder. I talked to him after the game then and said, 'That's why you're here in Triple-A. Learn how to make those adjustments.'
"He competes really, really well, he's a good athlete. He can swing the bat a little bit. He's tough. We faced him last year here, and he beat us. We're going to have our hands full. He's done a good job. He's one of the big reasons why they're here."
Guerrero finally gets into World Series
SAN FRANCISCO -- Vladimir Guerrero was in right field for Game 1, making his first appearance in a World Series game on Wednesday. Guerrero had played 2,002 games, the fourth-longest streak by an active Major League player who had never been in a Fall Classic.The longest belongs to Bobby Abreu with 2,105, followed by Jason Kendall (2,085) and Miguel Tejada (2,027). Guerrero has played in 40 postseason games. Rafael Furcal has played in 41 postseason games, the most by any active player without having played in the World Series. Guerrero could be back in right field for Game 2, although manager Ron Washington hasn't made a decision on that yet. "We'll just see how this day goes," Washington said before Game 1. "If it looks like he's not having any problems, he may go again. But it didn't look like he was having any problems [during the workout] yesterday. He's worked hard every day. It may not be the same as games, but after batting practice, he goes out into the field and takes his fielding and throwing. It's not like he takes his BP and goes in. He does it the same as other outfielders."
Moreland honors Mississippi State teammate
SAN FRANCISCO -- Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland wears a barely noticeable, but meaningful, accessory on his left wrist.
It's a "Do it for Duffy" bracelet, with Mississippi State's interlocking "MS" logo, in honor of former college teammate Ryan Duffy. Duffy, a catcher for the Bulldogs, suffered severe neck and spinal-cord injuries in a diving accident this summer at his home in Florida.
"I'm not sure, but they're thinking he's paralyzed," Moreland said. "He's one of my good buddies. This is kind of a fund they're starting for him. Everywhere you look at Mississippi State, they're doing a lot of stuff for Ryan. I wanted to try to support him any way I could. Keep him in your prayers."
The bracelets are available by mail. Information on how to obtain one is available on the Mississippi State's athletic website.
Washington has nerves of steel before Game 1
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Ron Washington, talking in his office before Game 1 on Wednesday, said he wasn't nervous going into his first World Series."The most nervous I have been was when we were trying to win the division going into Oakland," Washington said. "Once we got that done, I haven't been nervous. I know I'll have some butterflies, but that's about it. Nervous? I'm not." Washington said he was looking forward to managing under National League rules. They will not use the designated hitter in the NL city, which means more moves by the manager. But Washington also likes the speed of the game under NL rules. "The game moves," Washington said. "You get to make some moves and get everybody on the bench involved. Everybody has to stay focused and stay in the ballgame. You never know when you're going to get in the ballgame. In the American League, you let the hitters go and monitor the pitching staff."
Rangers keep Cantu on the roster
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rangers continue to keep Jorge Cantu on the roster even though Mitch Moreland has taken over as the full-time first baseman. Cantu has played in just two of 11 games in the playoffs and is 0-for-7 at the plate.But manager Ron Washington wanted him on the roster, especially in case he needs to pull a double-switch involving the pitcher under National League rules. "We kept Cantu, because he got some big hits for us," Washington said. "I know I haven't gotten him in there much, but he's played a big part in this. That's why he's here." Moreland, a left-handed hitter, has been playing against both left and right-handed pitchers. The Giants will throw right-handers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain in San Francisco, but will have left-handers Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgardner on the mound in Games 3 and 4 in Arlington. Cantu might be an option for those games at first if Washington decides to go back to a platoon. "I don't know yet," Washington said. "I've got to get Cantu out there at some point. We'll see."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @harding_at_mlb on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.