Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Bobby Valentine looked forward to ESPN gig with Steve Phillips

Mets pitcher Orel Hershiser, center, general manager Steve

Mets pitcher Orel Hershiser, center, general manager Steve Phillips, left, and manager Bobby Valentine gather for a photo during a news conference. (March 25, 1999) (Credit: AP)

Roundup of World Series-related stuff:

Here is Newsday.com's comprehensive coverage, featuring the crew that has led our charge through a long October: Boland, Davidoff, Lennon, Matthews, Baumbach, Rieber and Staple. They deserve a victory parade through the newsroom after the Yankees' parade in Manhattan.

Here is a newspaper column I wrote about Bobby Valentine, who discusses what it would have been like to work with Steve Phillips at ESPN, his recent interview with the Indians and readjusting to life in America.

Here is an item I wrote in which Kenny Albert discusses the strange scene involving Mayor Bloomberg during the AL trophy presentation, and another about the increase in media credentials for this year's Fall Classic and another explaining why there sometimes still are empty seats seen in prime locations at the Stadium.

They even trusted me with a baseball-related sidebar about the umps.

Of course, like many scribes in the press box these days, I also wasted plenty of time posting tweets in an effort to amuse my colleagues as they slogged through another 210 minutes or more of playoff baseball.

I might have written more Thursday night, but I was one of the reporters trapped in the stairwell that leads from the press box to the locker room level while security got George Steinbrenner out of the building. The Yankees have every right to close the stairs and elevator while escorting the Boss in comfort and privacy. As long as they send Joe Girardi, Charlie Manuel and key players up to the press box to meet with us there instead.

Amtrak, which is hoping everyone will call this the Amtrak Series, is offering free rides from New York to Philly today to credentialed World Series media members. Cute. But if they really wanted to promote this with an old-school vibe, they would have invited us to play poker and smoke cigars with Jeter and A-Rod in their train car.

I've been in a lot of boring major-sports-event news conferences in my time, but listening to Pedro Martinez both Wednesday afternoon and again after Game 2 made up for many of them. No one is more weirdly fascinating.

Chris Berman doesn't bother me the way he seems to bother many other humans, but he unnecessarily generates negative feelings among less rich and famous colleagues in the media by pulling rank for special access. Latest example: leaving the designated media area during b.p. to chat with Charlie Manuel at the cage while hundreds of other journalists looked on from a distance.

Then again, at least Berman was doing an actual work-related activity, which cannot be said for everyone clogging the field before the game. Even as a veteran of 11 Super Bowls, I was feeling claustrophobic.

One of the biggest stars loitering during b.p. - but not talking to Charlie Manuel - was Masahiro Nakai, a Japanese pop star I'd never heard of until Thursday but whose mere presence caused a female Japanese journalist to all but pass out from excitement. He did have interesting hair.

I mostly have fended off the dozen or so emails I get each day about Joe Buck and/or Tim McCarver being biased against the Yankees, because they aren't. But I thought the boys dwelled too much on the quiet-crowd-in-the-Bronx angle Thursday. It was true, to a point, but mostly a function of quiet Yankees bats and the traditional vibe early in a World Series, when the swells outnumber real fans. Everyone was complaining about the same thing after Games 1 and 2 in 1986 at Shea. The volume picked up considerably in Games 6 and 7.

Photo: AP

Tags: Yankees , Fox , ESPN

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