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

World Series games start earlier in night, end later on calendar

TV giveth and TV taketh away.

On one hand, the World Series could drag nearly a full week into November, fallout from the 2007 move of Game 1s to Wednesdays, which are more ratings-friendly than the old weekend-to-weekend schedule.

On the other hand, MLB and Fox finally have moved the first pitches for every game other than Sunday's to 7:57 p.m., belated recognition that the insane length of 21st century games demanded earlier starting times.

Speaking of TV, I talked to Fox's Joe Buck today for a newspaper column that will appear in Wednesday's paper.

We talked about many things, from Vin Scully to Chip Caray to Buck's evolution from smart-aleck twentysomething to a 40-year-old about to tie Scully and Curt Gowdy with 12 World Series on play-by-play.

A preview, in which Buck discusses his more judicious use of humor these days:

"I think I've grown up over the years, and I think after you've done this for long enough I feel like you settle into a good spot,'' he said.

"I don't avoid it. I think if something presents itself, like the other night saying, 'Kids, when catching a popup use four hands,' or giving Tim trouble, keeping some light moments with Tim and I, then I think it's worthwhile.

"There are times, I'm sure, in the past, where I looked for the funny line instead of letting it come to me. I don't know if it's because I have other avenues or because I don't feel compelled to make my mark that way. I'd rather just kind of do my job and move on.

"It's been an unconscious conscious decision. It just kind of happened."

Photo: AP

Tags: Fox , Yankees

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