Baseball Notable

The start of the World Series is being pushed back a day, to Wednesday, Oct. 24, meaning Game 7 will be scheduled for November for the first time.

Because of extra off-days during the postseason, a team sweeping the National League Championship Series, which starts a day sooner than the AL series, would have eight days off before its World Series opener.

"Maybe it will be over by Thanksgiving," Oakland catcher Mike Piazza said.

Major League Baseball announced last summer that the Series would start on a Tuesday beginning in 2007 under the sport's new network television contracts. In recent months, the decision was made to push it back an extra day, to Wednesday.

"Starting the World Series in the middle of the week, when television viewership is historically higher, will provide more fans with the opportunity to watch the games," Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said yesterday.

The only time World Series games have gone into November was in 2001, when terrorist attacks caused the entire postseason to be delayed a week.

Righthander John Smoltz left Atlanta's game against Washington in the seventh inning after dislocating the little finger on his pitching hand making a tag. X-rays were negative.

Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee, who leads the majors with a .390 batting average, missed the Cubs' game against the host New York Mets because of neck spasms. He went back to Chicago for tests.

- Associated Press