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Baseball slides into third

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Which is America’s real national pastime — baseball or watching NBC’s Thursday-night lineup? The debate rages on, as ER (1st) and Seinfeld (2nd) outdrew the beginning of the World Series. But game two (3rd) between the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves edged out Friends (4th) and Caroline in the City (6th), and game one (7th) beat The Single Guy (9th). Tuesday’s conclusion of the American League championship series (12th) cut into Tony Danza’s new ABC sitcom, Hudson Street (22nd). On a baseball-free Friday, the arson-themed season premiere of NBC’s Homicide (54th) torched CBS’ American Gothic (75th). And ABC better move Murder One (78th); it lost to both ER and CBS’ 48 Hours (61st).