This was what baseball needed. The World Series that saw the two oldest baseball franchises, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs, meet has touched a national nerve. Baseball is now the top sport in television ratings, for the first time in a while. The World Series has attracted more viewers than just dedicated baseball fans. It also captured the attention of casual fans, as well as those who wouldn’t normally watch it. Tonight’s Game 7 will be a record. This should be the most memorable game for baseball fans. The World Series’ highest-rated game, Game 5, attracted 23.6 million viewers (Red Sox–Cardinals), beating Sunday Night Football by more than five millions viewers. Even though Tuesday’s game was not as dramatic as Monday’s, ratings were still high. This is not the only thing. You can hear baseball talk all over town: at restaurants, bars, break rooms and grocery stores, as well as in barber shops and on the golf course. My wife and I watched the game Sunday night at my house for the first ever time since our son was born. *** A final World Series note: Years ago, The Clarion-Ledger used to cover the Atlanta Braves quite extensively. I used to travel to Atlanta every season and write multiple columns. John Smoltz (now the Fox World Series analyst) was a great pitcher back then. Because he was always so open, engaging, and interesting, I gravitated towards his locker during pre-and post-game interview sessions. He was the best interviewer on those Braves, and there were many of them. Smoltz is exactly the same on TV. He is one of the most engaging and informative baseball analysts. He doesn’t say the obvious, and he gives you information you don’t need that you wouldn’t otherwise know. He is the best, and it’s one more reason to see him tonight.