Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
Tennis: Wimbledon, first round, 3:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., ESPN:
Starts today, ends July 4. Great, if you’re an American thinking of making a splash on the Fourth of July (i.e., Andy Roddick). Or if you’re a streaker. Best news about the event so far: Vuvuzelas have been banned. Ian Ritchie, the tennis club’s top exec, issued a statement Thursday saying spectators would not be allowed to bring in any noise-making devices that have annoyed so many watching the World Cup. “Out of courtesy to the players and their fellow spectators, we make a point of asking spectators not to bring items which could either cause a distraction or interfere with the enjoyment of the occastion,” the statement said. “Rattles, klaxons and vuvuzelas all fall into that category … Our messsage is do not bring them in the first place.” The official website (linked here) can tell you much more. And it’s all in English.
MLB: Dodgers at Angels, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., Channel 9, FSW:
The Angels’ new homestand actually runs parallel to Wimbledon — it’s 12 games in a row at Anaheim ending on the Fourth of July. In the first phase of Freeway Series last weekend, the Angels took all three at Dodger Stadium. Don’t expect the table to turn here. The Angels haven’t been swept in a series at home since June 2007.
FIFA World Cup: U.S. vs. Algeria, 7 a.m., ESPN:
Algerian culture is rich in proverbs. Such as: “If you want the object to be solid, mold it out of your own clay.” And: “None but a mule denies his origin.” And: “The iron is struck while it is hot.” That last one may pertain to having a hot striker ironing out any problem a team could have.
MLB: Dodgers at Angels, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime, FSW:
John Ely, bounced around in his last outing against the Angels, and at Cincinnati, has his spot in the rotation come up again for the Dodgers.
NBA draft, 4 p.m., ESPN:
At a site called NBADraft.net (linked here), not to be confused with any official league internet desination, the Clippers’ No. 8 overall pick will be wasted on someone named Luke Babbitt, a 6-foot-9 foward from Nevada, the Lakers will take two non-descript players with their two second-round choices (or trade them away, as they’ve done in the past), and outside of Washington’s Quincy Pondexter, who could go to the Washington Wizards in the second round, there won’t be a Pac-10 player picked. So there you go.
WNBA: Sparks at Washington, 4 p.m.:
The Sparks could have as many picks in the NBA draft as the Lakers. Their road trip continues in Atlanta on Sunday.
MLB: Dodgers at Angels, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime, FSW:
It’s the last meeting between the I-5 rivals, but what if this L.A. vs. that L.A. played 18 times a year, in the same division, nastiness building on a monthly basis instead of just six interleague tiffs crammed into the schedule so early as to not make much of a difference by the end of September. “It’s been floated around,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre admitted recently. Torre and Angels manager Mike Scioscia are both involved in commissioner Bud Selig’s Special Committee of On-Field Matters. “The passion is here,” Torre agreed. “(The rivalries) are different, but not one better than the other. Even if it’s more laid back here, (the matchup) is still No. 1 on their lists.” It could be part of an All-California Division, right? “It sure would be much easier for travel and seem to make a lot more sense,” Torre agreed. “The only way you can make sure it’s gonna fly is if the fans accept it. This isn’t really a game that’s changed its rules a lot. That would be a huge step.” Just putting it out there.
MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Yankees, Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m., Prime:
If Manny Ramirez was the focus of attention last weekend in Fenway, Joe Torre will be in the spotlight for this one, managing against the team he took to four world championships and six AL pennants from 1996 to 2007. In those 12 years, he won 1,173 games, more than half of the 2,280-plus career wins he’s had in 29 total years as a manager. We could keep throwing more stats up there, but what would it matter? There are supposedly no tickets left for this series because the Dodgers tied them into season-ticket packages and have been marketing this for months. Someday, the Dodgers could play a three-game series at the new Yankee Stadium. That would be much more noteworthy.
MLB: Angels vs. Colorado, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:
The Angels, by luck and not by choice, should miss hot Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez, scheduled to pitch at home against Boston on Wednesday. He could have been the first player named Ubaldo to ever perform in Anaheim. The teams also face off Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 12:35 p.m.
NHL Draft, Staples Center, first round, 4 p.m., Versus:
The Kings host the annual draft for the first time in franchise history, and why not? Many of the big picks in the last few years have become Kings’ property. They have nine picks in this one, including 19th overall. If you want to attend, check out the info at lakings.com/nhldraft. Again, going off the board, at MyNHLDraft.com (linked here), which has nothing to do with anything, they say the Kings will take Quinton Howden, a 6-foot-2 left winger from Moose Jaw of the WHL. The NHL Network has rounds 2-7 on Saturday starting at 10 a.m. Or you can go see the movie “Grown Ups” that is released today: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Kevin James, David Spade and Chris Rock play five grown-ups who won a youth basketball title and now come together for their coach’s funeral. Then they play together again.
MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Yankees, Dodger Stadium, 4 p.m., Channel 11:
Don’t let the shadows at Dodger Stadium confuse you. It’s not a playoff game. Just a late start to it’s in prime time for the East Coast.
MLS: Galaxy at Toronto FC, 4:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel; Chivas USA vs. FC Dallas, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
Not to be confused with any games going on in South Africa at this time.
MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Yankees, Dodger Stadium, 5 p.m., ESPN:
You already know the storyline here. What a shock it would be to see Adrian Grenier in the stands tonight for the nationally televised game. That’s because the HBO show “Entourage” starts its seventh season tonight. To catch you up: After an accident during the filming of his latest action flick, Vince (Grenier) has developed a new lease on life that makes him even more difficult to manage. The rest of the guys — Drama, Turtle, Eric — try to map out their futures, while Ari (Jeremy Piven) looks to add to his resume as “the biggest agent in the world” by forging an alliance with the NFL. Mike Tyson is supposed to make a guest appearance this season, to punch up the plot. Derek Jeter would seem ripe for an appearance.