Play it forward: July 19-25 on your sports calendar

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:

MONDAY

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MLB: Dodgers vs. San Francisco, Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m.:

An industrious reporter recently pointed out that in the post-All-Star-break schedule, the Dodgers have the toughest road head of any other team — 58 games on the schedule against teams with records above. 500. And that’s after already struggling against the Angels, Yankees and Red Sox in one of the most brutal interleague schedule. They knocked out four of those games last weekend in St. Louis, but buster, they don’t get a break with the Giants, thanks to Buster Posey pushing himself all over the lineup. (By the way: The team with perhaps the easiest road the rest of the way: The Cincinnati Reds, who’ve got to play 25 games against teams with winning records). The Dodgers bring back James McDonald to try to fill a hole with the latest struggles by John Ely.

TUESDAY

MLB: Angels at New York Yankees, 4 p.m., FSW:

After all the drama of George Steinbrenner’s passing, and the Yankees’ annual Old-Timers’ Game, the Angels come into town to play two games in less than 24 hours. Maybe Joe Girardi will allow Alex Rodriguez to play this time.

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MLB: Dodgers vs. San Francisco, Dodger Stadium, 7 p.m., Channel 9:

It’s James Loney bobbleheads to the “first 50,000 valid tickets.” So, who can get into the game with an invalid ticket? James Loney, of course.

WEDNESDAY

MLB: Angels at New York Yankees, 10 a.m., FSW:

The last meeting of the year between the two, unless, like seemingly every year, they meet in the playoffs.

MLB: Dodgers vs. Giants, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:

The season series against the Giants is only half over. There’s nine more to go in August and September.

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Horse racing: Del Mar race track, opening day, first post, 2 p.m.:

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In our search for a horse racing track that accepts checks and credit cards at the parimutual window — hey, we’re good for it — we’ll try the opener of the 37-day meeting at Del Mar that runs through Sept. 8. It includes the “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest” today, plus Friday summer concerts (including ZZ Top, B-52s, Jimmy Cliff, and the ever-popular Super Diamond), and a microbrew festival in late August. Drive, take a limo, a double-decker bus, or walk (start now) — maybe even go on horseback — but we’ll be on the train, checking out the latest fares and stops at Amtrak (linked here). Meanwhile, the Daily Racing Form says Zenyatta, who won the Vanity Stakes at Hollywood Park last month, is on schedule to race on Aug. 7 in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, which she won in ’08 and ’09. All aboard.

THURSDAY

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The Justice League of Mannywood has added this to-do for the do-ragged Manny Ramirez fans — you still get his action figure in tonight’s giveaway even if he’s back on the DL. Go figure.

Golf: Senior British Open, first round, 10 a.m., ESPN2:

This year, it’s Carnoustie, Scotland, and we’ll still put our droons on Tom Watson for the win (he did it in ’03, ’05 and ’07). By the way, the U.S. Senior Open is next week in Seattle, if you’re thinking of making that 10-hour flight nonstop after this one ends.

MLS: Galaxy vs. San Jose, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN2:

Like we need another earthquake scare in these parts.

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MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

Seven of the Angels’ next 10 games are against the team ahead of them in the AL West. Time to make hay. And intentionally walk Vlad Guerrero every time he comes up. Cliff Lee’s spot in the rotation may come up here for the Rangers.

FRIDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Mets, 7 p.m., Prime:

Did we mention that the Mets are getting Carlos Beltran back from injury, the pitching staff has been pretty hot, and they’ve got a pretty cake second-half schedule — easier than the NL East-leading Braves, for sure. The Mets have yet to play Arizona, Houston and Pittsburgh — the three last-place teams in each division.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

Aside from Big Daddy Vladdy, somehow, Darren Oliver and Benjie Molina figure to could play a role in the Rangers’ success against their old teammates this weekend.

SATURDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Mets, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

The stat that Vin Scully likes to bring up when Clayton Kershaw takes the mound: In every one of his starts this far, he’s never set the opponents down 1-2-3 in the first inning. He opened the second half of the season pitching in St. Louis last week, and couldn’t get over that hump again. We’re going to guess that earlier this week against the Giants, it happened again. This will be his scheduled 20th start of the year. Let’s go back to this one.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

How, again, are the Rangers, a team in bankruptcy, able to go out and make big-name deals?

SUNDAY

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MLB: Hall of Fame induction ceremony, 10:30 a.m., MLB Network:

Cooperstown becomes Dawson’s Creek on this day. Not an iconic class of those voted in this year — Andre Dawson, with umpire Doug Harvey and former manager Whitey Herzog — but just soak in the ceremony as something that’s a part of the summer that should never go away. ESPN’s John Miller will also be inducted into the broadcasters wing, meaning he’ll miss tonight’s St. Louis-Chicago telecast from Wrigley Field.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., Channel 13:

Three more meetings next week in Anaheim, and seven more in late September and the first week of October (the last three in Texas) to end the regular season. By the way, on July 28, it marks the 16th anniversary of Kenny Rogers’ perfect game against the Angels, while he was still jerking around with the Rangers

MLB: Dodgers vs. New York Mets, 1 p.m., Prime:

Somehow, ESPN didn’t pick this one up for its prime-time window? Guess Prime Ticket will have to do.

NASCAR: Brickyard 400, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 10 a.m., ESPN:

Question: How many laps in the Brickyard 400? A hundred sixty, of course. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is 2.5 miles long. Do the math. Another question: Has a woman ever competed in this race? Nope. Shawna Robinson tried, but failed to qualify for the race in 2001. Take that to the brickyard and make dust of it.

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