Play it forward: Aug. 16-22 on your sports calendar


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



WWE Monday Night Raw, Staples Center, 5:30 p.m., USA Network:

Naw, we didn’t pay the $44.95 for WWE SummerSlam over the weekend, which was also at Staples Center. But here’s the leftovers — a 21-man battle royal, and that includes scheduled appearances by Chris Jericho (above), Sheamus, Kane, John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge, John Morrison, CM Punk, R. Truth, Jack Swagger, Big Show … most of the guys you can still see on Slurpee cups at 7-Eleven. That’s the truth.

MLB: Dodgers at Atlanta, 4 p.m., Channel 9:

Already drowning in their own tears, the last thing the Dodgers need here is a rain delay. They have to fly home all night after this one, probably land as the sun is coming up, then take a nap and face the Rockies on Tuesday night. Joe Torre can’t overthink this – even thought it’ll be his last head-to-head meeting against Bobby Cox. Unless either of them is smart enough to get thrown out.


NFL exhibition: New York Jets vs. New York Giants, 5 p.m., ESPN:

The new Meadowlands Stadium, still not in New York, has already staged its first big-time football game — did you miss the U.S.-Brazil kickball match last week? That didn’t count, and this one doesn’t either, if you’re keeping track. Green Day is supposed to play at halftime, if that adds value to the ticket.


MLB: Angels at Boston, 4 p.m., FSW:

Trying to inch their way back into the AL West race with about 40-some odd games to play, the numbers this week don’t favor the Halos. These Red Sox, who’ve beaten them in all seven meetings this year, send out Clay Bucholtz, who has won five of his last decisions. The Angels, by the way, are below .500 against the AL East (see their last series against Toronto?), so it’s not a great way to try to make up ground in your own division.

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

It’s a Matt Kemp bobblehead giveaway — where do we start? Last year, the bobblehead depicted Kemp celebrating a home run. This time, he’s making a catch next to the wall. After he took a couple steps in at the crack of the bat? Ned Colletti will collect all the extra ones to line up on his desk.

WNBA: Sparks vs. Phoenix, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

The Sparks have lost to the defending champions three times already this year — but twice by just a point. Despite a sub-.500 record, the Mercury is second in the Western Conference standings.


MLB: Angels at Boston, 4 p.m., FSW:

John Lackey has pitched 14 1/3 inning against his old team this season, giving up just three earned runs and collecting two victories. But the win he collected over the Angels on July 27 was the last he’s had since the end of June — to go with four losses and three no-decisions.

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

It’s been pointed out that Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda — 0-for-38, a .000 average — has yet to connect on a base hit this season. Yeah, that’s the problem with the Dodgers’ offense. He’ll start again tonight, registering just one win in his last eight starts — although last Friday’s 1-0 loss at Atlanta is hardly worth fretting about. (Except Kuroda struck out twice on nine total pitches in that game). The Rockies start Jason Hammel, who has given up 135 hits in 130 innings this year.


NFL exhibition: New England at Atlanta, 5 p.m., Channel 11:

Have you seen Tom Brady’s cool new head of hair? When is cut-down day?


MLB: Angels at Boston, 4 p.m., FSW:

Josh Beckett has been banged around in his last two starts — giving up a combined 13 earned runs (four homers) and 22 hits in 9 2/3 innings, against the Yankees and Rangers. That’s pretty different from the guy who beat the Angels, 7-3, at Anaheim in late July, then followed that with eight Ks and only one earned run in eight innings while beating Cleveland.

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

Ubaldo Jimenez, at 17-3, was actually 2-2 in his last four starts heading into Sunday’s game against Milwaukee. The Dodgers are still responsible for pinning him with his first loss back on Mother’s Day. As it turns out, the Cy Young candidate will miss seeing the Dodgers on this trip on the day this three-game series comes to an end — De La Rosa, Hammel and Francis drew the lucky numbers.



Little League World Series, at Williamsport, Penn., four games, ESPN and ESPN2:

The New England vs. Northwest and Midwest vs. Southwest games are the openers, on ESPN; Japan-Mexico and Caribbean-Europe start their International bracket, on ESPN2. Welcome to America.

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

Is Johnny Cueto’s suspension over by now? The Reds come kicking and screaming into L.A. If Brandon Phillips taps Brad Ausmus on the shinguard to lead off the game, don’t take it as an invite to fight.

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

The Angels may not have targeted this date as the first time they’d finally play at Target Field in Minneapolis, but it has finally arrived. The Twins’ new home park — RIP Metrodome — across I-394 in downtown seats 39,504 without any roof over their heads. And the locals seem to really like it. Those who weren’t fond of trash-bag home-run fences and balls that got lost in the white puffy ceiling.

WNBA: Sparks vs. Minnesota, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:

The two teams trying to clinch the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. The Sparks pulled out a one-point win at Minnesota last week.


Series: “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town,” 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., IFC:

Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson are back with the start of an eight-episode series. It starts with a storyline about how their town, Shuckton, is waiting to hear an answer on their bid to host the Olympic Games. OK, who gets to dress up like a girl in this one? And where’s the Chicken Lady?

Movie: “The Tillman Story,” Hollywood Archlight (Sunset and Vine) and West L.A. Landmark (Pico and Westwood) theatres:

A limited engagement of the documetary that seeks to find out why the Army covered up the death of former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to fight the war in the Middle East. Josh Brolin narrates it.


Red Bull Flugtag, Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor at Shoreline Aquatic Park, 1 p.m.:

We believe you can fly. We believe you can touch the sky. In something you create. Then jump over the water. The Flugtag record was set last July — 207 feet — when a team at the event in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area went airborne down the Mississippi River, smashing the previous record which had held for more than 10 years. Among the entry names here: Manny Wood (from Valencia, a giant Dodger helmet with dreadlocks coming out of the back); Auto Club Speedway (from Huntington Beach, a giant red racecar with an even bigger foil for easier flying), and Band of Bruins (from Newport Beach, featuring a giant UCLA mascot chasing a USC man toward Seattle). More info:

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


The dog days of summer have officially arrived. The Dodgers attempt to stage their “Bark in the Park” promotion — bring your dog to the game, buy yourself a $25 all-you-can-eat right-field pavilion seat, buy your dog a $25 right-field pavilion seat (they aren’t allowed in any other section of the stadium), and try to enjoy the game. We’re not sure if you’re allowed to take doggie bags home with you, loaded up with half-eaten Dodger Dogs. It starts with a pre-game “pup rally” in the parking lot, a parade around the warning track, and then the contest. Note: All dog owners must bring a copy of a current rabies vaccination document from a licensed veterinarian. The dogs must have an ID tag, and, if you’re buying a ticket for someone else to come with you, they have to sign a waiver that relieves the team from any sort of nasty accident. Without the proper documentation, you won’t be allowed in. More info, click here.

MLB: Angels at Minnesota, 1 p.m., Channel 11:

The Twins’ chances of winning the AL Central depend on getting first baseman Justin Morneau back, but he’s been off and on since suffering a concussion on July 8. The former AL MVP is hitting .345 with a team-best 18 homers and 56 RBIs.

MLS: Galaxy at San Jose, 1 p.m., FSW:

Nope, Beckham isn’t back yet. And we’re walking …


Movie: “Whip It,” Cinemax, 10 p.m.

We’ve waited for this 2009 chick-flick about Roller Derby (Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig) to make it to cable. It’s here.

WNBA: Sparks at Seattle, 8 p.m., ESPN2:

The regular season ends here — if the Sparks have enough juice to qualify for the No. 4 spot, it means they’ll face this same Storm team in the first round.


MLB: Dodgers vs. Cincinnati, Dodger Stadium, 1 p.m., Prime:

Take your kid down on the field and let him (or her) run the bases after the game ends. They might not think it’s cool, but you will.

MLB: Angels at Minnesota, 5 p.m., ESPN:

A prime-time game of interest, and the Angels stand to miss both Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano during this three-game set since their spots probably won’t come up in the rotation this time.


Beach volleyball: Manhattan Beach Open:

The AVP says it can’t finance it — it cancelled the season with five events to go — but the city of Manhattan Beach says it’ll go ahead with providing prize money and staging the event as scheduled. It’s the 50th year of this thing called the Wimbledon of beach volleyball. Go look at the plaques on the pier that commemorate past winners — including five-time champ Mike Dodd, the commissioner of the now-insolvent league.

NFL exhibition: Minnesota at San Francisco, 5 p.m., Channel 4:

Starting at quarterback for the Vikings … you think we have any inside information?

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