UPDATED MONDAY PM:
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
MLB: Angels vs. Texas, Angel Stadium, Tuesday at 7 p.m., Channel 13; Wednesday at 7 p.m., FSW; Thursday at 12:35 p.m., FSW:
Without “The Cowboy,” there’s no Los Angeles Angels. Of anywhere. Period. Gene Autry saddled up to the Baseball Gods in the late ’50s and got himself a big-league team, to rival the Dodgers. It was born in 1961. And 50 years later, the team is paying him back. They’ve already retired the No. 26 in his honor, but they do him one better by inducting him into the Angels Hall of Fame, in a ceremony before the first game of this series (Channel 13, 6:30 p.m.).
Nolan Ryan, the Texas Rangers CEO and president whose known his share of top-notch cowboys over the year, was to be part of the presentation with Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Brian Downing and Chuck Finley. But the 64-year-old was in a Houston hospital on Monday under going tests about a recurring heart condition and it’s not likely that he’ll be out in time to travel. Autry’s wife, Jackie, will accept the honor on behalf of her late husband, who died in October, 1998. Autry is the ninth inductee into the club’s Hall, after Ryan, Grich, Carew, Downing, Finley, Don Baylor, Jim Fregosi and Jimmie Reese. By the time this series ends, the Angels could close in on the Rangers, winners of 12 in a row, for the lead in the AL West, with All-Stars Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson scheduled to go head-to-head in Thursday afternoon’s heated-up finale.
MLB: Dodgers at San Francisco, 7:15 p.m., Prime:
They’ve got All-Stars pitchers like Lincecum, Cain, and of course, the dapper Brian Wilson with a seal-skin tux. But the Giants can’t stop singing the praises of Ryan Vogelsong, a miserable journeyman reliever who somehow got picked to be on last week’s NL All-Star team. Oh, right, the manager was Bruce Bochy. Between 2000 and 2006, Vogelsong had a career record of 10-22 with the Giants and Pirates before he was released. He got signed, and cut, by the Phillies’ and Angels’ Triple-A teams, plus two teams in Japan — so he wasn’t on a big-league game for five season. This year, he’s got six wins already and an ERA nearly four runs lower than his career average. “I don’t think there’s a guy here who has been through more of a weird road,” said Lincecum about the latest Brian Sabien salvage project. With Jonathan Sanchez and Barry Zito coming and going on the DL, Vogelsong remains in the starting rotation, and is on schedule to face Chad Billingsley in the opener. The teams continue the series Tuesday night (7:15 p.m., Channel 9) and Wednesday afternoon (12:45 p.m., Prime), where Clayton Kershaw is in line to face Tim Lincecum in a rematch of the season opener.
WNBA: Sparks vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.:
You’d think the Sparks could have had Jordan Sparks sing the national anthem before a game by now. Maybe they have and we just blocked it out of our heads. Nevertheless, they’re trying to draw fans to this game by promoting the fact a leaner, meaner Ruben Studdard will do a halftime concert. No, we didn’t studder.
MLB: Philadelphia at Chicago, 5 p.m., MLB Network:
Cliff Lee, who had a run of three straight shutouts stopped by a loss in Toronto, a no-decision against Atlanta and giving up the only run in last week’s All-Star game, takes the hill tonight at Wrigley Field.
Horse racing: Del Mar opener, 2 p.m., TVG:
It beats standing around waiting to see the Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus during a 10-show run at Staples Center. And check out the new Del Mar and Verizon Wireless new phone app — it allows on-track mobile wagering, streaming of live races, replays, Cybertote (real time results, odds, will pays, scratches, etc.), and a betting calculator. Read more about it: mobile.dmtc.com. The schedule runs through Sept. 7. Don’t phone it in.
Golf: PGA Champions, Senior British Open, first round, 9 a.m., ESPN2:
Take your sandwich and head over to Surrey, England, for more wind, rain and tall weeds. With older gentleman playing it. The second round is also on ESPN2, before moving to ESPN (Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.).
Golf: PGA Canadian Open, first round, noon, Golf Channel:
The tour’s beyond-U.S. borders continues, in Vancouver, where they’ve stopped rioting in the street. It finishes up on the weekend on CBS (Saturday and Sunday, noon).
MLB: Dodgers vs. Washington, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard, the Washington Nationals’ lone rep at last week’s MLB All-Star game, was summoned into the contest with two outs in the fourth inning, after the American League touched up Cliff Lee for three hits and a run. Clippard, who’s only real claim to fame is lead the majors in the non-official “holds” category, made three pitches and didn’t even get an out. He gave up a single to Adrian Beltre, but then left-fielder Tyler Pence threw out Jose Batista trying to score, ending the inning. When the NL wracked up three runs in the bottom of the fourth, Clippard, replaced the next inning by Clayton Kershaw, was somehow credited with the game’s winning pitcher — matching his win total for the first half of the season. Davey Johnson’s bullpen bully takes his seat back in right field for this series, which finishes with games Saturday (7:10 p.m., Prime) and Sunday (1:10 p.m., Prime).
MLB: Angels at Baltimore, 4:05 p.m., FSW:
Vlad Guerrero “seems like an incredibly friendly, nice dude, and I bet he works his butt off,” writes SBNation.com “Camden Chat” contributor Andrew G (linked here). “That ends the nice things I have to say about him …. Vlad Guerrero is the embodiment of my anger towards the Orioles. He needs to go away forever. Right now. … I don’t expect the Orioles to heed this call. Not for one second. Why? Because Vlad is basically a nutshell of everything that is wrong with the franchise, and releasing him would be bafflingly, uncharacteristically smart of them.” Think the Angels would take him back? The Orioles have temporarily got rid of Guerrero putting him on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his right hand. It’s retroactive to July 11, so he won’t be available until next week. Guerrero has not played since being struck in the hand by a pitch from Boston’s Kyle Weiland on July 10. He’s batting .279 with seven homers and 31 RBIs. The series continues Saturday (4:05 p.m., FSW) and Sunday (10:35 a.m., FSW).
WNBA All-Star Game, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
Live from San Antonio. You realize it’s never been held in L.A.? Three times in New York. Twice in Connecticut. Even two times in Washington D.C. Candace Parker was voted into the West lineup, but, of course, she’s still hurt. So she’ll miss this, as well as the layup contest.
MLB: Hall of Fame inductions, 9:30 a.m., MLB Network:
Pat Gillick, an outfielder out of Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks, L.A. Valley College and USC (on the Trojans’ 1958 national championship baseball team) who gained far more baseball glory from becoming a successful general manager in Baltimore, Seattle, Toronto and Philadelphia. He joins former Angels pitcher Bert Blyleven and second baseman Roberto Alomar in receiving their lifetime vistors’ pass to Cooperstown.
Cycling: Tour de France, final stage, 5 a.m., Versus:
It’s been a survival of the fittest tour so far, with crashes making most of the headlines. U.S. rider Christopher Horner broke his nose and had a concussion after a spill toward the end of Stage 7 and had to quit. On Sunday’s Stage 9, four riders withdrew after crashing on a slick descent. The same day, a French TV car hit Spain’s Juan Antonio Flecha, who banged into Holland’s Johnny Hoogerland, sending him into a barbed wire fence. “Unfortunately, the race is being decided by crashes,” Levi Leipheimer told the Christian Science Monitor last week. “Of course, they’re part of the sport, but I don’t think it’s right to have [them] to this degree.” Let’s just end this thing safe and sound by the time it reaches the Champs-lyses.
Soccer: Galaxy vs. Manchester City, Home Depot Center, 1 p.m., ESPN:
Another World Football Challenge event, not at the bigger Coliseum.
Swimming: FINA Aquatics World Championships, 11 a.m., Channel 4:
It’s five aquatic disciplines — swimming, water polo, diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming — from Shanghai, China, with some of them used as qualifiers for the 2012 Summer Games. The Olympic-type swim-fan stuff starts today and runs through July 31, with the spotlight on the usual the usual suspects for the Americans: Michael Phelps, Jason Lezak, Ryan Lochte, Amanda Beard, Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy, Katie Hoff and Rebecca Soni.