Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
Beach volleyball: Manhattan Beach Open, 4 p.m., Versus:
How do you beat an NBA lockout? With a beach party. We can’t find a proper conversion table to measure a double-double on the basketball court versus one on the beach volleyball court, but Kevin Love, the one-and-done UCLA center and current Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star, would be doing it with enough blocks and spikes as he plays in the “Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball.” Consider it a minor victory if he makes it out of Thursday’s prelims and into the field of 48. “This sport is not as easy as it looks,” said Love, who teamed with Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar in the recent Manhattan Beach 6-man event. “You don’t realize how tough this sport is until you’re out there on the sand and the ball comes screaming at you. You have to have great timing, agility and athleticism to be good in this sport. These guys are some amazing athletes.” The Houston Rockets’ Chase Budinger, who lost in the second round of last week’s Coronoa Light Wide Open tournament in Hermosa Beach, is also trying to worm into this event. Why not? There’s a share of a $200,000 purse awaiting if anyone can do some damage (like John Hyden and Sean Scott, who, like many top two-man teams, aren’t overseas playing in FIVB events leading up to the 2012 Olympics). Meanwhile, it’s back to international rules for this event, played with “old school” sideout rules a year ago for its 50th anniversary after the AVP shut down in the middle of last summer and left everyone hanging. “Through all the ups and downs of our game, the Manhattan Open has stood the test of time,” said six-time winner Mike Dodd, the last AVP commissioner. “Hopefully it will again help usher in a new era of prosperity for the players, sponsors and fans.” By the way, if Love is ousted early, he has time to enter the 32-mile Catalina Paddleboard race that finishes up at the Manhattan Beach pier on Sunday as well.
MLB: Dodgers at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m., Prime:
Rafael Furcal is raking at just .216 as a member of the Cardinals after 18 games, and he suffered a sprained thumb after tripping on a rope near the batting cage at Wrigley Field over the weekend. The series continues Tuesday (5:15 p.m., Channel 9) as Clayton Kershaw (15-5, and a league-best 199 Ks) draws the start, and it ends with a Wednesday matinee (11:15 a.m., Prime). By the way: The Dodgers are 3-15 at the versio of this Busch Stadium that opened in 2006 and have dropped seven consecutive series at St. Louis.
NFL exhibition; Chicago Bears at New York Giants, 5 p.m., ESPN:
When the Green Bay Packers made a trip to the White House recently, the team gave him an owners’ share certificate. He then jokingly tried to work a deal for his hometown Bears to trade for Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers. Surely, Jay Cutler got a good laugh out of that one. The Bears apparently did try to make a deal with San Francisco for former USC star defensive back Taylor Mays, hoping to convert him into a linebacker, but that apparently fell through.
MLB: Angels vs. Chicago White Sox, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Ozzie Guillen’s team comes off a 10-0 win over the Rangers and is still deeply invested in the AL Central race. The two-game set ends Wednesday (7:05 p.m., FSW).
WNBA: Sparks at Washington, 4 p.m.:
Maybe a side trip to the White House — a Candace Parker meets Michelle Obama moment? — but not as the reigning champs. The three-game road trip ends with this one, then it’s back to Staples Center for a game against Tulsa (Friday, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV) before finishing the week up to Seattle (Sunday, 6 p.m., ESPN2) against the real WNBA defending champions, who should have Lauren Jackson back by then.
MLB: Boston at Texas, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
ESPN’s coverage of the Little League World Series pushes this potential AL playoff match up to ESPN2. You need priorities.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Claudine Keane, wife of Galaxy newcomer Robbie Keane, watches the fireworks show before Saturday’s game at Home Depot Center against San Jose in Keane’s L.A. debut.
CONCACAF Champions League: Galaxy vs. LD Alajuelense, Home Depot Center, 7 p.m.:
Neat-o, Keane-o. There’s an Irish spring in the Galaxy’s step, at a sweet part of the schedule. The Galaxy, who won their Champions League opener last week, 2-0 against CD Motagua of Honduras, then go to New York for a Red Bull bulk-up on Sunday (4 p.m., ESPN2).
PGA: The Barclays, first round, Golf Channel, noon:
From Edison, N.J., the first of four consecutive PGA events that are part of the FedEx playoffs, and with a staggering $8 million purse. CBS has the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday.
MLB: Dodgers vs. Colorado, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
Loney In the Sky With Diamonds: Tonight’s regular fireworks show will all be set to Beatles music, an ode to the group’s historic concert at Dodger Stadium 45 years ago – the group’s next-to-last live concert ever (the last was a night later at Candlestick Park). .
They’ve got more on Saturday (1:10 p.m., Channel 11) and Sunday (1:10 p.m., Prime).
MLB: Angels at Texas, 5:05 p.m., FSW:
And what did we learn last week after the four-game series in Anaheim? That if Mark Trumbo hadn’t hit a late-inning homer, the Angels would have been swept under the rug like a ball of dust. This latest go-around pits the AL West-leading Rangers, third best in runs scored and near the top in team ERA, trying to snuff out the Angels’ probable last chance to do some major damage before they meet to end the season, in what now could be meaningless. They’ve got more to play on Saturday (5:05 p.m., Channel 13) and national exposure on Sunday (5:09 p.m., ESPN).
IAAF World Track and Field Championships, 9:30 a.m., Channel 4:
Eight reigning world champions lead Team USA into this pre-Olympic spotlight event in Daegu, South Korea — most notably, Allyson Felix, going after that 200- and 400-meter daunting double again, and in line to win four golds as a member of both relay teams. The former L.A. Baptist High star who graduated from USC is a three-time winner in the 200 at the world championships, and recently won the 400 at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. The 25-year-old’s biggest challengers, both in person and trying to spell their names, are Anastasiya Kapachinskaya of Russia and Amantle Montsho of Botswana, and they all meet up today as the 400 heats begin (with the final Monday; the 200 meter heats start Sept. 1 and the finals are the next day). Coverage continues Sunday (9:30 a.m., Channel 4) with the men’s 100 meter finals as the highlight.
NFL exhibition: New England at Detroit, 5 p.m., Channel 2:
The Lions say this one may count. If they win.
Little League World Series, championship game, noon, Channel 7:
Have a ball, kids. The International and U.S. title games are Saturday (9 a.m. and noon, Channel 7), from Williamsport, Pa.
IRL: Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma, 1 p.m., Versus:
Most believe that Lombard Street in nearby San Francisco is the crookestest street in the city. It’s actually Vermont Avenue between 22nd and 23rd streets has a sinuosity rating of 1.56 (versus Lombard’s 1.2). Sinuosity is a measure of deviation of a path between two points from the shortest possible path. The sinousity index of the Infineon Speedway (formerly known as Sears Point)? We’re not sure. It’s just a long and winding 2.22 mile,11-turn, elevated up-and-down piece of asphalt pathway that takes a lot of will power and is best viewed via a Google satellite map. Will Power, by the way, won this IRL race last year.
Golf: 111th U.S. Amateur men’s 36-hole final, 1 p.m., Channel 4:
California has the most players in the field with 47, including UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay, the 19-year-old sophomore to be who made quite a splash as the low amateur during the recent U.S. Open (finished tied for 21st) and then shot a course-record 60 at the Travelers Championship – the lowest PGA Tour round ever for an amateur. Bakersfield’s Bhavik Patel, 20, who won the 2011 California State Amateur Championship, will also be hacking around in the fescue grass of Erin Hills, Wisconsin, site of the 2017 U.S. Open. Donny Hopoi, of Aiea, Hawaii, who turned 15 on Monday, is the youngest player in the field; Randy Haag, 52, of Orinda, Calif., is the oldest player. The first three days of the five-day event are on Golf Channel (starting Wednesday), with NBC taking the semifinals Saturday (1 to 3 p.m.) before this match-play finale.
MLS: Galaxy at N.Y. Red Bull, 4 p.m., ESPN2:
The last time David Beckham cruised through New York — the MLS All-Star game a month ago — he introduced a new line of “bodywear” for the H&M clothing chain, “following in the footsteps of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Madonna.” Your move, Thierry Henry.
NFL exhibition: New Orleans at Oakland, 5 p.m., Channel 4:
No one has seen Al Davis as a Raiders’ practice yet. Concern?