(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
U.S. gymnast Kyla Ross, center, is hugged by teammate McKayla Maroney, as coach Jenny Zhang, left, approaches them during the Sunday’s Olympic qualifying in London.
Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
London Summer Olympics: Women’s gymnastics team final, Tuesday, 8 p.m. (delayed), all-around competition, Thursday, 8 p.m. (delayed), Channel 4:
Those of us who’ve been following the storyline of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” sadly saw the end come last week. No worries. That gymnastics-related reality show has been replaced by the U.S. women’s gymnastics team trying to win gold on those ultra-pink North Greenwich Arena mats, dressed in their own Barbie-themed uniforms. Pass the Pepto Bismol.
“It’s a little weird but I love it,” said U.S. all-around star Jordyn Wieber (right). “I like it better than plain colors.” Wieber — or “Weeee-Beer” as her teammates are calling her with a stretched British accent — would complete a perfect Wheaties team photo (they’ve already been on the Sports Illustrated cover) with so-called “Fab Five” teammates Gabby “The Flying Squirrel” Douglas, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross if they win the squad title on Tuesday. Thursday’s all-around competition has Douglas and Raisman qualifying after favorite Wieber didn’t make the cut. Individual apparatus medals happen next week. Men’s team gymnastics (Monday) and all-around (Wednesday) alternate in during the week.
The rest of the week’s highlights: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings continue their three-peat quest in women’s beach volleyball, the women’s and men’s tennis finals happen in Wimbledon (Saturday and Sunday), Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte team up in the U.S. 800 meter freestyle relay team (Tuesday) then competing against each other again in the 200m IM (Thursday) before Phelps’ final solo event in the 100 meter butterfly (Friday), and Usain Bolt returns to the men’s 100 meter dash (Sunday) trying to break his world record of 9.58 seconds. Also, Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee, tries to qualify in the men’s 400 meters (Sunday).
MLB: Angels at Texas, 4 p.m., FSW, ESPN:
It’s understandable if Jered Weaver gets all shook up when Elvis Andrus steps up to the plate. The Rangers’ shortstop has hit .431 against the Angels’ Cy Young candidate during his career — 22-for-51, with a 1.130 OPS. Even as Weaver recorded a 6-1 win against the Rangers less than two weeks ago, Texas’ only run came from a Andrus’ solo homer. Weaver (13-1, 2.26 ERA) goes against the Rangers in the second game of this four-game set on Tuesday ( 5:15 p.m.), pushed back a day to allow Ervin Santana (4-10, 6.00) to open the series against Roy Oswalt (3-1, 5.22), who has been battling back stiffness. The Angels’ Mike Trout, who sat out with an injured knee on Sunday, is a ridiculous 20-for-48 with a .417 average, two homers and 10 RBIs against Rangers’ pitching staff this year. And the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton is a ridiculous .115 over the last 17 games, dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 in the lineup. The rest of the series includes Dan Haren vs. Yu Darvish on Wednesday and C.J. Wilson vs. Matt Harrison on Thursday. This is also the Angels’ first of 10 road games in 10 days.
MLB: Dodgers vs. Arizona, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
Plenty will be pumped up to see Hanley Ramirez in person for the first time but there’s the added incentive of a Kirk Gibson bobblehead giveaway on Tuesday (7:10 p.m., Channel 9). This one features a right-hand fist pump to commemorate his 1988 World Series Game 1 homer. Way to embarrass the D’backs manager. This series ends with an afternooner on Wednesday (12:10 p.m., Prime). No Trevor Bauer sightings, though. The former UCLA star out of Hart High (1-2, 6.06), who won his first major-league game against the Dodgers before the All-Star break in Phoenix, has been sent back to Triple-A and likely won’t come back until September callups. The D’backs have beaten the Dodgers five out of nine meetings so far this year.
MLB: “Trading Deadline Special,” 8 a.m., MLB Network:
Keep this show on for more rumors than you can handle in one seventh-inning stretch as the Angels and Dodgers may not be finished pulling other guys onto the roster. Especially pay attention to what teams like Texas, San Francisco and Arizona are trying to get done. ESPN also has a 90-minute trade special starting at noon leading up to the 1 p.m. deadline.
MLB: Baltimore at N.Y. Yankees, 10 a.m., MLB Network; Detroit at Boston, 4 p.m., ESPN:
Scheduled Yankees starter Phil Hughes (10-8, 4.08) is 7-4 with a 3.24 ERA in 13 starts since May 12.
AP Photo/Ben Curtis
David Beckham, center left, chats with Britain’s Prince William, center right, at the end of the men’s soccer match between Britain and the United Arab Emirates at the Summer Olympics on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.
Soccer: Galaxy vs. Real Madrid, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m.:
Before we buy our tickets, are Beckham and Donovan being shipped somewhere for another meaningless exhibition? This is part of the World Football Challenge, so we’re glad to participate. But we won’t get fooled again by the advertisements. That may be the real Real team, but we gotta know if the real Galaxy shows up, too.
MLB: Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
What are the odds that Ryan Dempster is pitching for the Dodgers against his old team by the time this series rolls around? His next scheduled Cubs’ start it Tuesday against Pittsburgh, but if the Dodgers grab him in time, he could start Wednesday in the series finale against Arizona on Wednesday. This series finishes Saturday (6:10 p.m., Prime) and Sunday (1:10 p.m., Prime).
MLB: Angels at Chicago White Sox, 5:10 p.m., FSW:
They’ve only played twice this year, with the White Sox’s Chris Sale (11-3, 2.37 ERA) beating the Angels 6-1 on May 17. Interesting how the White Sox’s Paul Konerko (.330, 17 HRs, 51 RBIs) has similiar numbers to the Angels’ Mike Trout, except he’s 20 points lower in the average department. The series continues Saturday (4:10 p.m., FSW) and Sunday (11:10 p.m., FSW).
UFC: Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera, Staples Center, 5 p.m., Channel 11:
You know how these made-for-Fox events can change at an injury’s notice. What they’re calling “UFC on Fox 4” had a main event set with Brian Stann, but his ailments forced this to change to this one between light heavyweights Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) and Vera (12-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) for a five-rounder. Rua, competing for the first time since Nov., 2011, has split his last six fights. He had been set to go against Thiago Silva at UFC 149 in Calgary until Silva was injured. Rua-Vera is the last of a 10-fight card, with some of them also available on Spike TV. The doors at Staples Center open at 1 p.m.
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, 4 p.m., NFL Network:
The additions of cornerback Jack Butler, center Dermontti Dawson, defensive end/linebacker Chris Doleman, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, running back Curtis Martin and tackle Willie Roaf bring the total members number to 273.
Surfing: U.S. Open, Huntington Beach Pier, women’s final, 12:30 p.m.; men’s final, 1:05 p.m.:
A year ago, Kelly Slater rode to his 11th championship, ending local star Brett Simpson’s back-to-back title run. “There’s no other event that attracts so many people. To surf in front of a stadium audience like this, nothing compares,” said Slater. “It’s surfing on the main stage.” According to Surfline.com, the report isn’t so swell: “An overlapping series of small Southern Hemisphere Southwest and South swells and small, local Northwest windswell that will provide contestable waves for the first few days of the event. A slightly better South-southwest swell is on track for the last few days of the event.” More info: USOpenofSurfing.com
NFL exhibition: New Orleans vs. Arizona in Canton, Ohio, 5 p.m., NFL Network:
Drew Brees, start earning your money.
MLS: Galaxy at Seattle, 6 p.m., ESPN2:
The Sounders have arleady handed the Galaxy a sound beating in Seattle this year, 2-0, back on May 2 against Galaxy backup goalkeeper Bill Gaudette. These two end the MLS regular season on … .wait for it … October 28, in Carson.