Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Detroit Tigers’ Delmon Young hits an RBI single in the first inning during Game 4 of the American League championship series against the New York Yankees.
World Series: Detroit vs. San Francisco
Game 1: Wednesday at S.F., 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 Thursday at S.F., 4:30 p.m.
Game 3 Saturday at Detroit, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 Sunday at Detroit, 5 p.m.
(All games on Channel 11)
With all this time for the Tigers to wait again for the start of the World Series, coming off a sweep of the Yankees, why shouldn’t the fans of Detroit look back on that season of 2003 and have a good laugh. A 43-119 finish was enough to be included in the new book, “You Stink! Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players,” where authors Eric Wittenberg and Michael Aubrecht credited those “Scaredy Cats” as having one of the worst 15 seasons in MLB history. Dmitri Young, the former Rio Mesa High of Oxnard star, was on that team — and had a .297 average with 29 homers and 85 RBIs. “A few years down the road, I can look back and say this was the beginning of a dynasty,” Young said at the end of that year. “This was the beginning of the rebuilding process. We started from scratch with flour, eggs and sugar.” Unfortunately, with his personal live in disarray, Young was cut loose from the Tigers’ roster late in the 2006 season before they made an unexpected playoff run that found them in the World Series – yes, just three years after his statement.
Last week, younger brother Delmon Young was the batter whipping the Tigers’ fans into a frenzy. The ALDS MVP sported a .353 batting average, with two homers and six RBIs. This Young also had his personal problems. Consider that back in April, the former Camarillo High star and MLB No. 1 overall draft pick in 2003 was suspended seven days without pay by the leaguefor an altercation and arrest outside the team hotel after a night of drinking. The Tigers stood by him and it has paid off. Batting behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the potent Detroit lineup, Young, primarily as the DH, hit 18 homers with 74 RBIs. “It was family and true friends who stepped up when I was at my lowest,” Dmitri, 12 years older than the 27-year-old Delmon, told the Detroit News last week. “And for Del, it was the same thing. But he just went right back into the fire. It didn’t kill him, so it made him stronger. Anyone that’s dealt with any type of adversity, this is what happens when you don’t quit. … And look what happened. … Del was the ‘Yankee Killer.’ … Me being a big brother, am I proud? Extremely, extremely proud.”
Dmitri says he plans to be at every game of the upcoming World Series, which starts Wednesday in San Francisco.
NBA exhibition: Clippers vs. Golden State, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:
Which Clippers will sit out this one?
NFL Week 7: Detroit at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:
In the Bears’ 37-17 win over the Lions last November, all heck seemed to break loose. Jay Cutler had his helmet ripped off by Ndamukong Suh. The Lions’ Nate Burleson shoved the Bears’ Tim Jennings out of bounds after an interception of a Matthew Stafford pass in the fourth quarter. While that was going on, Stafford grabbed D.J. Moore by the helmet and threw him to the ground, but Moore ended up getting ejected. And Devin Hester returned a punt 82 yards for TD. He’s still one back of tying Deion Sanders’ NFL record for all-time returns for TDs (19), having already set the record with 17 kickoff returns for TDs. Yes, there are dimwits who still boot the ball to him, just for entertainment’s sake.
Golf: PGA Grand Slam of Golf, first day, 1 p.m.:
From the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda, you’ve got defending Masters champ Bubba Watson, defending U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson, defending British Open champ Ernie Els and … not the defending PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy, but the ’11 winner, Keegan Bradley, instead. Bradley, who won this four-man event a year ago, will sub for McIlroy because he says he committed long ago to play in the Shanghai Masters, which starts Thursday (and he’s going to Turkey after that for an exhibition match against Tiger Woods in China on Oct 29). McIlroy was part of the 2011 field, with Charl Schwartzel and Darren Clarke, who couldn’t catch Bradley. TNT also has the second day of play Wednesday (1 to 4 p.m.).
College football: Arkansas State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 5 p.m., ESPN2:
The Red Wolves of ArkState have already lost to Oregon (57-34) and Nebraska (42-13). The Ragin’ Caguns have stumbled against Oklahoma State (65-24) and have Florida on the schedule coming up Nov. 2. Otherwise, these two Sun Belt schools are on target for an appearance in the CVS 24 Hour Pharmacy and Self-Serve Photo Processing Bowl in Xanadu, S.C., if the game and city really existed.
NBA exhibition: Lakers vs. Clippers, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet, Prime:
The exhibitionists that come out, enticed by those in attendance who can’t afford a regular-season ticket, could turn this into something more than just another practice game. Let’s be careful out there, guys. The real first meeting isn’t until Nov. 1. That means you, Dwight Howard.
NBA exhibition: Lakers vs. Sacramento, Valley View Casino in San Diego, 7 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
The Clippers must be afraid to make these practice-game trips to San Diego, for fear someone will recognize them and deman they return to their original domain. Playing this one in a casino can be a gamble for either team, no matter what great view of the valley is — oh wait, that’s just the name of the old San Diego Sports Arena. Kinda un-clever, isn’t it?
NBA exhibition: Clippers at Denver, 7 p.m., TNT:
It’s also a practice game for the boys in the TNT studios.
NFL Week 8: Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network:
The Vikings improved to 4-0 at home after putting away the Cardinals on Sunday.
The Bucs have only played twice on the road this season — and lost both.
Movie: “Chasing Mavericks,” opens citywide:
The life of Santa Cruz surfer Jay Moriarity is played out by actor Jonny Weston, chronicling his quest as a 15-year-old to conquere what’s considered to be American’s most dangerous wave, with help of local surf legend Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). Even if you’re not into surfing, watch it for the cinematography. More info: LiveLikeJay.com.
College football: USC at Arizona, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
Last year at the Coliseum, Matt Barkley registered a school-record 468 yards passing and connected on two of his four scores with Robert Woods (255 yards) in a wild 48-41 win. Nick Foles (41-for-53, 425 yards) threw his fourth TD of the game with a minute left to pull the Wildcats one touchdown away. Fifth-year senior Matt Scott, from Corona Centennial, has taken over for Foles this season and in a 52-17 win over Washington on Saturday night, he threw for four TDs. USC has won nine of its last 10 meetings against the Wildcats and haven’t lost in Tuscon since 1999.
College football: UCLA at Arizona State, noon, FX:
The Bruins’ 29-28 win over the then 20th-ranked Sun Devils last season at the Rose Bowl came only after freshman Alex Garoutte’s 46-yard field goal try at time ran out fluttered and fell short. If it comes up again, Garoutte has hit only six of 10 field goal tries this season, with a long of 43 and a miss at 51 already. His miss at 43 last week against Oregon could have given his team an early lead against the Ducks, who ended up running away with a 43-21 victory that only looked closer because of two ASU TDs in the fourth quarter. Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly is eighth in the country with a 168.6 passing rating.
Florida vs. Georgia, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11
Notre Dame at Oklahoma, 5 p.m., Channel 7
Mississippi State at Alabama, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Colorado at Oregon, noon, Pac-12 Network
Oregon State at Washington, 7:15 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Washington State at Stanford, 3:15 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Cal at Utah, 6:45 p.m, Pac-12 Network
Tennessee at South Carolina, 9 a.m., ESPN:
We still aren’t supposed to call it the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” but this “Classic” in Jacksonville, Fla., takes extra interest after the Bulldogs stunned the Gators, 24-20, a year ago after losing the previous three in a row. And four games on the Pac-12 Network? That’ll boost the push to get it into DirecTV homes again.
NFL Week 8:
San Diego at Cleveland, 10 a.m., Channel 2
Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
New Orleans at Denver, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4
N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 1:25 p.m., Channel 11
Washington at Pittsburgh, 10 a.m., Channel 11
Atlanta at Philadelphia, 10 a.m, Channel 11
The Giants have have already lost to the Cowboys, on that special opening day, after Tony Romo threw for 307 yards and 3 TDs in a 24-17 victory at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys have gone 2-3 since then, but that includes last Sunday’s 19-14 victory over Carolina. Romo’s 82.1 passing rating is just 19th best in the league; Eli Manning’s 94.9 is seventh best.
MLS: Galaxy vs. Seattle, Home Depot Center, 6 p.m., ESPN:
The Galaxy’s final game of the regular season comes three days after they have to journey to Suarez, Mexico to play a CCL game against something called Isidro Metapan (7 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel).
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Tums Fast Relief 500, Martinsville, Tenn., 11 a.m., ESPN:
The return of Dale Earnhardt Jr., after sitting out two weeks with concussion-like syndrome will be the sidebar story to this one as Brad Keselowski tries to extend his seven-point lead over Jimmie Johnson with just three races left in the season after this. Back on April 1, Ryan Newman came out with the victory at Martinsville, his only win of the 2012 season. Keselowski has never led a single lap at Martinsville in his two career races.