Play it Forward: June 10-16 — An Open call outside of Philly, while UCLA is called to Omaha

UPDATED: 06/11/13: The week ahead on the sports calendar, like it or not:

(Colin Kerrigan /

(Colin Kerrigan /


GOLF: 113th U.S. OPEN, at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., Thursday-Sunday, ESPN and Channel 4:
Often those who compete in this annual event of over-par frustration end up being labeled as basket cases. Perhaps it’s appropriate that this club outside of Philadelphia will play host to the annual Open, as Merion’s tradition is to put red wicker baskets on top of heavy metal flagsticks, so the players have no way to figure out which way the wind is blowing up there. Some have said they look like Q-tips on steroids atop the poles. Maybe it looks more like a Frisbee golf course. Yet, their origin is a mystery.
2013-US-OPEN_LOGORed baskets mean a front-green pin. Orange is for the back. Beige means a patron’s picnic basket full of cheese steak sandwiches was swept up in a breeze and nested up there. The idea came from course designer Hugh Wilson, though exactly what inspired him remains unknown. Another great unknown is how this course will react to such a large gathering. Not since Aussie David Graham capped a three-shot win with a 67 in the final round in 1981 has a major come to this this course, which has held 18 USGA championships, the most of any golf course. Because of the 32-year wait, only 11 players who qualified for this year’s event have played competitive rounds on the course. That includes Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker (from the 1989 U.S. Amateur) and Rickie Fowler (from the 2009 Walker Cup). Tiger Woods, whose last major was the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, will have a much shorter course to attack this time. It’s just 6,996 yards on the card, the shortest Open course since Southern Hills (6,973 in 2001). Woods will go out with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott as the featured group Thursday (10:14 p.m. PDT) and Friday (4:44 a.m.) – the three have a combined 17 major titles.
ESPN (6 a.m. to noon) and Channel 4 (noon to 2 p.m.) has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday. Channel 4 has the final two rounds (Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).



MLB: DODGERS vs. ARIZONA, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
Heavy Cy: Clayton Kershaw is 0-2 with a 4.05 ERA in his last three starts. It took him 120 pitches just to get through six innings against the Padres in his last outing. Caution: The D’backs Paul Goldschmidt, leading the NL in RBIs, has been hitting .439 with runners in scoring position this season, with eight of his 15 homers in that category. Meanwhile, Arizona’s Wednesday starter, 23-year-old Patrick Corbin, sports a 9-0 record and 1.98 ERA. They’ve won all 12 of his starts this season after winning his final start of last season.
The series continues:
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m., Channel 9
Wednesday: 7:10 p.m., Prime

Josh Hamilton, recently moved up to No. 2 in the lineup to shake things up,  has hit .370 with nine homers and 26 RBIs in 20 career games at Camden Yards. The Orioles won three of four in Anaheim in early May.
The series continues:
Tuesday, 4:05 p.m., FSW
Wednesday, 9:35 a.m., FSW


Game 3: 6 p.m. at San Antonio, Channel 7:
As the Heat may be all about LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, don’t forget the role Pat Riley plays in how this franchise tries to rally back into this series. The former Lakers coach and Miami roster architect as team president isn’t by accident. “I think he’s proven his net worth not only as a coach but as an executive,” former Lakers GM Jerry West said in a recent interview with Bob Costas. “When he got his opportunity to coach here in Los Angeles, you could see he had something special about him. What he’s done down in Miami … success follows success.”
The 2-3-2 series continues:
Game 4: 6 p.m. Thursday at San Antonio
Game 5: 6 p.m. Sunday at San Antonio


Game 1: 5 p.m. Wednesday at Chicago, Channel 4:
If they could have arranged this to be an outdoor series, alternating between Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, then we coulda had something really special here. The Bruins won the Cup against Vancouver in 2011, succeeding the Blackhawks, who defeated Philadelphia in six games in 2010. And then in 2012 …. refresh our memory.
The 2-2-1-1-1 series continues:
Game 2: 5 p.m. Saturday at Chicago, NBC Sports Network


MLB: ANGELS vs. N.Y. YANKEES, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Jeter and A-Rod may be on the DL, but come see how the Yankees have decided that Vernon Wells is worth the price of admission.
The series continues:
Saturday, 4:15 p.m., Channel 11
Sunday, 12:35 p.m., FSW

MLB: DODGERS at PITTSBURGH, 4:05 p.m., Prime:
The Dodgers swept the Pirates in a three-game series in early April. But this team has been playing 10 games over .500 at home this season in the first 32 games. The Dodgers are 9-17 on the road.
The series continues:
Saturday, 1:05 p.m., Channel 9
Sunday, 10:35 a.m., Prime

WNBA: SPARKS at PHOENIX, 7 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Brittney Griner may be dunking the ball on occasion for the Mercury, but the team isn’t doing any better in the standings with the former Baylor star. See how the Sparks handle her.
Also: Sparks vs. San Antonio, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, TWC SportsNet


COLLEGE WORLD SERIES in Omaha, Neb, first round:
UCLA vs. LSU, 5 p.m., ESPN2:

UCLA (44-17), which ended up with seven players taken in last week’s MLB draft, returns to Omaha for the third time in four years for the final eight.
The first round begins Saturday:
Mississippi State vs. Oregon State, noon; Indiana vs. Louisville, 5 p.m.
It continues Sunday:
North Carolina State vs. North Carolina, noon


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