Thursday’s NBA Draft (4 p.m., ESPN, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.) may mark the first day of summer, but it appears to shed little sunshine on the Lakers or Clippers. The former has the No. 24 overall pick (via that Cleveland trade) and No. 47, while the later has picks 12 (from Detroit) and 13. Phoenix chooses first, and Sacramento second. But with Kawhi Leonard now apparently available in San Antonio, one scenario is the Kings dealing that No. 2 choice to the Spurs for him. Philadelphia, the mess that it is with six picks in this draft somehow, could also put a package together. Wouldn’t that be a problem for the Lakers? University of Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton is supposed to go first, but Slovenia’s Luka Doncic could upset those plans. UCLA’s Aaron Holiday (who will share the stage with his two NBA brothers) and USC’s De’Anthony Melton are the local noteworthy players. And of the 60 players expected to get chosen, none seem to be named LiAngelo Ball (Lithuania, UCLA, Chino Hills), who had to spend last Sunday’s Father’s Day with …
Rich Hill, who turned 38 last March, may have never thought he’d be venturing out to Rancho Cucamonga last Thursday trying to prove he can still pitch with a blister issue. He struck out 10 Single-A players in almost five innings against Lake Elsinore, throwing 75 pitches. He’s been on the DL since May 19, and missed three weeks earlier with a cracked nail. The body just falls apart at a certain point, doesn’t it? The plan appears for Hill to return to the rotation Tuesday in Chicago. We shall see.
Also this week for the Dodgers: At Wrigley Field in Chicago to face the Cubs, Monday and Tuesday at 5:05 p.m., Wednesday at 11:20 a.m., SportsNet LA; at CitiBank Field in New York to face the Mets, Friday at 4:10 p.m. (SNLA), Saturday at 4:15 p.m. (Channel 11), Sunday at 10:10 a.m. (SNLA)
So, in San Jose, they’ve opened up their little soccer stadium and turned it into a live watch party for this World Cup thing going on in Russia. What a grand plan. If we could pick a game next week to plop ourselves down on the grass and witness entertaining kickball, it would be Nigeria vs. Iceland from Volgograd on Friday at 8 a.m. Remember, Nigerian fans are not allowed to bring live chickens into the stadium. But why can’t fans do that in San Jose?
The rest of the games of note coming up in pool play (find it somewhere on KTTV-Channel 11, FS1 or Telemundo):
Tunisia vs. England, Monday at 11 a.m.
Colombia vs. Japan, Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Portugal vs. Morocco, Wednesday at 5 a.m.
Iran vs. Spain, Wednesday at 11 a.m.
France vs. Peru, Thursday at 5 a.m.
Argentina vs. Croatia, Thursday at 11 a.m.
Brazil vs. Costa Rica, Friday at 5 a.m.
Germany vs. Sweden, Saturday at 8 a.m.
South Korea vs. Mexico, Saturday at 11 a.m.
England vs. Panama, Sunday at 5 a.m.
Poland vs. Colombia, Sunday at 11 a.m.
Of all the things the Angels have to offer from their 2018 promotional schedule, Friday’s giveaway may be the most cringe worthy and get-worthy item of them all. There are so many ways we can go with the Trout Nutcracker, but since it falls under the “Christmas in June” promotion, and includes a post-game movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” after Saturday night’s firework show, we will keep it in that context. Mike Trout has managed to avoid injury at various stages of this season, one that many call one of the greatest in the history of the game to this point. Let’s not let a nutcracker derail it.
Also this week for the Angels: At Angel Stadium vs. Arizona, Monday and Tuesday at 7:07 p.m., Fox Sports West and ESPN; At Angel Stadium vs. Toronto, Thursday and Friday at 7:07 p.m., Saturday at 6:07 p.m., Sunday at 1:07 p.m., FSW
OK, Ant-Man, let’s see how you do playing an MLB player. On RottenTomatoes, Paul Rudd’s new flick, “The Catcher Was A Spy,” is only getting 47 percent of the love. The IMDb.com rating is 6.3/10. The Metacritic has it at 53 percent. The IFC Films production based on the 1994 book by Nicholas Dawidoff about how former big-league baseball catcher Moe Berg lived a double life as a spy during World War II opens in theatres Friday. Berg worked for the OSS trying to help determine Germany’s atomic bomb capabilities. Here’s the review from Variety after it was screened at Sundance. You decide if it’s worth catching on the silver screen after all this time in scriptwriting, production and distribution. Here’s more on Berg’s life from the NYPost.