07.08.19: Five things to plan for the week ahead based on unscientific evidence of guaranteed importance

black 1The 90th Major League Baseball All Star Game hasn’t gotten all that progressive, no matter that Cleveland plays host this season at what it calls Progressive Field – Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11.
Wait, there’ll be no Chief Wahoo present for this thing, right? Maybe that’s progress. But there’s still a mascot issue.
All in all, this is still an exhibition, not determining anything of import. About 60 players have to commit, and the others get nearly a week off to rest.
Dave Roberts will have to manage this again for the NL team without anyone from the front office moving the chess pieces for him during the contest.Pitchers barely last one inning, even if Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 3.09) finally gets to start one of these before he goes into the Hall of Fame. And he won’t. It’s teammate Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-2, 1.73) instead. Thanks Dave.
Expanded rosters don’t rule out using everyone before a possible extra-inning game happens. The American League has won the last six in a row, including the last three all held in NL parks, and the last two decided in the 10th inning, the last one as Roberts put Ross Stripling on the mound to absorb the defeat in Washington, D.C.
Keeping in mind the Dodgers host this game next season, the annual ritual will feature an NL squad of Kershaw, Ryu, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Walker Buehler.  Interesting, the Padres’ lone All Star is reliever Kirby Yates. Not Manny Machado or Fernando Tatis Jr.? Crazy.
The Angels annual rep: Mike Trout.
Play on.
Also: The latest version of the Home Run Derby that started in 1985 – Monday, 5 p.m., ESPN – does not have Bellenger or current NL home run leader Chistian Yelich (he asked out now), but will include rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (who has hit a whopping eight HRs this rookie season), Pete Alonso, Josh Bell, Alex Bregman, Ronald Acuna Jr., Carlos Santana, and new sub Matt Chapman. Not appearing: Defending champion Bryce Harper, ’17 champion Aaron Judge, ’16 champion Giancarlo Stanton, ’15 champion Todd Frazier, ’13 and ’14 champion Yoenis Cespedes …
The winner this time gets $1 million. Which would be almost twice the $555,000 base salary Guerrero Jr. currently makes.


black 2The post-All Star break tour for the Dodgers takes them to Fenway Park, at a time when Paul McCartney is taking over Dodger Stadium for a Saturday night concert. The Dodgers-Red Sox three-game set is not a sequel to last October’s World Series, just part of the interleague requirement that gives national TV a lot of run with.
How it plays out for the Dodgers (an MLB-best 60-32 despite a three-game losing streak):
At Boston:
Friday (TBA vs. Eduardo Rodriguez) at 4:10 p.m., SportsNet LA
Saturday (TBA vs. Chris Sale) at 4:15 p.m., Channel 11
Sunday (TBA vs. David Price) at 4 p.m., ESPN
How it plays out for the Angels (45-46, 12 ½ back in the AL West with two losses in a row):
At Angel Stadium vs Seattle:
Friday (Mike Leake vs. TBA) at 7:07 p.m., FSW
Saturday (TBA) at 6:07 p.m., FSW
Sunday (Yusei Kikuchi vs. TBA) at 1 p.m., FSW


black 3The beauty of this 133rd edition of The Championships at the All England Club in Wimbledon has been the daily news events, surprises and stunners, and the emergence of new faces. It’s a lot like the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. You want a lot of variety for the first round or two. Then you expect the titans of the sport to step up to their rightful place.
But just in case you haven’t been paying attention …
Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old who has advanced to the Round of 16 after a win last Friday, will next face tournament’s No. 7 seed Simona Halep on Monday. Halep won last year’s French Open title and has reached four Grand Slam finals. Gauff said she has never played against Halep or practiced with her, but she’s “familiar with how she plays just from watching her a lot.” Gauff ranks 313rd in the world and already has secured about $200,000 in prize money.
Then there’s Reilly Opelka, the 6-11 American who won his first and second-round matches before falling to No. 15 Milos Raonic. Why is Opelka not playing NBA? “That’s a great question,” he said last week to the media. “I wish I was. I regret it every day. It’s my favorite sport. I don’t play it much anymore. When I’m home I shoot every day, I go to the court and play all the time, but I never, like, played seriously or anything.”
Novak Djokovic is the defending champion, having won four of these since 2011, and is the men’s top seed.
Serena Williams, who has seven career Wimbledon titles, lost to Angelique Kerber in last year’s women’s final. She is seeded just 11th this year. Australia’s Ashleigh Barty is the top seed, with defending champion Angelique Kerber at No. 5 and American Sloan Stephens at No. 9.
The mixed doubles has the super team of Serena Williams and Andy Murray.
The men’s doubles: Jack Sock and Mike Bryan are the defending men’s doubles winners, but Mike Bryan is scheduled to reunite with twin-brother Bryan, who had been out with a hip injury, as they’re playing together again and winning a few recent ATP events at age 41.
More info: www.wimbledon.com


black 4Exhale from the Women’s World Cup and CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The LAFC (13-2-4, tops in the MLS West, 43 points and 50 goals scored) has to wedge in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match into the week – vs. their MLS foe Portland Timbers, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Banc of California Stadium, ESPN+ — before resuming their regularly scheduled programming of real MLS competition at Houston (Friday, 6 p.m., UniMas).
This U.S. Open Cup thing has six MLS teams among the final eight, and the LAFC, should it win, could end up playing either the MLS’ Minnesota United or the USLC’s New Mexico United in the semifinals (to be determined). The other three semifinals games are also Wednesday. The Timbers advanced to this game against LAFC by eliminating the Galaxy, 4-0, on June 19. More info: www.ussoccer.com/us-open-cup
The Galaxy (11-7-1, second in the West) continues MLS play against San Jose – At Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Friday, 8 p.m., Univision.


black 5The 7-6 Sparks, winners of three in a row after a 31-point, 10-rebound game by Nneka Ogwumike and a triple-double from Chelsea Gray against Washington, launch into a three-game road trip with visits to Dallas (Tuesday, 10 a.m., Twitter streaming), Indiana (Friday, 4 p.m., ESPN3/League Pass) and Atlanta (Sunday, noon, NBA TV), none of which are on the local cable carrier.

More* Tracy Morgan hosts the ESPY Awards from L.A. Live, which isn’t live in L.A., airing at 8 p.m. (delayed), Channel 7
* The FINA Swimming World Championships start in South Korea on Friday
* The Scottish Open in North Berwick, Scotland (Thursday-Sunday) gets the field in playing shape for the 148th Open Championship in Northern Ireland set for July 18-21.

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