What we're watching (all times EDT, unless noted): Plenty of viewing options tonight:
• ESPN has the X Games (live at 7 p.m., tape delayed at 2 a.m.).
• MLB Network has Red Sox-White Sox or Giants-Reds (both at 7 p.m.).
• ESPN2 has tennis' ATP Farmers Classic from Los Angeles (7 p.m.).
• WGN has Cubs-Cardinals (8 p.m.).
• Speed Network has NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series AAA Insurance 200 from Indianapolis (7:30 p.m.).
• ESPN2 has a junior welterweight bout between Lamont Peterson and Victor Cayo from Vegas (9 p.m.).
Ken Rosenthal throws some shit against the wall: And it sounds "critical." [@Ken_Rosenthal]
The Astros still have Hunter Pence: But it's so "hot and heavy" it's now a "soap opera." [SI.com and @SI_JonHeyman]
The Reds just might start selling stuff. Maybe: All because Ubaldo Jiminez is "not a roster mechanic." But who really is these days? [FOX Sports]
One side versus the other: "While American nationality has always been a desirable asset in Juárez, it has become much more valuable - sometimes a matter of life and death - since the drug violence erupted in earnest three years ago. The children delivered at Casa de Nacimiento on the day we met would eventually be able to attend better schools, find better jobs and, if necessary, seek haven. I met a couple named Graciela and Milo, who brought their 2-week-old daughter, Jennifer, to Arnold's birth center for a postpartum checkup. The parents were Mexican citizens. (For reasons of privacy, the center insisted that their last names not be used.) Their first two children were born in their home country, but when it came time to have this one, they decided to cross over." [New York Times Magazine]
July 29, 2009: Rick Reilly®, Sportsmanship Nazi
The NFL now hates NFL Films: "Films' impact on the league, both in terms of popularity and profitability, is unquestioned. It's why, next week, Steve's father Ed, the former overcoat salesman-turned-filmmaker who started the company in Center City, will be getting his very own bronze bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, when he becomes just the 19th 'contributor' to be inducted. Yet, even as the league prepares to pay tribute to Sabol, the company he created finds itself battling for survival against people who seem to think it has outlived its usefulness. Its budget has been slashed, its workforce has been gutted by two rounds of layoffs and buyouts, and it essentially has been reduced to an assembly line for cheap, quick-turnaround content for the NFL Network, which, 8 years into Bornstein's tenure, remains barely watchable." [Philadelphia Daily News]
This went pretty much according to script: "‘I'll just start off by saying that my inteview that I did and the comments I made about Roger Goodell were inappropriate at the least and way out of line,' Harrison told a large crowd of media after this morning's first walk-through practice at Saint Vincent College. ‘I was speaking out of anger and frustration at the time. Any comments that I may have made that offended anyone with my careless use of words, I apologize.'" [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Yeah, but who's his caddie?: "He hasn't played in a tournament since May, but, with only one major tournament remaining in 2011, Tiger Woods has decided to prepare by playing in next week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational, the last event before the PGA Championship begins Aug. 11." [Washington Post]
North Korean parody commercial interlude:
Blame it on a bureaucratic snafu: "A representative for the league affiliated with a youth baseball team from Uganda tells The Associated Press that players were denied visas to play in the Little League World Series because of discrepancies over their ages and birth dates. Richard Stanley, of New York City, told The AP Friday that league and team officials did everything possible to ensure players on the team from Kampala were qualified and had documentation. Children who are 11 or 12 as of April 30 can play in the World Series, which is held each August." [Associated Press/ESPN]
Prodigy's audiobook-memoir "might be the best rap album of the year": "There is a faint stiffness to Prodigy's reading, as he tries to sound casual reciting the book's lines. But that stiffness occasionally gives way to a stirring earnestness, when, for example, he describes his grandmother's fried chicken wings as "the best in black history." He can seem bemused by his own life story, all the fights he escaped unscathed and the various cases he's dodged along the way. Even though you're not entirely sure he wrote all of these words himself-journalist Laura Checkoway is credited as a contributor-you begin to notice shifts in tone and emphasis over the course of the book, and it's clear which moments Johnson still feels. He'll end a gripping story about a Queensbridge melee with an awestruck "Wow," or seethe as he soldiers through passages concerning archenemy Jay-Z, who many believe derailed Mobb Deep's career by circulating a cred-killing photo of a prepubescent Prodigy preening at his grandmother's dance studio. When Prodigy catches word that fellow Queens native Nas has been dissing him around the neighborhood, he tries to take it in stride. His voice, though, betrays a quiver of disappointment that his loyalty to Nas has been in vain." [Slate]
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