- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 14, 2007

First down

By John Taylor

TONIGHT’S BEST ON TELEVISION

It’s a bizarro first-round playoff rematch between Washington and Cleveland at the Las Vegas Summer League (8 p.m. on NBA.com and NBA TV, 10:30 p.m. on CSN).

HE SAID WHAT?

“I’ll get used to that at some point. I’m sorry.”

New MLS star David Beckham, after starting to call soccerfootball

BASEBALL ONLINE >> EXCERPT FROM CHATTER, OUR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL BLOG AT WASHINGTONTIMES.COM.

Before he sneaked away for vacation (unheard of for a baseball writer!), Mark Zuckerman covered the All-Star Game out in San Francisco. And, as the Home Run Derby entered its third hour, he had this to say on his blog.

 Is it just me, or has this event “jumped the shark”? I used to think it was cool to watch Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa send ‘em flying into the upper deck. But it just doesn’t work for me anymore. The event takes far too much time with all these commercial breaks. The big-name guys won’t participate. And the guys who are involved aren’t hitting as many shots as they used to. (I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions why that may be the case.) Oh yeah, and then there’s Chris Berman, who has played his own role in spoiling the derby.

 I think it’s time to make some changes. Either insist the big-name sluggers participate, turn it into a team event or just get rid of it altogether and hold some other kind of skills competition. Would you rather see Alex Rios and Matt Holliday swing for the fences or Dmitri Young try to hit a target in left-center, A-Rod make a pinpoint throw to first after charging in to barehand a slow roller and Vladimir Guerrero throw a ball 350 feet through a two-foot opening at the plate? I’d be interested in the latter. But maybe that’s just me.

TWT FIVE >> THINGS TO GET SPORTS FANS THROUGH JULY

1. British Open Tiger Woods has twice won and twice finished second in his last four majors.

2. Hall of Fame inductions Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn take center stage in Cooperstown.

3. David Beckham Even if you don’t watch soccer, this guy has at least made you curious.

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