Well, it's another Friday, which means another weekend of sports to enjoy. And what's not to enjoy, coming off the NBA draft and the flurry of trades that followed.
As for what I'll be checking out this weekend - Most of my viewing will again revolve around MLB and interleague play, but I did throw in a few other happenings in the world of sports.
Cubs vs. White Sox
Once again, the battle line has been drawn in Chicago, but this time the war rages at US Cellular Field. The Cubs handled their cross-town rivals last weekend in Wrigley, scoring 22 runs in three games. Now, the White Sox will try to return the favor, and hold on to a slim half-game lead in the AL Central?
Ryan Dempster (9-2) takes the mound, Friday, against Jose Contreras (6-6). Dempster pitched a gem last week, as the Cubs won 7-1. The pitching match-ups on Saturday and Sunday aren't too appealing, so I'd expect much the same as last weekend - a lot of scoring with Chicago fans definitely getting their moneys worth.
The Sox certainly can't afford another sweep, as Minnesota has been on a tear, and are suddenly in surprise contention for first place.
Twins vs. Brewers
Speaking of Minnesota, the red hot Twinkies take another shot at the Brewers. The Twins have swept their last three series, and have a good shot at making it four. Milwaukee has been hot as well, though, winning six of the last seven games.
Friday's starter for the Brewers, Seth McClung, has not faired well against the Twins, posting a 1-2 record and 7.53 ERA. In interleague play this year, however, McClung has been solid, with a 2-0 record and 3.14 ERA. Which McClung will show up Friday? I'll be watching to find out.
Minnesota is leading the season series 2-1. Milwaukee should have a shot to even things up, though, with ace Ben Sheets taking on Minnesota's Kevin Slowey on Sunday. Saturday will have the best pitching match-up in this series, with the Twins' Livan Hernandez (8-4) going up against Manny Parra (7-2).
Mets vs. Yankees
This is the last subway series in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium (unless both teams make it to the World Series, which is highly unlikely). Both teams are in similar positions at this stage in the season - in third place in their respective divisions, but playing well over their last 10.
The Mets are four games out of first place in the NL East, and the Yankees are five-and-a-half games behind rival Boston. Both teams could use a big boost in this series, so it should be interesting to see which New York team prevails.
The series starts with a double header on Friday. The first game will be in the Bronx and the second at Shea Stadium. Saturday we'll see Andy Pettitte (8-5) and Johan Santana (7-6) taking the mound. Despite his record, Santana has a 2.93 ERA, and is always capable of shutting down even the most potent lineup.
Angels vs. Dodgers
The Angels and Dodgers meet again this weekend, but the Angles have had the Dodgers number all season. Winning nine of the last 11 games, the Halos look to add to that win total. Joe Saunders brings his 11-3 record in to Dodger Stadium, Friday, against Chan Ho Park, 2-2. (Wait... Chan Ho Park is still in the league?!)
Park hasn't pitched well against the Angels in his career. His 5.75 ERA and 5-7 record doesn't bode well for his outing against an Angels team that can put up runs with the best of them.
On Saturday, two youngsters - Jered Weaver of the Angles and Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers - hit the bump. Neither have had spectacular years so far, but this should be an exciting game.
Sunday. Angels ace John Lackey has been lights out since missing the beginning stages of the season. Lackey boasts a 5-1 record and stellar 1.65 ERA since taking his place at the top of the rotation. Derek Lowe, on the other hand, hasn't found his stride, but is capable of dealing Lackey his second loss of the season.
The Buick Open
Obviously, this usually important tournament won't be quite as exciting with Tiger Woods on the shelf. But, with the big guy out, young, hungry players will again have their chance to shine. Bo Van Pelt holds the lead heading into the weekend, at -14, but Dudley Hart and Daniel Chopra are currently hot on his trail, at -12.
I'll be tuning in on Sunday to watch the final round and see who steps up in Tiger's absence.
Championship Game: Spain vs. Germany
I might tune in on Sunday for the 91st minute of this championship game to see what team is sliding around on their knees and celebrating. I'll take that as the winning team and switch back to baseball or maybe cup-stacking or... well, anything really.
The Championships continue this weekend with the third and fourth rounds. Unfortunately for most viewers, you may not recognize many of the names. Still, there are a few big guns left, and there will be a ton of good grass-court tennis to watch.
On Saturday, Nicolas Kiefer will face tennis terminator Rafael Nadal. Nadal has looked sharp in the first two rounds and should have no problem with the 27th-ranked German.
Another Saturday match that should be exciting is Tommy Haas and Andy Murray, the 12th-ranked player in the world. These players are pretty evenly matched, and this one could turn in to an epic battle.
On the ladies side, surprising Shuai Peng of China will go up against Ala Kudryavtseva of Russia. Both ladies made a splash by beating the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked players, respectively, in round two.
Venus Williams tries to reach the finals again and will take on Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez on Court 1.
From the Blogosphere...
The Heat need help... and they may have just got some. Check out Harst's NBA Draft grades and revised Miami depth chart.
It's only halfway through the season, but Chipper&Smoltzy is already wondering about the 2008 MLB Rookies of the Year. Could the NL player be Jay Bruce in Cincinnati? Maybe the AL guy is Joba up in the Big Apple? Make your pick!
Ilive@unc is the not about to call Charlotte a playoff team, but he does think this draft was a step in the right direction. Take a look at his thoughts on the Bobcats' draft.