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The Couch Potato Report: Sox, Skateboards, and Some Ponies

Tony Hawk (Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, the video game)

This weekend we’ll say good bye to a hot, steamy July and welcome in the month of August, which means one big thing to sports fans everywhere… we are that much closer to the return of football season! But while NFL players and college gridiron hopefuls bake under the hot summer sun at training camps across the country, we sports enthusiasts are left to watch what little is left on the sporty tube.

And so I’ll keep this introduction short… after Thursday night’s season premiere of “Jersey Shore,” I’m left with a sore typing arm from all of the fist pumping… and instead, we’ll move right into this week’s edition of “The Couch Potato Report,” C.P.R. for your sports-lovin’ hearts.

Happy August, Happy Viewing, and of course, Happy Shark Week! (Discovery Channel starting Sunday night, featuring six new specials!)

#1 Red Sox vs. Tigers

When & Where Can I Find It?

Friday at 7pm on NESN, Saturday at 4pm on FOX, and Sunday at 1:30pm back on NESN

Why Should I Watch?

The Sox are finally getting healthy, which means you might recognize a majority of the players in the lineup now! This weekend they return from a reasonably successful West Coast road trip that saw the Sox go a respectable 6-4, highlighted by a three-game sweep of the Anaheim, California Angels of Los Angeles, California. The local nine will host former Sox outfielder Johnny Damon and the Detroit Tigers, who enter the series six games back of the first place White Sox in the A.L. Central. The Tigers have lost four in a row coming into Fenway, and hopefully the Sox can continue the losing ways for Damon’s bunch (though the Tigers got the best of them on Friday).

#2 MLB Trade Deadline Coverage

When & Where?

NESN at 3pm on Saturday, with around-the-clock coverage on all major deals on ESPN News & MLB Network

Why?

Baseball die-hards like myself always mark July 31st on their calendars every year. It’s deadline day for major league teams to swap players around without having to deal with waivers. We’ve already seen a few pretty major deals hit the wire, with Roy Oswalt heading east to the Phillies, Miguel Tejada heading west to the Padres, and Cliff Lee joining the division leading Rangers. But have no doubt, teams will be working around the clock to make moves before Saturday’s 4pm deadline. For local Red Sox-centric coverage, tune in to NESN at 3pm on Saturday for their “Trade Deadline Special.” For national coverage, you’re better off sticking with ESPN News or if you’re lucky enough to have it, the MLB Network. A little Hazel Mae never hurt nobody… I mean, she’s no Heidi Watney, but she’d still get a nice dinner and drinks out of me any night she wanted. Not that I’m counting on getting that chance… ever.

#3 X Games 16

When & Where?

ESPN & ESPN2 all weekend long

Why?

That’s a great question… why, or maybe how, are the X Games still happening every year? They must be doing something right in order to last as long as they have, but really, who watches this stuff? Call me crazy, but I don’t know a single soul that gets amped up, looking forward to the X Games every year. But nonetheless, this weekend marks the 16th year of ESPN’s marquee summer extreme games event, this year being held out in Los Angeles. Flip it on to catch grown men skateboard… maybe by the end of it all, you can explain to me what a “Moto X” is.

#4 Lots of Meaningless Golf

When & Where?

LPGA’s British Open – ESPN, 9am Friday, 10am Saturday and Sunday
PGA’s Greenbrier Classic – Golf Channel, 3pm Friday, 1pm Saturday and Sunday; CBS, 3pm Saturday and Sunday
PGA’s European Tour, The Irish Open – Golf Channel, 10am Friday, 9am Saturday and Sunday
Sr. PGA’s U.S. Open Championship – ESPN2, 5pm Friday; NBC, 4pm Saturday and Sunday

Why?

I’m thinking it would take a golf-aholic to sit and watch one of these three tournaments this weekend. Heck, the weather’s going to be fan-friggin’-tastic all weekend long, if you love golf so much, get out there and play it yourself! But if you’ve got a bum elbow, or no elbows at all, and can’t swing a club anymore, I guess you’re one of those folks who will be excited to catch a bunch of no-names and has-beens try to make it big at these minimally important tournaments.

#5 Horse Racing’s Haskell Invitational

When & Where?

Sunday at 5pm on ABC

Why?

It’s been a while since horse racing took center stage in the sports world, but this Sunday a few of the big name horses that captured loads of attention in the spring will hit the track at Monmouth Park in New Jersey for the $1 million Haskell Invitational. This race, while not nearly as big and lucrative as the Triple Crown races in May and June, will this year feature several horses who had success in those races this past spring. Horses like Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and runner-up Ice Box, Preakness winner Lookin At Lucky and runner-up First Dude, and the up-and-coming horse, Trappe Shot, all will be featured in Sunday’s race. With it being held in Jersey, maybe these horses will be all tanned up, gelled up, and maybe their trainers have taught them how to fist pump!?! Maybe…

This Week’s “Off the Field” Pick: The 10th Annual Pat White Jimmy Fund Baseball Tournament

When & Where?

Adams Field on Merrymount Parkway in Quincy, Friday through Sunday

Why?

This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with television, so this week’s “Off the Field” pick is literally “on the field.” For those who don’t know of him, Pat White was a young baseball player from Quincy who was hit hard with rhabdomysarcoma, a rare form of tissue cancer. He lost his long battle with the disease back in late 2005, at just age 15. White was an inspiration to baseball players throughout Quincy and the South Shore, quite often hitting the diamond on the same day he’d receive chemotherapy treatments. Quincy Youth Baseball is hosting the 10th annual tournament honoring Pat White this weekend at Adams Field, one of the best baseball fields in the state. Proceeds from the event will go straight to the Jimmy Fund. So if you want to see some of the more talented young teenage baseball players that Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, and Scituate have to offer, come enjoy the nice weather and help support a great cause.

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