MLB-ALL STAR GAME
Home Run Derby is tonight
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The baseball All-Star Game is tomorrow night at Target Field in Minneapolis. This evening, many of the game's top sluggers will take part in the annual Home Run Derby. This year's slugfest is led by Toronto's Jose Bautista (boh-TEE'-stah) and Troy Tulowitzki (too-loh-WIHT'-skee) of the Rockies. They are serving as captains of the respective American and National league teams.
Joining the Tulowitzki team are Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Yasiel Puig (yah-SEEL' pweeg) of the Dodgers, Todd Frazier of the Reds and Justin Morneau (mor-NOH') of the Rockies. They will compete against Bautista, Josh Donaldson of the Athletics, Brian Dozier of the host Twins, Baltimore's Adam Jones and Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EHN'-ehs SEHS'-peh-dehs), the defending champ. He is looking to become the first back-to-back champ since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-99.
By the way the first Home Run Derby was held at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis during the All-Star break 29 years ago. The winner was Dave Parker.
Ceremonial first pitches will take place before the contest with St. Paul natives Jack Morris, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield, handling the duties along with current Twins first baseman Joe Mauer (MAW'-ur).
A's lead the way
UNDATED (AP) — The All-Star symbolizes the mid-way mark of the baseball season. In fact the teams are well beyond the half-way mark of the season as each team has played more than 81 games, the actual mid-way point of the 162 game season.
That said, the top team at the break is Oakland as the Athletics sport a record of 59-36. They lead the American League West by 1 ½ games over the Angels.
The top team in the National League is Los Angeles as the Dodgers are 54-43, a game in front of the Giants in the National League West.
The other divisional leaders in the NL are Washington in the East and Milwaukee in the Central.
In the AL the Orioles top the East and the Tigers the Central.
Draw is set
HOYLAKE, England (AP) — The third major of the year in men's golf, the British Open, starts play this Thursday at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England. The draw was announced today and Tiger Woods will open with Angel Cabrera (AHN'-hehl kuh-BREHR'-uh) and Henrik Stenson. Woods had back surgery in March and missed the first two majors, the Masters and U.S. Open.
Defending champion Phil Mickelson is on the other side of the draw, starting Thursday afternoon with Ernie Els and Masters champion Bubba Watson.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Tenth stage today
PLANCHER-LES-MINES, France (AP) — Two-time champion Alberto Contador (KAHN'-tuh-dohr) has dropped out of the Tour de France after crashing during Stage 10. The 31-year-old Spaniard is the second big favorite to drop out this year after defending champion Chris Froome (foom) of Britain crashed out in Stage 5.
Today's tenth stage is a 100-mile trek, featuring four steep climbs and is the toughest stage so far.
Frenchman Tony Gallopin took over possession of the yellow jersey, symbolic of being the overall race leader, on Sunday.
Cleveland NFL team gets a mascot
CLEVELAND (AP) — The city of Cleveland is rocking these days with the drafting of Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL'), the securing of the Republican Convention and last week the return of LeBron James. Now, after all these years, the Browns have a mascot. And it's not somebody dressed inside of a costume. The Browns have introduced "Swagger," a dog, in an attempt to re-connect with Cleveland's old Dawg Pound of the past.
The Browns will be the fourth team in the league with an animal mascot, joining Seattle's hawk, Denver's Arabian horse and Baltimore's two ravens.