Welcome to Leading Off, a look at the week ahead in sports where we’ll let you know what to look out for this week, recap the weekend, and point you toward interesting sports stories to read. Let us know in the comments if we missed anything or if you want to let us know what you’re watching for and reading.The Week Ahead
It’s August. Baseball is heading toward its last month, football is in the preseason, basketball and hockey haven’t yet started. It’s August, and just like in politics, that means it’s slow.
Little League World Series: The best Little League baseball teams from the United States and around the world are heading to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the Little League World Series begins Thursday. If you want to watch baseball free of performance enhancing drug scandals, this might be your chance.
Nine For IX: The next film in ESPN’s Nine for IX series details how runner Mary Decker dealt with the adversity of falling during the 1984 Olympics when she was a gold medal favorite. It airs Tuesday on ESPN at 8 p.m.
Devils sale: Owner Jeff Vanderbeek is close to an imminent sale of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, according to the Bergen Record. The Devils have struggled financially for years, though they promised that their new arena, the Prudential Center, would solve all of that. There have been rumors that the NHL may take over the team. Considering the disaster that occurred in Phoenix when the NHL took over the Coyotes, it’d probably be better for everyone if Vanderbeek finds a buyer.
From The Weekend
Jason Dufner won the PGA Championship, the final major tournament of the golfing season.
Usain Bolt won the 100 meters at the track and field World Championships in Moscow, and a photographer from Getty snapped one of the best sports pictures of the year.
Former Major Leaguer Jack Clark accused Anaheim Angels star Albert Pujols of using steroids throughout his career, and Pujols threatened to sue in response.
Alex Rodriguez hit his first home run of the 2013 season.
The Jockey Club, one of horseracing’s most powerful groups, announced that it will pay for off-track drug testing as national medical reform efforts continue.
You Should Read…
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talked to Jay Bilas about his Twitter campaign highlighting the NCAA’s hypocrisy on amateurism and jersey sales.
Sports On Earth’s Aaron Gordon looked into whether pro sports leagues should actually value competitive balance.
Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra argues that outrage at Alex Rodriguez stems from viewing athletes as heroes and not as humans destined to fail.
In the Texas Observer, Jessica Luther and Dan Solomon examine Vince Young, Ricky Williams, and redemption in sports.
This is older, but interesting: FanGraphs’ Wendy Thurm checks out Major League Baseball’s TV bubble and the rights fees each team earns from their TV deals.