Little League World Series Eight U.S. and eight international teams armed with bats, balls and birth certificates begin play at the 59th annual tournament in Williamsport, Pa. The Maitland, Fla., squad has the pedigree to be the first U.S. team since 2002 to win it all. Pitcher-shortstop Dante Bichette Jr. (left) and first baseman Tanner Stanley are the sons of former major league All-Stars Dante Bichette and Mike Stanley, who are volunteer coaches for the team. (Through Aug. 28.) ESPN and ESPN2, check listings
You Write Better Than You Play: The Frank Deford Story One day during his sophomore year at Princeton, while doing double duty as a scribe for the Daily Princetonian and a scrub on the basketball practice squad, Deford was pulled aside by Tigers coach Franklin (Cappy) Cappon. "Frank," the coach said, "you write basketball better than you play it." And with that began an acclaimed literary career. This documentary examines the life and work of the NPR commentator and author of The Old Ball Game, his 15th book. Among the SI stories Deford has written that are touched on in the 90-minute program: his 1985 classic on light heavyweight Billy Conn, called The Boxer and the Blonde. ESPN Classic 8 p.m.
Red Sox at Angels Cowboy-upping first baseman Kevin Millar may be the only Boston player happy to see the Angels' stingy staff, which is second in the AL in ERA (3.67). Millar, who has been mired in a season-long slump (.273 average, 4 HRs), went 6 for 11 with two homers and four RBIs when the two division leaders met at Fenway in June. Fox 4 p.m.
Rocky Juarez vs. Humberto Soto The fight to watch in Rosemont, Ill., is not the junior middleweight main event between two former world champions, Javier Castillejo and Fernando Vargas; it's the undercard bout featuring the sport's next great Rocky (left). A 25-year-old featherweight, Juarez (23--0, 12 KOs) has electrified the boxing world with his relentless, punishing style. HBO 10:15 p.m.
Pacific Classic Surf Cat (left) developed a little too late to compete in the Triple Crown races, but the son of Sir Cat has become the best 3-year-old in the West. After a five-length victory in the Swaps, the dark-bay colt will take on older horses for the first time. ESPN2 7 p.m.
SI PICK OF THE WEEK
Baltimore's Other Ironman
The fifth Major League Lacrosse championship game could be a showcase for Gary Gait (above, right). The 38-year-old Victoria, B.C., native and Syracuse alum, not only coached the Baltimore Bayhawks to a 10--2 record but also led the league with 42 goals and 63 points. If the Bayhawks get past a streaky Rochester club in Friday's semifinal, they'll face either Boston or Long Island in the title game at Boston University's Nickerson Field. Then Gait can finally get a little rest, right? Not quite. In June he took a job as the coach of the indoor National Lacrosse League's Colorado Mammoth, whose season starts in January. ESPN2 1 p.m.
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel A segment features Dick Hoyt, 65, who has run in 85 marathons and 216 triathlons while pushing his disabled son, Rick, in a wheelchair (SI, June 20, 2005). HBO 9 p.m.
GARY W. GREEN/ORLANDO SENTINEL (BICHETTE)
JEROME DAVIS/ICON SMI (GAIT)
BOB LEVEY/WIREIMAGE.COM (JUAREZ)
MATT SAYLES/AP (SURF CAT)
GRETCHEN ERTL/AP (HOYTS)