MLB All-Star Game
Who says U.S. voters are apathetic? Turnout for the '08 election was the highest in 40 years—and this year a record 223.5 million votes were cast online for AL and NL starters. (Watch them on Fox.) An interesting pick was made by AL skipper Joe Maddon. He chose Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, 42, the second-oldest first-time All-Star ever, after Satchel Paige.
Bad news if an American wins the claret jug: It comes with a pay cut. Though the champ's share at Turnberry will be the same 750,000 pounds as in '08, that's $1.2 million at the current exchange rate—down from $1.5 million last year. Padraig Harrington is trying to win his third straight Open, but he missed his fifth straight cut last weekend.
A bio of Satchel Paige sounds futile; the subject kept his age a mystery, much less other details. (For the record, he was born in 1906.) But Larry Tye pulls it off with a well-reported portrait that contrasts Satchel's crowd-pleasing persona with his troubled soul. Satchel, who was stung that he didn't break the color barrier, said don't look back. Readers will be glad Tye did.
• GET TO KNOW
There's more to being a major league wife than looking nervous during playoff games, as fans will discover in Baseball Wives: The E! True Hollywood Story (check listings on the E! Network). The show follows six couples—their hopes, dreams, lavish weddings and hectic schedules. Noteworthy: Josh Hamilton's wife, Katie, discusses his battle with drug addiction.
The fake umps
Blue Jays fans know Tim Williams and Joe Farrell, Toronto stockbrokers who sit behind the plate at Rogers Centre in umpire regalia and mimic the real umps' calls. Now they're international stars after taking their act to D.C. and New York, following the Blue Jays to Nationals Park in June and to Yankee Stadium last weekend. Somewhere, Leslie Nielsen is smiling.
• ENJOY, Y'ALL
Summer Redneck Games
If you can spit a watermelon seed for distance and accuracy then you might be a medalist at the Redneck (their word, not ours) Olympics in East Dublin, Ga. Among the other country competitions on July 11: bobbing for pigs' feet and armpit song performances. (Check out summerredneckgames.com.) Somewhere, Jeff Foxworthy is smiling.
The Pop Culture Grid
Athletes in the mix
Favorite Michael Jackson song
I wish I could transform into ...
I get the chills when I think of ...
Bottles of water I drank today
Best tearjerker movie
GORDON BECKHAM White Sox 3B
Megan Fox's bed
My black lab, Dixie
MIKE PELFREY Mets P
A '67 Mustang GT
Marley & Me
KATIE SMITH Shock G
Any 6 Series BMW
Winning an Olympic gold medal
Marley & Me
CC SABATHIA Yankees P
A Cadillac Escalade
Winning the World Series
Five, with five more to come
Men of Honor
Inside the Grid
Smith knew Marley & Me would get to her: "I also read the book and cried." Sabathia shed tears watching the 2000 film about the Navy's first African-American master diver, portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. And Beckham's waterworks often run during movies because "I'm way too sensitive."
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (WAKEFIELD)
JEFF GROSS/GETTY IMAGES (HARRINGTON)
COURTESY E! ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION INC. (WIVES)
CHUCK SOLOMON (UMPIRE)
CHUCK SOLOMON (SABATHIA)
BILL FRAKES (REDNECK)
¬© 20TH CENTURY FOX/EVERETT COLLECTION (MARLEY & ME)
COURTESY OF GENERAL MOTORS (ESCALADE)
NOAH GRAHAM/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (SMITH)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (PELFREY)
JERRY LAI/US PRESSWIRE (BECKHAM)
EVERETT COLLECTION (JACKSON)
ERICK W. RASCO (WATER)