Rangers at Yankees
It's not the heat, it's the humanity. This summer the
Dallas- Fort Worth area has suffered through 42 days of
100�-plus temperatures and an MLS team ill-advisedly named Burn. Scorching? The crew of Walker, Texas Ranger fled to Park City, Utah, for on-location shooting. The Rangers turned up the heat by acquiring shortstop Royce Clayton and pitcher Todd Stottlemyre from the St Louis Cardinals and third baseman Todd Zeile from the Florida Marlins. The moves gave the Rangers the inside track for the American League West tide and a possible divisional playoff showdown against the New York Yankees. Zeile has hit .269 with two homers in eight games with Texas through Aug. 9, and Stottlemyre (1-1, 6.52 ERA), whose dad, Mel, is the Yankees' pitching coach, may be the new king of the hill. Of course, if you want to talk scorching, seven Yanks are hitting .300 or better lifetime against the Rangers, led by rightfielder Paul O'Neill's .346.
?FOX, 1 PM
PGA Championship, Final Round
A few links tips for Seattle's grunge crowd, who will be paid a visit by a PGA Tour event for the first time since 1944: 1) Davis Love III, the defending champion in this event, is no relation to Courtney; 2) Curtis Strange is a golf commentator, not a comment that Courtney might have made about her late husband; and 3) the golfers are wondering the same things about your wardrobe. The par-70 Sahalee Country Club in suburban Redmond could see Mark O'Meara become the first man to win three majors in one year since Ben Hogan did it in 1953. Then again, the PGA was the first victory in a major for nine of the last 10 winners of the Wanamaker Trophy. Those seeking a trend should note that the titlists in six of the last seven Tour events have been at least 37 years old, which bodes well for hometown boy Fred Couples, who's 38.
?TBS, 11 AM; CBS, 2 PM
Aug. 16 is American Icon Day. Born on this date: Madonna and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Died: Elvis and the Bambino. This charming glimpse of Ruth (richer than ESPN's Outside the Lines entry last month) features terrific footage—Babe skis! Babe surfs! Babe sings!—of "the only guy who ever lived up to his reputation," in the words of Yankee great Tommy Henrich. On the 50th anniversary of the Babe's death, former players and media types such as Studs Terkel fondly recall him as a man whose appetite for baseball was surpassed only by his appetite for living. Yet even with that dissipated Ruthian lifestyle, notice how many frames in this documentary show a smiling Babe surrounded by happy children. His appeal knew no age limits. "He was the Fourth of July," says author Donald Honig, "brass bands and New Year's Eve all rolled into one."
? HBO, 8 PM
Cowboys vs. Patriots
Are the Cowboys the same hapless bunch that sputtered to a 6-10 record last year? Or can new coach Chan Gailey get quarterback Troy Aikman (left), running back Emmitt Smith and wide-out Michael Irvin back in Super Bowl form? The Patriots, who ventured within a point of last season's AFC Championship Game, must find a replacement for rusher Curtis Martin, who Jetted away. Rookie backs Robert Edwards (if he's recovered from a groin injury) and Harold Shaw will get good looks during this preseason game from Mexico City.
?ABC, 8 PM
Golf Talk Live
By finishing 21st at the Masters and 14th at the U.S. Open with an ever gracious smile, 20-year-old amateur Matt Kuchar (with his father after winning the 1997 U.S. Amateur) has already established himself among the PGA Tour leaders in galleries won over. On this show, Matt, the defending U.S. Amateur champion, and his caddie daddy, Peter, will talk to host Peter Kessler about Matt's plan to return to Georgia Tech and compete during his junior year rather than turning pro. Kessler, a seasoned interviewer of more than 200 guests since this program's debut in 1995, promises that he will directly address the role played by Peter Kuchar, who has addled some pros with his cheer-leading during his son's rounds. "I want to find out if the son is living his own dream," says Kessler, "or his father's."
?GOLF CHANNEL, 9 PM
ALL TIMES EASTERN. SCHEDULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.