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Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A midsummer night's dream?

By Sarah Spain

MLB: It seems even with home-field advantage in the World Series on the line, many of baseball's best and brightest would rather have a few days off than play in tonight's All-Star Game. Superstars such as Derek Jeter, Ryan Braun, CC Sabathia, Cole Hamels and Alex Rodriguez will all miss the game, due to injuries, rule enforcements or by choice. Because of players pulling out, a total of 84 guys got invites to play in this year's contest, the most in history. The game will boast exciting up-and-comers like Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and proven winners like Giants ace Tim Lincecum. Roy Halladay will get the start for Bruce Bochy's NL team, while Jered Weaver gets the nod for Ron Washington's AL squad (8 p.m., ESPN).

WNBA: It's a matinee for the Mystics and the Storm today as they meet at Key Arena in Seattle for an early one. Washington has lost seven of its last eight games heading into the contest, while Seattle has won four of six. Injured players Crystal Langhorne and Alana Beard may return for the last-place Mystics, who desperately need a pick-me-up (3 p.m.). ... Kobe Bryant's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, will start his second stint as head coach of the Sparks tonight, hoping to lead them to their first road win of the year when they visit San Antonio. The Sparks fired head coach Jennifer Gillom on Sunday, electing to give Bryant a second chance as the man in charge (8 p.m.).