Looking for a break from cookouts, boat rides, beer pong? Then check your channel guide to see what’s playing. We suggest hockey early this weekend — and IndyCar late.
Around the horn
Phillies at Mets
Friday, 7:10 p.m. (SNY)
Baseball has the stage to itself this weekend, but Bud Selig won’t put on a show. This is the only rivalry or game worth flipping on all weekend — what else are you going to watch? Yankees at Mariners with a lovely 10:10 p.m. first pitch? And even this NL East clash is lacking, as neither Roy Halladay nor Cliff Lee will take the mound. That’s fine with the Mets, who dropped two of three in each of the first two meetings with the Phils. Ryan Howard is hitting .320 vs. N.Y. with three homers and nine RBIs, while his cleanup counterpart Jason Bay is just 1-for-13 against the Phillies.
Lightning at Bruins
Friday, 8 (VERSUS)
Hockey and summer go together like Kelly Clarkson and a diet. Still, with the NBA finals basically decided, this Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals will be the most competitive game on this side of the pond this weekend. The Lightning lit up Tim Thomas for five goals on 26 shots in a Game 6 win, while Tampa’s Dwayne Roloson improved to 7-0 in elimination games. Boston is trying to reach the Cup finals for the first time in 21 years, but Martin St. Louis, with four goals and seven points in this series, should lead the Lightning to a win.
Across the pond
Barcelona vs. Man. U
Saturday, 2 (FOX)
Soccer’s two biggest powers collide in the UEFA Champions League final for the second time in three years. Barcelona won the 2009 crown with an early netter and 2-0 victory. Manchester United will show a balanced, conservative defense to trip up Lionel Messi and try to steal a win at Wembley on the golden boot of 22-year-old Javier Hernandez, who has scored 20 goals since joining the club 13 months ago.
BMW PGA Championship
Sat./Sun., 9 a.m. (GOLF)
Stay overseas if you want to watch real contenders on the course. A Tiger-less PGA Tour has taken a backseat to the European Tour, and it stays that way this weekend on the outskirts of London. All four reigning major champions and six of the world’s top seven players are competing, including No. 2 Luke Donald, who shot a 7-under 64 to take the first-round lead Thursday. The Byron Nelson in Dallas, meanwhile, boasts just one top-10 player in American Matt Kuchar.
Rev your engines
Sunday, noon (ABC)
You may know only two names at this year’s race, but it’s still worth checking out. Literally. Danica Patrick snuck into the field after a top-10 finish last year, while Ashley Judd could be in the winner’s circle yet again if husband Dario Franchitti takes the checkered flag for a third time. Franchitti, the defending champ, and Scott Dixon are the co-favorites to win the 100th running of this iconic race.
Court of appeal
Monday, noon (ESPN2)
Rafael Nadal continues his march to a record sixth French Open title, while Caroline Wozniacki will try to move on to the quarterfinals for the second straight year. Novak Djokovic may end up stealing the spotlight, though, if he remains undefeated this season.
Take in a matinee
Monday, noon (AMC)
We told you baseball was bogus this weekend. That’s why we suggest tuning in to “Patton” at noon, then “The Longest Day” at 4 p.m. After that, it’ll be the longest month-plus until one of the best shows on TV right now, “Breaking Bad,” comes back for Season Four in July.
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