This is the one week of the year where something exciting is happening in almost every major sport.

The Major League All-Star break is upon us and many people are not only looking forward to the game, but also to the Homerun Derby, where anticipation is high that a new record will be set in the thin Colorado air.

Defending champion Pete Alonso, the Mets first baseman, will have some stiff competition from the Angels’ phenom, Shohei Ohtani, who leads all major leaguers in home runs with 34.

Making the game even more interesting is that Ohtani is expected to appear as both a pitcher and a position player. No player since Babe Ruth has ever accomplished that feat on a regular basis.

The first half of the baseball season has been a surprise. The Giants have the best record and they lead the prohibitive favorite, the Dodgers, in the N.L. Western Division standings. Very few fans expect that lead to last in the second half, but for now, the Giants are a huge surprise.

In the N.L. East, who would have expected the New York Mets to be leading? The team has had many injuries and other than Jacob daGrom, they really have no superstars. 

But they are sitting on top, four games over Atlanta at present and the Braves just lost their best player, Ronald Acuna, for the season to an ACL injury.

The A.L. East is a race between Boston and Tampa Bay at the moment, but the Yankees seem to have started to come together in the past week, and chances are it will be a three-way finish in September.

The White Sox and the Astros lead the two other A.L. divisions, but neither team looks unbeatable.

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The champion of the NBA will be crowned this week. The Phoenix Suns are leading the Milwaukee Bucks in the series and veteran Chris Paul, a superstar who has never reached the finals before, is playing his heart out to win the trophy.

The Suns were not chosen to win in the West, considering they had teams like the Lakers and Clippers to beat, but they overcame those two powers and now they have the well-rounded Bucks up against the ropes.

The 6’11’’ Greek, Giannis Antetokounmpo, was expected to lead the Bucks, but he has been injured and is unable to play full-time.

Khris Middleton has to step up his game if the Milwaukee team is to win its first championship since the days when Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Oscar Robertson played there.

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Wimbledon had its first women’s singles champion from Australia since Evonne Goolagong, as Ash Barty won the first-place trophy on Tuesday.

Barty is not a well-known name unless you are a big tennis fan, but she seems to be one of the young ones who will replace Serena Williams and vie for the top spot in the sport.

Surprising to many of us, she has now won two major titles, as previously she captured the French Open.

It appears that Novak Djokovic, the Serbian superstar, will win the men’s title and if he does, it will be the 20th Grand Slam victory of his career. 

Djokovic seems to have passed Rafael Nadal as the best player in the world and before he is through, he might be the best of all time.

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Nearly forgotten in all the other sports excitement this week, is the British Open golf tournament, the final major of the year.

Due to strict Covid restrictions in Great Britain, some of the top players have decided not to play.

When Bubba Watson pulled out last weekend, he was at least the sixth world-ranked player to say they would not be competing at Royal St. George.

Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama will not be there, leaving only two previous major winners, Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm. Some other top players, such as Rory McIlroy and Kevin Na, have hinted at their displeasure with the strict rules.

Darren Clarke was the last winner of a major at Royal St. George and he is on the Senior Tour now. 

Before Clarke, the previous winner was Ben Curtis, and who knows where he is now.

This may be one of those Opens where anyone who is hot at the moment, can pull off the victory.

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This week should offer something for just about any sports fan, unless your only passion is football.

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