Daily Sports: Nats-Phils Start Four-Game Set Monday

The Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies are both showing some signs of life in the NL East, and the two division foes meet head-to-head in tonight’s daily sports TV highlight (7 PM ET, ESPN). The Nats have won four in a row. The Phils have won consecutive series against first-place teams in Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Both Washington and Philadelphia have to play with a sense of urgency, and their four-game series begins in Philly tonight.

If baseball isn’t your thing, then might I suggest the NFL Network? The network is running “A Football Life”, a series that has one-hour looks at different personalities in the game’s history. Tonight has a Chicago Bears theme to it, with consecutive features on Mike Ditka and Walter Payton. Ditka was the coach of “Da Bears” in the 1980s and early 1990s, while Payton were merely one of the best running backs the game has ever seen, including taking home the MVP award in 1977.

Both Ditka and Payton had their career high points when the Bears won the 1985 Super Bowl, and ironically, TheSportsNotebook just completed a historical feature on the highlights of the year that was 1985 sports. The Bears were naturally a part of that, as were great moments ranging from Villanova’s shocking national title, to a great baseball season, to the Los Angeles Lakers finally overcoming their historic problems with Boston Garden.

In the contemporary sports world, TheSportsNotebook’s MLB coverage will spend this final week before the All-Star break producing divisional snapshots that will concisely sum up all six races. Today we begin with the AL East.