Welcome to Sports Tonight

Choosing a sporting event to watch can be a chore. Never fear because help has arrived.

"Sports Tonight" is a Monday-through-Friday look at what's coming up each night in the world of sports – yeah, I know that's kind of self-explanatory.

While you are grinding through the work day, I'll find the top local and national sporting event to suggest to you after you've clocked out.

I'll give you an interesting take on the best game of the night and let you know when and where you can see it.

On some days, coincidentally like tonight (yep, tough debut), none of the locals will be in action. Don't worry because I'll find the top sporting event in the United States or beyond for you to check out.

Sports Tonight will also clue you in on some of the must-read stories of the day on Philly.com and other websites, and provide links for your convenience.

Finally, there is the "Smallwood Riff." For more than two decades, I've provided my two cents' worth of opinion about what is happening in sports. You'll be surprised with how much I can say in 150 words.

Bartman strikes again?

Last week, the Cubs gave a 2016 World Series ring to Steve Bartman, the most maligned fan in the history of sports. It features 108 diamonds and is valued at $70,000.

Bartman infamously interfered with Chicago outfielder Moises Alou, who was trying to catch a foul ball for the third out of the eighth inning of Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series.

The Cubs blew a lead and eventually lost the NLCS to the Florida Marlins.

Bartman, who received death threats, was labeled the guy who caused "The Curse" to trudge on.

"We hope this provides closure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series," the Cubs said of why Bartman got a ring.

Hmm, the Cubs, who will play at the San Francisco Giants at 10 tonight on ESPN, went 13-3 since the All-Star break before giving Bartman the ring but are 2-4 since.

What I’m reading

Phillies legendary catcher Darren Daulton died Sunday after a long battle with brain cancer. Staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick writes a comprehensive essay on Daulton's career and life.

With the Eagles' first preseason game coming up on Thursday, staff writer Jeff McLane writes about the potential downsides of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery having sat out most of training camp.

Former Daily News writer Ray Didinger is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his decades of coverage of the Eagles and the NFL. Staff writer Tirdad Derakhshani reviews Didinger's one-act play – Tommy and Me – the story of his relationship with Eagles legendary receiver Tommy McDonald that grew from Didinger's being a childhood fan to an adult friend and Hall of Fame advocate.

Lenny Dykstra gives an 'unmacho"  reaction to the death of former Phillies teammate Darren Daulton. Staff writer Rob Tornoe has Dykstra's emotional Facebook post.

Once a common practice, Matt Moore at cbssports.com discusses the possible end of the coach/general manager position in the NBA.

At ESPN.com, Wright Thompson writes about MMA superstar Conor McGregor and how his tough and violent roots in a Dublin, Ireland have left physical scars that still shape his life.

Fighting is part of life in war-torn Afghanista,n and on ESPN.com  Paula Bronstein has an amazing photo-essay of tryouts to join the Snow Leopard Fighting Championship – the country's first private Mixed Martial Arts tournament.

Allentown native Michelle Marciniak was the first transfer student whom legendary University of Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt accepted. Just past the one-year anniversary of Summit's death from early-onset Alzheimer's disease, Marciniak reflects on her reactions to her mentor's disease to Jackie McMullen at espnW.com.

The riff

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has learned that while he has freedom of speech and expression as an American, that does not mean he has freedom from the repercussions of those actions.

That the Miami Dolphins coaxed Jay Cutler, who had an average career at best, out of retirement with an offer guaranteed for at least $10 million is more evidence that Kaepernick is black-balled by NFL owners for his decision to make a social statement by refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem.

Kaepernick, 29, is no longer the hot prospect who guided the San Francisco 49ers to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII, but he's better than most quarterbacks currently competing for backup jobs in training camps.

They, however, do not bring the controversy that Kaepernick will. Signing him is simply not worth the potential backlash and public relations headaches.

Fair or not, that's NFL owners exercising their freedom of expression.

Tonight’s schedule


Marlins at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
Cubs at Giants, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Little League Baseball
Southeast Regional, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Southwest Regional, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Local Events

Minor League Baseball
Norfolk at Lehigh Valley, 7:05