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A-Roid sign

There is no hotter topic in sports right now than the circus that is surrounding Alex Rodriguez. From his appeal of the 211 game suspension that he was handed by Major League Baseball to him getting beaned by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster in this past weekend's game, A-Rod is consistently the lead story on SportsCenter.

Why? Because people really love being entertained.

Sports, not unlike a television show or movie, is infinitely more entertaining when there is a great story-line. As much as MLB wants to punish A-Rod for his involvement with using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), they would be kidding themselves if they don't think he is main reason for the high ratings that the Yankees-Red Sox games got over the weekend. He is the villain. He is the heel. He is the guy everyone loves to hate. Most importantly, he provides great theater.

While I don't advocate the use of steroids in sports, I just think it's hard to deny that the topic is pretty entertaining to talk and argue about. In fact, I'd definitely say that PEDs kind of make sports more interesting. Hear me out.

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On Tuesday, July 16, the best baseball players in the world will all be taking the field in New York for the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. While the game is the biggest event, it is just one part of a full weekend of festivities that will take place in and around Citi Field next week. From the All-Star FanFest to the Home Run Derby, there is a lot to look forward to. Which one of the events are you MOST excited about?

The Game

No one would blame you if you were looking forward to the game itself the most. The best players all on the field at the same time, playing in perhaps the world's most famous city. It's tough to beat that.

The Home Run Derby

One of the most anticipated events every year is the Home Run Derby thanks to countless, unforgettable moments. Some of those memorable moments include Mark McGwire pounding homers over the green monster at Fenway Park in 1999; Josh Hamilton hitting 28 home runs in a single round at Yankee Stadium in 2008; and Sammy Sosa in 2002 hitting baseballs to places never reached at Miller Park.

Derby captains David Wright and Robinson Cano, as well as their teams, will have to bring it if they want to provide the fans with another one of those moments.

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What People Are Talking About

With how frequently dog videos get posted here, I don't think it's much of a secret that we love them. They can't help that they're so adorable and smart and funny! So this week, we pay homage to dogs, with a special dog-themed post. Check out dogs giving their masters a warm welcome, a dog playing the best game of fetch ever, and a commercial that will make you want to run out and get a dog of your own.

Dogs welcome soldiers home

Soldiers coming home is enough to make anyone emotional. Capturing that on video for everyone to see adds an extra dose of emotion. Add a reunion with beloved pets and some upbeat music into the mix, and suddenly it's just good feelings all around, forever. This compilation video, which surfaced earlier this week, features dogs of all kinds, but my favorite is the huge doggie at the end who's so happy to see his human that he gives him a big ol' hug.

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Now that we are nearly half-way through the 2013 Major League Baseball season, I thought it would be a great time to take a look back on the first half of the season and check out some of the ticketing trends that have developed so far on TicketNetwork.com.

At the top of the list of top-selling teams are the Texas Rangers, who currently have the second-best record in the American League. Rangers tickets for games in Arlington, TX, have accounted for more than 10% of all tickets sold for MLB regular season games. By comparison, there have been more tickets sold for the Rangers games than for the bottom nine selling teams, combined. That includes teams like the New York Mets, San Diego Padres and both Chicago teams, the Cubs and White Sox.

Right behind the Rangers is their 2010 World Series opponent, the San Francisco Giants, who account for more than 9% of MLB tickets sold. The defending World Series champs have struggled this season, hovering around .500 for much of the year, which has not dampened their fans enthusiasm.

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Top 10 highest-paid athletes in professional sports

Highest-paid athletes

Some people make a lot of money. Like, so much money the rest of us peons can’t even fathom how much money that is. Aside from being a celebrity, it seems like sports is the place to be if you want to be so rich that you can swim in a pool full of money.

According to a recent article, the highest paid employee at most public colleges is not the college president, but some type of sports coach. Most coach football, although some coach basketball, and one highest paid coach does hockey. Many earn in the low millions (as if "low millions" is a thing anyone would pass up).

But their salaries sort of pale in comparison when it comes to what professional sports players make. Sports Illustrated released a list of the top 50 best paid athletes... and they make so much. They could probably buy an island. For their pet giraffe. And that pet giraffe could have a pet monkey. And that pet money of the pet giraffe has its own island, too.

Here are the top 10 paid athletes according to that list. (For the full list, click here.)

10. Zack Greinke, $29,020,000: Greinke, who is 29, plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers and, for that alone, makes $29 million. He also makes $20,000 in endorsements. The Dodgers tend to have the highest payroll in all of the majors, with four of their players on the list. Greinke's contract was at one point the biggest ever for a right-handed pitcher, with a six-year, $147 million deal.

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