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This and That


Each week I will do a column on things going on in the world of sports...

• Do you think the money was worth it for the Boston Red Sox? Daisuike Matsuzaka has been paying dividends with a 6-2 record. He churns up innings, baby! He has made the adjustment to the majors and he looks like the real deal. Boston has been running away and hiding in the AL East and this week's series is a real big one for the Yankees if they want to climb back into the race. It is a must-win series for the Bronx Bombers, trying to get back the swagger and confidence they seem to lack. They are playing not to lose, and you can't play that way.

• What a performance by Curlin in the Preakness! He really turned it up and caught Street Sense to end the dreams of a Triple Crown. We haven't seen a horse win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in the same year since Affirmed in 1978. It looked like Street Sense was in good shape with Calvin Borel on board. Maybe it was coasting too much and all of sudden Curlin came on and nipped him in an incredible, incredible finish.

• Baseball purists were upset with interleague play when it was first introduced. They claimed it spoiled baseball. Guess what? The way it is done is phenomenal. Don't believe me, just look at the turnstiles at some of last weekend's series: Tigers-Cardinals, Mets-Yankees, Braves-Red Sox, Cubs-White Sox, Twins-Brewers and on and on. In many cases, it was standing room only, baby! To me, that helps promote the game of baseball.

• The Spurs simply find ways to win basketball games, and you have to love the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Gregg Popovich and company won Game 1 over the Jazz. San Antonio prevailed after a hard-fought series against Phoenix.

• We had our big event for the Jimmy V Foundation down in Sarasota, Florida last Friday and two special guys (Chris Sullivan of Outback Steak House and Jim Frauenberg from Columbus, Ohio) each donated $100,000 for four center court tickets, transportation to the contests with me, and other goodies to key basketball games (Sullivan goes to Kentucky-Florida; Frauenberg to North Carolina-Duke). It was a great night and Mike Krzyzewski and I had a blast. There were so many beautiful people there as we raised $1 million! Do you think Jimmy V is doing a dance up in heaven! We can't thank the people who came to the Ritz-Carlton enough for coming out. There were almost 650 people in attendance at $1,000 a pop. I can't thank all of the coaches who came there enough, guys like Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo, Gary Williams, Tom Crean, John Calipari, Kelvin Sampson, Mike Brey and on and on.

• How about a salute to Roger Federer? It is hard to believe some people questioned the way he was playing recently, and he was struggling on clay until he ended Rafael Nadal's 81-match win streak on that surface. Federer did it in dazzling fashion, rallying to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 against one of the best ever on clay. Now Federer appears to be ready for the upcoming French Open.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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