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This and that


Each week I will give my thoughts on the world of sports.

• Three-peat baby! Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal continued their domination on clay by winning the French Open. They have been so dominant on clay. Nadal saw his 81-match win streak end in a loss to Roger Federer in Hamburg, but came back and was so impressive at Roland Garros. Nadal denied Federer's chance at a Grand Slam. Maybe Federer will get revenge at Wimbledon! Federer withdrew from a tournament in Germany on Monday, opting to rest before going to the All-England event.

• When talking about the best power forwards of all-time, the best I have ever seen is Tim Duncan. He just does it in a non-spectacular way but knows how to win, win, win! He plays within the realm of the team concept. When I think of some of the other greats at the position, I think about Karl Malone, Bob Pettit, Kevin McHale and Elvin Hayes. When all is said and done, Duncan is like Pete Sampras was to tennis.

• When Is San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman going to get some respect? Are you kidding me, the man has 500 saves. Wow, that is a tremendous achievement and to me he is a lock for the Hall of Fame.

• What about a pitcher responding in a tough time? Last week the Red Sox had a four-game losing streak when Curt Schilling took the mound. All he did was take a no-no for 8 2/3 innings against the A's. Shannon Stewart broke it up after Schilling shook off his buddy, catcher Jason Varitek. The bottom line is Schilling threw a one-hitter in earning a clutch 1-0 win. That was a big one for Terry Francona's squad.

• The Devil Rays got another number one pick, left-handed pitcher David Price out of Vanderbilt. He throws about 95 MPH and seems to have the whole package. It shouldn't be long before he is in the bigs and boy is he needed in Tampa.

• What about the Yankees being on a roll. A Rod. has been hot despite some personal problems as pointed out by the tabloids. He has been doing the job out in the field. The arrival of Roger Clemens is a plus too and he sent a message with his six innings on Saturday. His seven Ks said a lot and he will win big. New York is closing the gap in the wild card race and the Tigers are hearing footsteps. Watch out.

• Jon Gruden has sent a message to Chris Simms, saying Jeff Garcia leads the race for the Bucs starting quarterback job. We will see what happens.

• Rags to Riches became the first filly to win the Belmont since 1905. What an incredible performance as trainer Todd Pletcher gets his first Triple Crown race win after going 0-for-28.

• Billy Donovan is officially back with the Gators where he belongs. He is on cloud nine and Gator Nation is ecstatic as well. The Orlando Magic got its guy too and Stan Van Gundy will do a great job. He got a raw deal down in Miami!

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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