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This and That


June 9, 2008

Each week I'll talk about the world of sports…

• The Celtics truly dominated the first two games of the NBA Finals. It was a lot more than just the trio of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo did a good job distributing the rock. Leon Powe made a big-time contribution in Game 2. P.J. Brown has been a factor on the defensive end. The Lakers have slipped a bit on defense and shot selection in the third quarter of Game 2 was questionable. It is a best-of-seven series but the pressure is really on Phil Jackson and company now.

• Rafael Nadal put on a show at the French Open. He flat-out did a number on Roger Federer in the final, losing just four games to the number one player in the world. Wow, Nadal has won the French four straight times and you have to wonder if he can pass Federer as numero uno? Remember, Nadal took Federer to five sets at Wimbledon in last year's final.

• Ana Ivanovic is the new number one in women's tennis and she was impressive in winning the French singles crown. She beat four seeded players en route to the title, dropping just one set in her seven matches. The Serbian will have a short time before Wimbledon starts in two weeks.

• Big Brown's run for a Triple Crown ended in disappointment. People can speculate about what went wrong, everything from an injury, to the lack of a steroid shot, to the heat. The bottom line is the horse did not have a strong showing and winning the Triple Crown is so, so difficult. It hasn't happened since Affirmed in 1978 and we have to wait at least another year.

• It was sad to hear of the passing of television legend Jim McKay. He was class personified on Wide World of Sports and the Olympics. I think about the fact sports fans have lost such treasures as Curt Gowdy and now McKay. He will truly be missed.

• Say what you want about Ozzie Guillen, but his White Sox have been in charge in the AL Central. While Cleveland and Detroit have struggled, Chicago has rolled to an impressive lead in the division. The starting pitching has held up well. It will not be easy for the teams behind in the standings to catch up. I know it is early, but the Sox have dominated.

• The Phillies have also made a nice run, sweeping the Braves in Atlanta. At 39-26, Charley Manuel's team is five games better than it was through 65 games a year ago. On the flip side, the Mets have struggled and are six games behind where they were at the same point last season (30-32 in 2008; 36-26 in '07). Willie Randolph had to be shaking his head after his team was swept by the Padres. There were three games decided by 2-1 scores, followed by San Diego's four-run rally in the eighth inning on Sunday. Randolph brought in closer Billy Wagner in the eighth and the move backfired.

• The Chicago Bears have to be concerned about Cedric Benson's second alcohol-related incident in the last few months. I have said many times that in life, bad decisions can hurt your career. It seems like Benson has made a few questionable ones.