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Monday, July 13, 2009
This and That

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

Each week I will write about the world of sports...

•It is a shame that at least one of the three headline teams in the AL East -- the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays -- will miss the playoffs. I feel there will be a great race in the second half of the season as all three of these teams can flat-out play. There will be so many important head-to-head battles in August and September, creating excitement galore.

•I went to Boston for a couple of games last week. Thanks to Larry Lucchino and the Red Sox staff for their hospitality. I had a super time seeing the Red Sox against the Athletics and Royals. Jason Varitek came over to me and joked that he had a problem with me sitting there in Fenway since I am a Tampa Bay Rays fan! He was only kidding around.

•I remember earlier in the season that writers were speculating about the future of David Ortiz. My friends, I saw him hit a couple of home runs, and Big Papi will probably finish with 20-25 home runs, and 90-95 RBI. It looks like his swing is back and I think he is still having fun playing the game. I also enjoyed watching Dustin Pedroia, a solid all-around player who hits line drives and does a super job in the field.

•Have you noticed that Jamie Moyer, who will turn 47 in November, has won four straight games. He is now 8-6 on the season and at 254 victories for his career. My friends, he may be able to pitch until he is 50, so I would not count out the possibility of him reaching 300 wins.

•OK, OK, let's go back to basketball. It is great to see Jerry Colangelo and Coach K working together as the U.S. tries to bring home the gold medal in London at the 2012 Olympics. The duo did a terrific job assembling a team that Americans could be proud of in Beijing.

•The signing of Ron Artest was a good move by the Lakers. He is a super defender, and I believe he will work well with Kobe Bryant. Things are different when you are an opponent compared to being a teammate. Artest is hungry to win and Kobe would love to go back-to-back.