Commentary

This and That

Updated: September 10, 2009, 11:10 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

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

[+] EnlargeMichael Phelps
AP Photo/Jay LaPreteMichael Phelps was bested in one race at this weekend's world swimming championships. Just one. Then he bounced right back and set several more world records on his way to another impressive outing.

Tiger Woods showed why he is the greatest golfer on the planet. After failing to make the cut at the British Open, and suffering through what he called one of his worst putting days ever (during the first round in Michigan), he took charge at the Buick Open. Tiger did not card a single bogey in the final round as he captured his 69th career PGA tournament title.

•There was excitement galore around the baseball trade deadline. The Red Sox made a great move adding Victor Martinez from Cleveland. Remember this, there was a price as Boston gave up a good, young pitcher in Justin Masterson. Martinez brings a solid bat, a switch-hitter who gives the Red Sox a steady player who can catch, play first, and bat as DH. All Martinez did Sunday was a five-hit performance! The move to bring in Casey Kotchman for Adam LaRoche also made sense. Kotchman can contribute off the bench, giving an extra option for Terry Francona.

•I also loved what the Tigers did in getting Jarrod Washburn from Seattle. Washburn has enjoyed a tremendous season so far, and now he adds depth to Jim Leyland's rotation, behind Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson. Detroit was able to get an experienced pitcher with a sub-3.00 ERA this season...wow! The Tigers may have the upper hand on the White Sox and Twins in the competitive AL Central now.

•Two NL teams that really boosted their stock were the Phils and Cardinals. Cliff Lee enjoyed a terrific debut for the defending World Series champion Phillies. Matt Holliday has had a major impact in St. Louis, hitting over .600 in his first nine games with the Cardinals. Having a 1-2 punch of Albert Pujols and Holliday has to put a smile on the face of manager Tony LaRussa.

•NFL camps have opened up and there is optimism like crazy. Every team is 0-0 and feeling it has a shot to make noise this season. In Minnesota, once the Brett Favre soap opera situation was settled, the battle for the starting QB job opened up. Tavaris Jackson suffered an MCL sprain over the weekend, meaning Sage Rosenfels gets an early leg up in the competition. Stay tuned as this could go on for a while. With the likes of Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian, plus a talented offensive line, the winner of this position battle will have a lot going for him.

•The Tampa Bay Bucs have a new coach in Raheem Morris. Will he be like Mike Tomlin, another young guy who worked under Tony Dungy and turned out to be great? The problem is, Tampa Bay has a dilemma at quarterback. Will it be Byron Leftwich, Luke McCown or rookie Josh Freeman? Are those guys good enough to succeed?

•Michael Phelps was upset in one race at the world swimming championships. Did he sit back and pout? Nope, he went out and set a few more world records and won several races. My friends, he is a champion and one of the best ever to hit the pool. He is a special, special athlete!

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.