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SI View The Week in TV Sports


Yankees at Red Sox

Deep Impact. Godzilla. Reggie Miller. Burying New York has
supplanted baseball as America's pastime. Except when it comes
to the Yankees, whose record (28-9 through Sunday) is sending
cries of "Armageddon!" through the American League East. With
apologies to the aforementioned cold-blooded creature (the
reptile, not the Pacer), Boston's Fenway Park has the original
Green Monster and a team that has kept within striking distance
(3 1/2 games) of New York thanks to outstanding pitching, solid
defense and a schedule that included no AL East clubs. Fenway's
distant rightfield fences could work against the Bronx Bombers'
lefthanded sluggers, Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill and Darryl
Strawberry. A Boston handicap: Hard-hitting shortstop Nomar
Garciaparra (separated shoulder) was expected to be out of the

NBA Conference Finals

Michael Jordan is an equal-opportunity assassin. During his
13-season reign of terror, only three Eastern Conference
franchises have not felt the sting of losing to Chicago in the
playoffs: expansion Toronto; Boston, which swept successive
series from the Bulls in 1986 and '87; and Indiana, which,
surprisingly, had never played the Bulls in May. Rookie Pacers
coach Larry Bird was the star of those Boston teams. If Indiana
is to have similar success this spring, Bird will need
thirtysomething starters Mark Jackson, Reggie Miller, Chris
Mullin and Rik Smits to play like the veterans they are at
Market Square Arena in today's Game 3 and Monday's Game 4. In
the West, the Lakers and the Jazz, and their respective centers,
Shaquille O'Neal and Greg Ostertag (opposite, from left) collide
on Sunday in their Game 4 at the Forum, where L.A. won both of
the clubs' regular-season meetings.


Indianapolis 500

Now the wheel is on the other axle. Tony Stewart, 27, the most
gifted young driver in auto racing's most storied race, has
already announced that he's "moving up" to the Winston Cup
circuit next year. Stewart (left), a native of Rushville, Ind.,
regards NASCAR as the top tier of auto racing, and he will drive
for Joe Gibbs's team in 1999. That will be the Indy Racing
League's loss. Stewart took the pole as a rookie at the
Brickyard in '96 but finished a disappointing 24th. Last year he
started in the second position and was leading on Lap 198 before
hitting the wall and finishing fifth. This year Stewart sits
atop the IRL standings as he bids to become the first
born-and-bred Hoosier since Wilbur Shaw (1940) to take the
checkered flag at Indy.
ABC, 11 AM


French Open

Last June a 6'3", 167-pound figure clad from head to heel in the
blue and yellow of his native Brazil became the most striking
skeletal symbol in Paris this side of the Eiffel Tower. Gustavo
Kuerten (right), ranked No. 66, was the flop-haired hero of
Roland Garros, beating the previous three winners of this Grand
Slam event to become its champion. This year he makes his
Kuerten call ranked No. 9 but is still in search of his first
'98 victory. The top-ranked female is Martina Hingis, whose loss
in the final to Iva Majoli in '97 was all that kept her from a
Grand Slam. The tenacious Hingis, winner of the Australian Open,
continues her quest to become the first person to Slam since
Steffi Graf in 1988.

NCAA Lacrosse Championship

It's all about bonding. Two-time defending champion Princeton
relies on a trio of senior attackmen--Jon Hess, Jesse Hubbard
and Chris Massey--who share a suite on campus. The Tigers' foe
in one of Saturday's semis (ESPN2, noon and 3 p.m.) is Syracuse,
whose Casey and Ryan Powell share a set of parents. Casey, a
senior, and Ryan, a sophomore, rank one-two in the nation in
scoring. In the other semi, Maryland faces in-state rival
Loyola, making a repeat of last year's Princeton-Maryland final
a possibility.
ESPN, 10:55 AM


COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH [Shaquille O'Neal and Greg Ostertag in game]

COLOR PHOTO: GEORGE TIEDEMANN [Race car driven by Tony Stewart]



He never took a shift off. ESPN hockey commentator Gary Thorne
was every bit as entertaining and energetic during the 92nd
minute of the May 12 double-overtime thriller between the Blues
and the Red Wings as he was at the opening face-off. Was it
superhuman stamina or did Thorne have his tongue Zambonied
between periods? He'll be back at the mike this week for the
conference finals. ...Future Scrabble masters compete Thursday
in the National Spelling Bee (ESPN, 1 p.m.). Hey, at that time
of day, shouldn't they be in school ?