*The idea of a steroid blacklist is not implausible, but it’s not the simplest explanation, especially where Barry Bonds is concerned: it seems more likely that no team wants the PR headache and distraction of the disgraced, indicted Bonds. And with guys like Jay Gibbons, there’s the double issue of “will he still be any good if he’s not juicing?”
*Will Carroll on Secretariat:
Here are the important numbers:
Big Brown (2008 Kentucky Derby): 2:01:82
Affirmed (1977 Kentucky Derby): 2:01 1/5
Secretariat (1973 Kentucky Derby): 1:59 2/5
I don’t need the advanced numbers like Beyer Speed Figures to see what’s at work here. Big Brown won two legs of the Triple Crown, possibly aided by steroids, but he wasn’t as fast as the last Triple Crown winner, and he wasn’t as fast as horse racing’s Babe Ruth. Steroids didn’t make a horse into Superman. Horse expert Michael Hindman said it better than I could:
Secretariat would be Babe Ruth if Babe Ruth had once hit 90 homers in a season and no one else has ever hit more than 50. The gap in physical ability between him and all other thoroughbreds is unlike anything else in sports history. Put it this way: Secretariat was capable of hitting 600-foot homers. Secretariat’s 35-year-old Kentucky Derby record time still stands, and nobody has ever come close to it. His 35-year-old world record time at a mile and a half set in the Belmont has never been challenged by any horse ever, anywhere. He ran his mile and a half in 2:24. No other horse–anywhere, ever–has broken 2:25.3. That means that the second best time at a mile and a half, ever, would have been eight lengths behind him. Secretariat also set the world record at a mile and an eighth. He ran once on the grass and set a track record at Belmont Park (again at a mile and a half) that still stands 35 years later. Secretariat ran against and beat the crap out of at least five other Hall of Fame horses. Big Brown is beating one of the worst crops of three year olds ever. By the way, we’ve used Winstrol and Equipoise on horses from time to time over the years, and as far as I can tell it doesn’t do much for them other than run up the vet bill.
*Drill, drill, drill. It’s not the long-term answer, but it’s appalling that the U.S. insists on preferring to import Saudi and Venezuelan oil rather than do the sorts of routine oil exploration and development that’s done everywhere else in the world. Note Gingrich’s point about offshore drilling in enviro-conscious Norway.
*The NY Times on the dangers of an inexperienced candidate for president. You know, a lot of Bush-hating liberals respond to questions about Obama’s experience by noting Bush’s relative inexperience compared to some past candidates…but even if you insist on ignoring the advantages Bush had over Obama, I have to ask: are you saying now that Bush worked out just fine? Because that wasn’t what I heard from you up to now.
*Yes, McCain’s been busy already in key swing states.
*Excellent 3-part interview with Justice Scalia here, here and here. One excerpt:
In the course of writing the book, you and your co-author, Bryan Garner, consulted more than a dozen judges. Did you learn anything about the habits of your colleagues?
We learned an awful lot from them. Stuff that I didn’t know. For example, the part about judges who retro-read.
Read the briefs in reverse.
Yeah. If you’re really in a hurry and you don’t care about how the lawyers have slaved to make sense out of stuff, it saves time because, as the case goes along, it gets narrower. You pare down. It’s good if you really want to find the kernel of a dispute. I didn’t know that a lot of judges did that. I don’t do it. I don’t think it’s fair to the lawyers.
I’d have to think that would be counterproductive in a lot of cases where the briefs are loaded with references back to complex facts and defined terms in the beginning, but it’s a caution to lawyers to consider how a brief looks like from the back to the front.
*Free speech is so un-French.