Sunday, March 11, 2007


Although the media as a whole was full of glee over the Libby conviction, the underlying issues the case was supposed to be about have been dropped from the discussion. The Washington Post had a great editorial on the nonsense of the case, but I particularly liked what Jay Ambrose from Scripps News wrote:
Let's cut to the truth, as revealed in news accounts of the intelligence-committee probe. Wilson's report to the CIA included information that Iraq had made inquiries about doing business with Niger. CIA experts evaluating his words felt he actually had strengthened the argument that Iraq was trying to do a uranium deal. There was never a CIA report to the White House casting doubt on that proposition. The Bush speech, as Wilson himself said, referred to a British intelligence report. The British have never recanted what it said.

Wilson did not just write an op-ed piece or appear on TV shows. He also wrote a book that blasted the administration for leaks revealing that his wife worked for the CIA and saying she arranged for the trip. As definitely demonstrated by a memo she wrote, she clearly was the one proposing that he be sent on this eight-day fact-finding mission. Wilson was knowingly mistaken again, just as he has been on still more issues than there's room to delve into here.

He was right that the administration leaked the story that his wife worked at the CIA, however. There was nothing illegal about this. It is now widely agreed, for instance, that she was not a covert agent under the meaning of the law, and Bush had declassified the information about her, anyway. Some say the administration effort to expose the truth was overreach, but an administration needs the country behind it in war, and Wilson was fabricating material that could erode that support and getting national applause for his efforts. It's OK to put facts on the table.

With baseball season coming up, I was reading over some stats and came across these players.

7244 1071 2304 1085 .360 .477 6
7003 1007 2153 1099 .358 .471 9

They were contemporaries beloved by their teams and cities. Physical problems ended both careers. Guy #1 made the HOF in the first ballot, while guy #2 never got close. Physical ailments are so many times the end of spectacular careers though most guys are quickly forgotten. But why are some physical ailments penalized and others forgiven?

Sandy Koufax had 5 dominant seasons and it was enough for the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. In his other 7 seasons he was 54-53 with an ERA over 4.00. Overall he was 165-87 with a 2.76 ERA. Koufax won 3 World Series compiling a record of 4-3 with no run support and an ERA of 0.95. He retired at the age of 30 for his health despite having a great final season.

HOFer Bob Gibson was 251-174 – 2.91 - 3117 Ks. He dominated the World Series with a 7-2 record, 1.89 ERA and 92 Ks in 81 innings.

HOFer Juan Marichal 243-142 – 2.89 – 2302 K. Marichal only had one good season past his 31st birthday.

Jack Morris was (254-186) in his career and won more games than any other pitcher in the 1980s. Morris won World Series with 3 different teams compiling a 4-2 record. He won 2 games for the 1984 Tigers and 2 games for the 1991 Twins most memorably the Game 7 10th inning contest. The thing holding Morris back is his 3.90 ERA, but he pitched in a hitters era while the others had their great years when the league ERA was 3.50.

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