One Stat Alone

So how to decide? You can’t do it with one stat alone. People don’t think Barry Bonds used steroids because he hit 73 home runs; they think he used steroids because he hit 73 home runs and people testified that he used steroids. Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs in 1920, when the second-best total was George Sisler’s 19, but we don’t think Babe Ruth used steroids, because steroids didn’t exist. You judge a theory based on all the evidence you have for it: past Patriots’ transgressions, the pressure gap between the home and visitor game balls in last week’s AFC championship, your personal feelings about Bill Belichick’s moral foundations, and so on. The Patriots’ sudden improvement in preventing fumbles doesn’t close the case against them, but it’s one more piece of evidence.

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