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...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched the first perfect game in the franchise's history - and the 22nd in the history of the game - last night when he struck out 14 batters and retired 27 in a row - no hits, no walks - in a 10-0 win against the Houston Astros.

The game was also the fifth no-hitter and second perfect game thrown this year.

Which may say as much about what happens when hitters stop taking steroids as it says about the quality of the pitching. Not to diminish the achievement - it is remarkable. But I do think it is worth noting that starting pitching seems to have gotten a lot better over the past few years as more attention has been drawn to the use of steroids.

• It is being broadly reported this morning that the US Anti-Doping Agency is bringing formal charges against former cyclist Lance Armstrong, a move that could lead to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France championships.

The charges say that "numerous riders, team personnel and others will testify based on personal knowledge" that Armstrong used a variety of performance-enhancing drugs in his quest to win the Tour de France.

The immediate impact of the charges is that Armstrong will now be banned from competing in triathlons until the matter resolved.

Armstrong has long denied any use of performance enhancing drugs, and a recent criminal investigation into the allegations was closed without any changes being filed against him.

Responding to the new charges, Armstrong said in a prepared statement: "I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned." And he added that the new "charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity."

I have always been totally unsympathetic to athletes who use steroids or any other performance-enhancing drug, and that will continue to be my position here.

That said, I must admit that if the charges against Armstrong are proven, it will make me very sad. not just because it will forever tarnish the reputation of someone who has done enormously positive charitable work, but also because it will mean that he lied not just to us, but to himself for so many years. And that will make me sad.

KC's View: