From: Gonzalez, John

To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating

It's a sad day. When we agreed to bring Ashley on as the third Talkin' regular, I thought it was understood that she'd break up with Fitz and Jensen. Alas, I understand Ashley went running back to them yesterday. How very disappointing and hurtful.

It's also interesting timing, because cheating is today's subject. In this week's SI, Danica Patrick told Dan Patrick (no relation) she'd take a PED if it would help her win Indy and if she knew she wouldn't get caught. Danica said it's not cheating if you don't get caught, it's more like "finding a gray area."

Is cheating acceptable if you can pull it off without any fallout?

From: Ford, Bob
To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating

AUTO REPLY: The recipient___BOBFORD___is out of the office until___MUCHLATER____and will not be responding to your inanity today. If you need immediate attention, call___COHEN____at Inquirer Sports. Have a great day.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating 

I wonder how long Ford has been saving that shtick.

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Ford, Bob; Gonzalez, John
Subject: Cheating 

Probably a while. Although Ford could've used it last month or the month before or the month before. The man goes on vacation every couple of weeks.

As for cheating, I wasn't cheating with Fitzy and Jensen. Not really. I was commissioned to do so, so there is a difference. If Danica used a PED to win Indy and didn't get caught, it's still cheating. She'd just have to rectify that in her own mind, which, apparently, she has. It's like the whole tree question. A tree falls in the woods and no one is there, it still makes noise. Cheating is still cheating, even if you don't get caught. Ask a baseball player.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating 

Must be nice to be a Page 1 columnist instead of a Page 2 toady. I'm more surprised when they work than when they're on vacation.

RE: tree/cheating. I think philosophers and Zen masters would disagree that there's a definitive answer to a question designed to encourage deep thought. As Danica said (and probably looked cute while doing so), there are shades of gray here.

If Danica takes a PED in the woods and there are no drug-testing officials there to witness it, is it cheating? The answer is that she can do whatever she wants as long as she keeps posing for Maxim and making GoDaddy.com commercials.

This is complicated stuff, Ashley.

From: Ford, Bob
To: Gonzalez, John; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating

OK, I'm back momentarily. Changing planes in Kuala Lumpur.

Cheating is encouraged in baseball. If you steal signs, you are a crafty competitor. If you steal signs in football, you get fined. Just ask Bill Belichick. Perhaps this leads to all manner of cheating in baseball. I can't say.

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Ford, Bob; Gonzalez, John
Subject: Cheating 

It is complicated, no doubt. So let's see, in your pea brain, hot women can cheat because they're hot. I get that. But where would you fall if, let's say, Raul Ibanez, a 37-year-old man, was juicing? Would that be OK as long as no one found out? (I'm guessing yes, as long as he kept slapping pitches out of the park.)

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Ford, Bob; Fox, Ashley
Subject: Cheating 

Hard to say. How does Ibanez look while wearing a bikini and leaning over a hot rod?