GAME ON…does anyone have a Clue – NOVEMBER 18
By Rob Kriete

When I was a kid, I would try to “stack the deck” against my family and friends over the classic board game “Clue.”  I would sneakily make sure that Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick, in the library, were placed in the “Who-Done-It” envelope.  (It was always Colonel Mustard, no?).  The game would ensue, and I would sometimes forget if I put the rope or revolver card in the envelope, or if it was the conservatory or the kitchen.  Hey, I was around eight years old.  Sometimes I would win while other times I mishandled the timing or the recollection of the “stacked deck.”  I luckily learned at a young age that cheating did not pay off.  Even if I would capture a win, when I did so sneakily, it felt wrong.

A once surefire MLB Hall-of-Famer, Robinson Cano, tried to “stack his own deck” a few times as well.  Cano tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug stanozolol and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season, according to a statement Wednesday by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.  This marks the second time the lefty second baseman will be suspended for, well, cheating.  It also ends any potential conversations of possible induction into the vaunted MLB Hall-of-Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  Unfortunately, Robinson didn’t learn the lesson I did as a young man.

Sports fans have debated, long and hard, as to whether many of the players during the steroid era of baseball, from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, are worthy of Hall of Fame honors, as rules were not yet created around these now-banned substances.  Yet, prolific hitters like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have not been enshrined.  Roger Clemens, famous for throwing a bat at Hall-of Famer Mike Piazza during a World Series game (and didn’t even get tossed from the game or suspended?) has not been inducted either, despite winning 354 ballgames.  Clearly, MLB writers agree that cheating is not rewarded with legendary status.

Additionally, baseball fans have seen suspensions for the cheating scandal with Houston Astros (cue the banging garbage can that I personally heard while attending a game at Minute Maid Park).  The players involved, although escaping suspensions, have certainly drawn the ire of MLB fans.  How some of these sign-stealers will be judged when it comes to the Hall-of-Fame voting remains to be seen.

I’m just happy to know that Colonel Mustard, with the rope, will not be invited to the Hall of Fame.  Robinson Cano will not be either.  My little league coach would say, “Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win.”

Be safe, everyone, until we get our next Game On!