The Houston Astros, and Learning to Cheat With Dignity


The year is 1993. I am five years old. Or maybe it is 1994, and maybe I am six years old. That doesn’t matter. What does matter, is the game of Chutes and Ladders taking place between me, my mother, and our next door neighbor. The game is not going well for me. The reason for that, is that I am not moving up ladders with every turn. I am occasionally sliding down, and even a five or six year old knows that adversity is hot garbage.

So I made a choice. A choice born of a burning desire to win, above all else. As my opponents were distracted, I simply moved my game piece from its lowly place on the second row of the board, to the very top row. But still a few spaces away from the finish. You can’t be TOO obvious. Well that was easy, I thought. Business as usual now. Hold it together. Much to my surprise, I was caught by my mother instantly. She made me cry. She also made me quit playing the game. My apology, however, may have been a bit forced.

Thanks to the Houston Astros press conference today, I think I now know how to do this the right way. Mom, here goes nothing:

I am sorry for breaking the rules of the game. I feel ashamed that I was caught, and I am very disappointed in myself for allowing my actions to be noticed. I apologize for putting my opponents in a position where they looked like losers. Speaking from personal experience, I absolutely hate looking like a loser so I understand how this could hurt someone. It is my opinion that this didn’t impact the game. I’m a good Chutes and Ladders player. I very likely would have won regardless. So in that sense, I really shouldn’t be held accountable. Now that I have said the words “I’m sorry,” I expect that you will allow me to regain your trust rather easily, and that I will not be asked about this again. If I continue to be asked about this, I will use it as motivation and call myself an “underdog” and talk about “facing adversity.” Thank you for allowing me to do this, and for not punishing me too harshly. Once again – I am sorry, and it’s not a big deal. Please leave me alone.

There it is, mom. That wasn’t easy to put out there. I hope you can see that I’ve made things right.

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