1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Wednesday. “BASEBALL–BLACK DAYS”

Posted by on June 5th, 2024  •  0 Comments  • 



Conflicted, about the only way to describe how one should feel about what is happening in baseball, coming on the heels of what happened last month in the NBA, and a year ago in the NFL.

Padres infielder Tupu Marcano was expelled for life from baseball.   Minor league pitcher Jay Groom, handed a 1-year suspension.

A pitcher from the A’s, a Phillies 2nd baseman in the minors and a AAA-Arizona pitcher also exiled for a year too.

All for placing bets on baseball games, either while in the majors (Marcano) or the others while toiling in the minor leagues, some of these bets going as far back at 2021.

Lest we forget either, 9-NFL players suspended a year ago for gambling.  Or the exile of a Toronto Raptors player for life right at the end of the season.  No one seems to be paying attention.

Why be conflicted?  This is the same MLB-Commissioner’s office that accepts enormous sponsorship money from Fan Duel-Draft Kings on its nationwide broadcasts.

Its teams do big sponsorship deals in the stadium or on their broadcasts for Casinos.

Gambling ads, stadium signage included,  are everywhere, in your stadium, on your television too while you watch games.

Of course I guess there is a fine red line drawn between accepted business practices, the Sycuan and Viejas ads, the profits the teams rake in with these advertising deals, and then the players on the other side of the line.

Marcano, Groome and the others, don’t visit casinos, don’t go to the websites, and don’t gamble.  Don’t try to win money eventhough the club is making tons of revenue off the betting sights and the casino contracts they have.

Baseball was trying to pick itself up off the floor after the Shohei Ohtani scandal that will see his Personal Aid go to prison for 33-years for stealing 17M-from the Angels-Dodgers legend to feed a gambling addiction.

Now we have the probe into ex-Angels-now Braves shortstop David Fletcher for insider information and bets placed by a minor league friend while with the Halos.

Baseball has the Black Sox-Joe Jackson scandal of 1919.  In 1924, a Boston Bees player was expelled for placing bets to throw games.  In 1948, a top minor league pitcher in Louisiana was forever suspended.  It happened in 1957 involving Washington Senators minor league players in the deep south.

I would assume Marcano-Groom have no knowledge of that history.  But please don’t tell me they don’t know about befell Pete Rose, the Reds-Phillies icon legend, expelled from baseball in 1989 for a betting addiction, while a manager?

Part of me says some of these problems are culture related.  Latin American players, with money in the dirt poor pockets for the first time, are influenced by people they know.  Might be a lack of education, might be a language issue, might be just making 200-400-750,000 in the early years of their contracts.

Might explain the Marcano issue.  But that cannot explain US born players, Groom included, for doing this.

It’s right there on the clubhouse doors, this gambling situation, and what you can and cannot do.  But those players are too busy talking on phones, watching TVs, talking to teammates, to read the fine print.

The Tony Clark-led union doesn’t want to talk about it, but they do need to do a better job educating players of all backgrounds.

Here’s the issue.  If someone as legendary as Ohtani can get taken for all that money, and not know, and these teammates of Fletcher or Marcano did not know, then I bet that what we have seen in the first couple of months of this year, is the tip of the iceberg.

We should feel conflicted about this.  Baseball should be terrified of this.  If some have gotten caught, there are probably many more out there.  The gaming industry, by the way, turned these guys into MLB thru its own security programs.

Disappointed too in Manager Mike Schildt, sugar-coating the career ending decision the player made, by talking about ‘nice man’…’we all make mistakes’…’don’t judge him by one decisions’.   Geez the ‘sunshine statements’ everyday from Schildt seem weak, like his underachieving .500 team.

Tupu Marcano and those other guys, it’s bad.  Bet more to come too, and I don’t bet.

Baseball should be worried about a real black day coming, rather than the next advertising-signage-sponsorship contract they will sign.


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