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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why I can’t wrap my head around baseball’s embrace of sports betting

“Go big on baseball this season,” DraftKings spokeswoman Jessie Coffield urged. “Bet $1 on your team. Win $100 if they get a hit. One hit. One hundred dollars.”

Bet on your team, I thought, as the Tigers returned to the field. But — isn’t that what earned Pete Rose a lifetime ban from baseball in the 1980s? And weren’t eight members of the Chicago White Sox banished for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series at the behest of bribe-dangling gamblers?

Though Rose proclaimed his innocence for years, he finally admitted in 2004 that he gambled on games as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, including those involving his own team. But he insisted that he only bet on the Reds to win.

The Black Sox, as they were nicknamed, were accused of having colluded with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein. The players were found not guilty in court, but were kicked out of baseball anyway.

In 1927, Major League Baseball enacted Rule 21(d), which says that any player, umpire, club official or employee who bets on any baseball game unrelated to their performance “shall be declared ineligible for one year.” If they bet on a game in which they are involved, they are “declared permanently ineligible.”

Even though baseball spent decades seeming to abhor the very idea that anyone would bet on games, current MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has been inching toward an association between baseball and betting for years.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 10:18 AM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gambling

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