MLB Plagued By More Betting Problems

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Five players are suspended, one for life.

Major League Baseball has had two betting crises this year although one has faded as Shohei Ohtani apparently was not involved in his interpreter’s alleged betting crimes. But there were other problems and MLB has dealt with its latest betting scandal by throwing Tucupita Marcano out of  the industry and suspending four other players for a year, Oakland Athletics reliever Michael Kelly is the only major leaguer of the four, the other three are San Diego pitching prospect Jay Groome, Philadelphia Phillies infield prospect José Rodríguez and Arizona Diamondbacks pitching prospect Andrew Saalfrank. MLB received information from a legal sports betting operator about baseball gambling activity from accounts that belonged to those players.

MLB’s investigation claimed that Marcano gambled more than $150,000 across nearly 400 baseball bets, including on MLB and international contests  and bet on his own team, then the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kelly, Groome, Rodríguez, and Saalfrank all placed bets on MLB games that they were not part of. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s 30 owners have all sorts of deals with gambling companies and encourage people to bet and that holds true with media companies who have gambling company marketing partners. There is a culture of betting that has enveloped the sports industry. Marcano becomes the second player in a matter of weeks to be tossed. In April, the National Basketball Association’s Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter was tossed from the league for various bets on at least 13 NBA games. The National Football League and National Hockey League have suspended players. Marcano is the first active player to be kicked out for betting since Jimmy O’Connell of the New York Giants in 1924. Pete Rose was a manager when he was booted for betting in 1989, Philadelphia Phillies owner William Cox was thrown out in 1943 for betting.

Tucupita Marcano

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