June 18, 2024

Major League Baseball (MLB) has taken disciplinary action against five players from four teams for individual violations of its betting regulations.

The most significant disciplinary penalty was issued against Tucupita Marcano, a San Diego Padres infielder and outfielder. Marcano has received a lifetime suspension from professional baseball.

Marcano’s Padres colleague, pitcher Jay Groome, has also been penalized, though MLB claims the charges against all five players are unrelated.

In addition to the Padres players, Philadelphia Phillies infielder José Rodríguez, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Andrew Saalfrank, and Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly have all been reprimanded.

MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. stated, “The strict enforcement of MLB’s rules and policies governing gambling conduct is a critical component of upholding our most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans.”

“For more than a century, the historic restriction on MLB players wagering on games has served as a guiding principle. We have been clear that the privilege of playing baseball entails a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain forms of behavior that are legal for others.”

All five players were found to have violated Major League Baseball’s Rule 21 regarding betting. Groome, Rodríguez, Saalfrank, and Kelly face one-year bans, which are significantly less severe than Marcano’s lifetime suspension.

This is because the rule establishes distinct criteria for players, umpires, and club officials who bet on games in which they participate versus those who bet on games in which they do not participate.

Marcano violated the first section of this rule by betting on the Pittsburgh Pirates while he was on the team’s injured list, which justified his lifetime ban in the eyes of the MLB.

The bans may spark considerable dispute in the United States, given the substantial ties that presently exist across the four major leagues, including the MLB. Since PASPA’s repeal in 2018, numerous teams and leagues have attempted to capitalise on the economic potential presented by sponsorship partnerships with bookies.

The MLB, for example, has teamed with BetMGM, one of the three largest sportsbooks in the United States after FanDuel and DraftKings, as does Marcano’s old team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

San Diego Padres player Tucupita Marcano banned for life by MLB after  betting on games | CNN

 

Collaborations have expanded beyond marketing, with clubs and the league establishing player education partnerships and collaborating to defend sports integrity. The MLB stated that the five players’ betting actions were discovered after a joint investigation with a licensed betting provider.

Manfred, Jr. went on to say, “Since the Supreme Court decision opened the door to legalized sports betting, we’ve worked with licensed sports betting operators and other third parties to improve our integrity through the transparency that a regulated sports betting system can provide.

“MLB will continue to invest heavily in integrity monitoring, educational programming and awareness initiatives with the goal of ensuring strict adherence to this fundamental rule of our game.”

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