Major League Baseball was forced to drop the hammer after these players broke the one rule they know not to break,_2017.jpg, D. Benjamin Miller, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

One issue has plagued baseball since the sport’s inception.

As a result it is well known both within MLB clubhouses and throughout the sport’s fan base that there is one bright red line that players and coaches cannot even come close to crossing.

And that’s why Major League Baseball was forced to drop the hammer after these players broke the one rule they know not to break.

These baseball players just learned about the harsh reality of sports betting 

Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal prohibition on sports betting, the gambling industry has undergone a major boom, stripping Las Vegas of its monopoly, and giving American sports fans the freedom to place wagers on their favorite teams and players like most of the rest of the world has been free to do for decades.

Professional sports leagues and teams, in particular have dove head first into the rise of sports betting, raking in billions of new advertising dollars from gambling companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, who are looking to establish a foothold in what will be one of America’s more lucrative industries moving forward.

But while the rise of sports betting is adding to their bottom lines, it’s also creating major headaches for pro sports leagues.

That’s largely because they have both a moral and legal obligation to ensure that there are no instances in which their employees are involved in betting on their sport, as doing so would greatly threaten the integrity of the game.

Of course, no league has a longer history of gambling scandals than Major League Baseball.

From the “Black Sox scandal” in which Chicago White Sox players fixed games in the 1919 World Series to MLB’s all-time hit leader Pete Rose being banned from baseball for life for his own gambling scandal, the league has every reason to have a zero-tolerance policy on players betting on MLB games.

And on Tuesday, MLB sent a loud a clear message throughout the league after it hit San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano with a lifetime ban for betting on MLB games.

According to the league, Marcano broke league policies after betting on Pittsburgh Pirates games while he played for the team last season.

Four other players across the league, including Oakland A’s pitcher Michael Kelly, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Andrew Saalfrank, San Diego Padres pitching prospect Jay Groome, and Philadelphia Phillies infielder Jose Rodriguez, received one-year bans for betting on other teams in the league.

As it stands, MLB’s official policy is that, “Betting on any sport illegally is forbidden.”  

The rule adds that, “But players are allowed to bet legally on every sport except for baseball. Betting on a baseball game involving teams other than the player’s own team results in a one-year suspension, while betting on a game involving the player’s own team results in a lifetime ban.”

During MLB’s aforementioned 1919 “Black Sox scandal,” members of the Chicago White Sox made a deal with professional gamblers and mob bosses that would see the players throw the World Series, allowing the Cincinnati Reds to win, in exchange for a hefty payday.

Ever since, Major League Baseball has taken these sorts of actions very seriously. 

Rose knows that all too well, as he’s been ostracized from the sport for decades, even though his Hall of Fame career deserves recognition in Cooperstown.

Just the beginning

With more Americans than ever before taking part in sports betting, it’s only inevitable that more of these situations will arise.

Even though they make millions of dollars, some players just can’t seem to resist the urge to try to win even more.

After all, as actor Paul Newman said in The Color of Money, “money won is twice as sweet as money earned.”

And MLB and other leagues are going to have to work overtime to ensure that the integrity of their sports is upheld above all else.

US Political Daily will keep you updated on any developments to this ongoing story.