A new safe bet for baseball?
In the chase for the almighty dollar, professional sports leagues are risking the integrity of the games by entering into contracts with bigtime gambling organizations. For example, Major League Baseball has teamed with MGM Resorts to accept wages on the games and baseball will get a piece of the action.
I am not opposed to gambling in general. I’ve been to Las Vegas and I buy lottery tickets when the prize gets ridiculous. I am concerned that players, officials or frontoffice people will be tempted to act in a way that could affect the outcome of a game, hence a big payoff.
By the way, what about the status of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson and Pete Rose? Both players were banned from the game for allegedly being involved in gambling on games that they were involved in. In 1920, Jackson was indicted and stood trial for throwing games for gamblers. He was found not guilty. Rose never admitted to betting on games and the lords of baseball never filed a criminal complaint. Their alleged actions shed a dark cloud over America’s pastime and the ban continues. Both players are on the list of the 100 greatest players of all time, along with Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Williams.
With Major League Baseball and MGM colluding to allow the game to be part of the Las Vegas action, I am betting that Jackson and Rose will be enshrined at Cooperstown sooner rather than later.
– J. Dexter Pickard