A new safe bet for base­ball?

The Island Packet - - Opinion -

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


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