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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

Gambling, Ohtani, and Baseball

by Paul Semendinger

March 22, 2024

***

I'm not one for rumors and such, I most often stay with just the facts. And I hope this is a lot of talk about nothing. I hope Shohei Ohtani isn't actually part of what could be a scandal that rocks baseball...


Rather than me recapping what is reported elsewhere, if you haven't seen this story, I suggest you read one (or all) of the links below:





Please tell me... not regarding Shohei Ohtani, specifically, of course, but in regard to baseball as a sport... who didn't see the potential for this (or a future) scandal a mile away? This was clear from 40,000 miles away. Because of gambling's ties to baseball (and most organized sports) a major scandal will come that could, and probably will, change the sport and the way people see the game, forever.


Even if this proves to have nothing to do with Shohei Ohtani, even if he's 100% innocent and if he wasn't involved, this should serve as a huge warning to baseball - and all major sports -that gambling and sports do not, in any way, mix.


I have written about this a number of times, but we must credit our own Ed Botti who wrote the first in-depth article about the dangers of sports and gambling here on Start Spreading the News a few years ago. Here is Ed's article:



Professional sports are enjoyable to watch for one basic reason... we believe the games are legitimate, for real, and not influced by gambling and cheating. Sports are fun to watch because we believe what we are watching is real - that the athletes are truly competing. If it is found out that the games aren't legitimate, the entire reason for watching that sport (or any sport, in a much larger sense) is gone. If a great play is made, it's only great if it happened for real. If it is part of a script or if the game is rigged, sports loses its appeal. Completely. If the outcome is scripted, you might as well just watch a movie.


Unfortunately, gambling is now a huge part of professional sports. The many gambling sites throw tons of money into all of the major sports. One cannot watch a game without being innundated by gambling ads. They are all over the place. They're on the TV ads, radio ads, and they are plastered all over the stadium walls. Sports saw only the money from gambling and not the potential for a huge scandal and jumped right in with the gambling sites.


If this Ohtani story isn't the one to break the game(s), another will follow. There is simply too much supposed easy money available to too many people for a scandal to not occur. And, again, once that happens, sports as an entity to be trusted is done. This will be far worse than any PED scandal. This will rock the sport. Also, it's bad enough that the industry sets odds and makes untoild millions of dollars on the game's outcomes. But the prop bets that allow people to bet on almost anything in and around the game, makes the potential for rigging a play, any play, extremely possible. In fact, I think it would be naive for any to assume that it won't happen. If a fringe pitcher learns he can earn a large amount of money, not by fixing a game, but by throwing one pitch out of the strike zone, for someone, that temptation will be too great to overcome. And Major League Baseball allows all of this to be advertized, and tacitly encouraged on every single broadcast, countless times.


I've said this many times before, but I have been approached, many times, to place gambling ads on this site. I am against sports gambling and have always said no to the people making those offers. I never want to promote gambling so I have never even entertained any of the offers made to me. I don't want people coming to SSTN and finding themselves involved with gambling because of ads that I put on this site. I have passed on many many dollars... I wish the people in sports, the ones already making gazillions, had as well. They're playing a very dangerous game, it might, just might be blowing up around us right now.


This Ohtani situation might be nothing. But, it might be something. If nothing else it serves as a huge warning for where this is all leading, one day.


None of this is good for the game.


It would be wonderful if the major sports all took a hard stance and broke away from their close ties with the gambling industry.

***

POSTSCRIPT: Ethan heard this analysis from Craig Carton on WFAN yesterday. It is VERY WORTH listening to.






21 comments

21 комментарий


lenjack
22 мар.

We all rember Pete Rose, claiming he never beton baseball. Depending on how this shakes out, it's even possible that Ohtani will be banned from baseball for life.

Лайк
yankeerudy
22 мар.
Ответ пользователю

If that doesn't make MLB reassess their ties with gambling I'm not sure what will.

Лайк

etbkarate
22 мар.

One thing I find interesting is as of right now, 3/22/2024 1:24PM, the MLB web site has nothing on the Ohtani matter. Unless I missed it, but I scrolled through a few times. If this isn't news worthy, I don't know what is. Like all of us, I do not know the details or the truth, but something is off with this entire story, not to mention the scam they pulled on the rest of the league with his contract.

Лайк
Brian Mosher
Brian Mosher
25 мар.
Ответ пользователю

MLB looks out for its image in all its customer-facing outlets. Right now, they say he never bet on baseball, and he's worth billions of international marketing dollars, so until they have a reason to wipe egg off their face, they're going to pretend it's not actually there. It just how 'dey do.

Лайк

Andy Singer
Andy Singer
22 мар.

Paul, I 100% agree with everything you wrote above. Among many other reasons, and this is something you know already, I love writing here because we don't have to push or advertise for gambling businesses.


I've basically been counting down the minutes until something like this happened...in fact, I said that a gambling scandal in baseball was almost certainly on the horizon to a friend just late last week. It's bad for the game, bad for the fans, bad for the integrity of sports in general. That said, this situation is even more worrisome than I imagined the first leak to be. The timeline of events between the actions of Ohtani's camp and that of his interpreter is very, v…


Лайк

yankeerudy
22 мар.

I've never liked the idea of gambling interacting with baseball. Like you said, this is a catastrophe waiting to happen (if it hasn't happened already.)


And kudos to you, Paul, for turning down gambling ads.

Лайк
Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
22 мар.
Ответ пользователю

Thank you Rudy.


Лайк

fuster
22 мар.

people who are extremely skilled at playing baseball and, by and large, human beings who have learned how to be very good at playing baseball.

it's possible that not all of them are able to transcend commonplace transgressions.


sometimes people want a bit of Lola....and Lola gets them


Лайк
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