Tag Archives: Sports Gambling

Let Pete In

By Kaleb Page

March 19, 2015

The year was 1989 and Major League Baseball brought down the lifetime ban on one of its greatest players. A player that is the all-time hits leader for the highest level of baseball and known for his remarkable hustle on the field.

That player is none other than Pete Rose. The legendary Cincinnati Red (and Philadelphia Philly) was found guilty of breaking one of baseballs biggest rules: There shall be no betting on the game of baseball.

A simple rule that was more or less brought into effect after the Black Sox scandal that rocked the baseball world back in the 1920’s. However, Pete broke that rule and bet on the game while managing for the Reds. It wasn’t just the betting that found ‘charlie hustle’ in the MLB doghouse, it was also is insistence that he was innocent.

Ultimately Rose was found to be lying and banished from the game of baseball for life; an unfitting end for one of the most iconic players in the history of baseball.

A three-time World Series champion, 17 time All-Star and three-time national league batting champion (with 4,256 hits) should have a more prestigious ending than being shunned by the sport he gave so much to.

The debate over this topic has raged on especially with the likes of past commissioner Bud Selig. Selig was a major proponent of the ban and kept a firm stance all the way to his retirement this past year to keep Rose out of baseball.

The video above is from a past ESPN First Take episode where they debated the issue of Rose’s ban along with what might happen. It is interesting to see this story play itself out and develop even more as there was a new development in the case.

This week Rose sent a formal request to new commissioner Rob Manfred. This formal request asking for the removal of his lifetime ban. This new commissioner said he will consider the request, but wants to get all the facts in place (along with talking to Pete) before making a decision.

The video above is a more recent video from First Take where they talked a bit more extensively on the possibility of Rose’s reinstatement. The debate on the show is an interesting one and one that I have heard many times before.

As a Cincinnati Reds fan I know it is hard to contain the resentment towards the league about this ban on Rose, especially when players that do performance enhancers merely get a slap on the wrist in comparison to Rose’s punishment. It has been 26 years of time spent banished from the game of baseball.

That time should be up now.

I think those in the media that say time has been served are absolutely right. It has been long enough, for a man who played the game hard night in and night out, to get the honor he so rightfully deserves. He deserves much more than a cheesy commercial about being in the hall when he shouldn’t, and instead a formal enshrinement in Cooperstown next to the other legends of the game.

For Pete’s Sake!…Lift the ban.

Betting in Sports: NBA Commissioner Silver has a Vision

By Kaleb Page

February 5, 2015

Sports and betting is almost as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly. Always you are seeing the over/under on a game, the line and other betting points for nearly every game or sport. One sport that has been rocked in the past with sport betting is the game of basketball and not at the lowest levels, but at its highest platform the NBA.

Back in 2007 the NBA was faced with a huge scandal involving then referee Tim Donaghy and betting on games. In ESPN’s column they said it was one of the ugliest gambling scandals to hit a professional sports league since the last two major ones involving the MLB in 1989 and 1919. At the time it hurt the integrity of the league because if an official was betting on games and/or games he was involved in then what is to stop the outcome from being fixed?

As the years passed since that huge incident and formal statements by the league against gambling were released; a new voice emerged on sports gambling. When David Stern retired, he turned the league over to long time associate Adam Silver. Silver assumed the role of commissioner on February 1, 2014 and shortly after taking the position released a op-ed for The New York Times with an interesting stance  on betting.

“I believe that sports betting should be brought out of the underground and into the sunlight where it can be appropriately monitored and regulated.” – Adam Silver

Quite the statement for the new commissioner to make, especially after a relatively short time since a big scandal involving his league and betting happened. However, if you look at the op-ed by Silver his points make perfect sense. He pointed to how so much has changed since laws enacted back in 1992 made it illegal to gamble on sports in all states (except Nevada). One change being that even though the law was put in place, gambling on sports is still there and increasing in popularity each year.

Another great point made was that other countries have made betting on sport a legal and regulated practice that cuts away the dark ambiguous areas seen here in the U.S. with betting laws. For example, in England they have betting kiosks at stadiums that are legal and regulated by the government. With many changes globally, commissioner Silver made the motion toward Congress to adopt their old framework on sports betting. This will hopefully allow sport betting without compromising any integrity of the game at hand.

I think commissioner Silver is absolutely right with his thinking, and with the push to make gambling and sport less of an ‘underground’ practice. It will definitely take someone in the power position that is forward thinking and able to provide a clear vision to make this happen. Silver fits in perfectly with both of those criteria.

I am glad he is the new commissioner of the NBA because he seems to be a leader who gets it. By ‘it’ I mean, he knows he has the power to progress things and make actual change, while also knowing that he needs to be willing to adapt to each situation. If you happen to be a fan of NBA basketball then I think you should feel good about what commissioner is in place for the foreseeable future.

More commissioners I think should look to him (even though he is relatively new in his role) for how to conduct themselves. While in a position of power it is fine to have a personality and speak your mind in an eloquent manner. It will be interesting to see where this goes and if the plan by Silver gains more movement.

Challenge and innovate past the status quo…that seems like the mindset for Adam Silver.

Below is an interview between Adam Silver and Outside the Lines reporter Andy Katz on various NBA topics and issues. If you want to get to the specific talking point of sport betting you can skip to three minutes in the video.