MLB Bans Tucupita Marcano for Life, Suspends Four Others in Gambling Probe

MLB Bans Tucupita Marcano for Life, Suspends Four Others in Gambling Probe
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In a sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cant move to address the grow¬≠ing issue of sports bet¬≠ting in base¬≠ball, Major League Base¬≠ball (MLB) has issued a life¬≠time ban to Tucu¬≠pi¬≠ta Mar¬≠cano, a for¬≠mer infield¬≠er for the Pitts¬≠burgh Pirates, and sus¬≠pend¬≠ed four oth¬≠er play¬≠ers for one year.

Accord­ing to the announce­ment by MLB Com­mis­sion­er Rob Man­fred, Mar­cano was found to have bet on Pirates games while he was on the injured list last sea­son. The 24-year-old, who has a career .217 bat­ting aver­age and .589 OPS in 149 games, has report­ed­ly earned $2.7 mil­lion dur­ing his MLB career.

In addi¬≠tion to Mar¬≠cano‚Äôs life¬≠time ban, four oth¬≠er play¬≠ers were also dis¬≠ci¬≠plined for bet¬≠ting on base¬≠ball games:

Michael Kel­ly, a 31-year-old pitch­er for the Oak­land Ath­let­ics, who was hav­ing a break­out sea­son with a 2.59 ERA in 28 appear­ances.
Andrew Saal­frank, a 26-year-old left-hand­ed pitch­er for the Ari­zona Dia­mond­backs, who was an impor­tant con­trib­u­tor dur­ing the team’s sur­prise World Series run last fall.
Jay Groome, a Padres pitch­er.
Jose Rodriguez, a Phillies infield­er.
These four play¬≠ers received one-year sus¬≠pen¬≠sions for bet¬≠ting on teams oth¬≠er than their own.

The MLB’s crack­down on gam­bling-relat­ed mis­con­duct comes amid a grow­ing num­ber of scan­dals in the sport. Ear­li­er this year, Shohei Ohtani’s for­mer inter­preter, Ippei Mizuhara, was charged with steal­ing over $16 mil­lion from the Los Ange­les Angels super­star to pay off debts from bets made with an ille­gal bookie.

Ohtani’s for­mer team­mate, David Fletch­er, is also under inves­ti­ga­tion for alleged­ly plac­ing bets through the same ille­gal bookmaker.

The life¬≠time ban for Mar¬≠cano and the one-year sus¬≠pen¬≠sions for the oth¬≠er play¬≠ers send a clear mes¬≠sage that the MLB will not tol¬≠er¬≠ate any form of gam¬≠bling-relat¬≠ed mis¬≠con¬≠duct. As the sports bet¬≠ting land¬≠scape con¬≠tin¬≠ues to evolve, the league is deter¬≠mined to main¬≠tain the integri¬≠ty of the game and pro¬≠tect the play¬≠ers, teams, and fans.

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