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MLB Umpire punished for violation of gambling policy

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MLB has announced that Pat Hoberg, an umpire who violated the sports betting policy of MLB, will be disciplined on Friday 14 June. The Athletic first revealed that Hoberg had appealed his decision.

Hoberg hasn’t played in any games this season. The details of his penalty are not known. MLB stated in a statement released on Friday that Hoberg had not interfered with games directly, but it did not exclude him from betting on baseball.

According to league regulations, bets on baseball are punished by a ban of one year. A lifetime ban is imposed on anyone who bets during a game in which they are playing, coaching, or officiating.

Hoberg has appealed the ruling.

Major League Baseball began an investigation during this year’s Spring Training regarding the potential violation by Pat Hoberg of MLB’s Sports Betting Policies,” reads the statement. Mr Hoberg was taken off the field while the investigation was ongoing.

MLB decided that “discipline” was justified despite the fact that there were “no evidences that Mr Hoberg’s games had been compromised or manipulated”. The league did not make any further comments.

Hoberg began working as a MLB umpire full-time in 2017, after becoming an MLB umpire since 2014. From 2018 to 2022, he was chosen for all post-season matches. Umscorecards.com’s accuracy analyst Umscorecards.com said that his performance during Game 2 of 2022 World series was perfect. Hoberg correctly called all 129 strikes and balls.

The first suspension for an umpire after PASPA

Hoberg would become the first MLB umpire sanctioned by the US Supreme Court for gambling since it repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.

Since 2008, there hasn’t really been any high-profile scandals involving gambling and an official in the US. The last one was when Tim Donaghy received 15 months for wire fraud as well as transmitting information about betting.

Donaghy had betted on NBA matches over the course of four years and provided insider information to bettors. Sports betting was illegal in the United States and Nevada at that time.

The League is still dealing with the betting scandal

MLB has been dealing with a litany of scandals involving gambling.

The league suspended Tucupita Marcos for the rest of his life nine days ago. Marcano placed bets on Pittsburgh Pirates matches in 2021 while he was a Padres player. It was the first time since 1989 that a gambling ban had been imposed on a person.

Other four, including Oakland A’s pitcher Michael Kelly as well as minor leaguers Andrew Saalfrank and Jay Groome received one year suspensions.

Ippei mizuhara, the former interpreter of Shohei Ohtani (two-time MVP), pleaded guilty to theft on June 4th. Mizuhara stole $17m to pay gambling debts. Mizuhara lost hundreds of million dollars with an illegal bookmaker. He awaits sentencing.

David Fletcher is Ohtani’s former Los Angeles Angels teammates who has also been under investigation. Fletcher is now an Atlanta Braves Triple-A Affiliate and reportedly placed bets with the same bookmaker that Mizuhara used.

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