Wulf: Could a Black Sox Scandal happen again today?

From SABR member Steve Wulf at ESPN.com on October 9, 2019, with mention of SABR member Kevin Braig:

One hundred years might seem like a long enough time to wait. But what we are talking about here is the Black Sox scandal, baseball’s darkest hour and an oft-told tale that has captured the imagination of historians, novelists, filmmakers and those fans who feel the betrayal in their bones. The gamblers and crooked ballplayers who conspired to fix the outcome of the 1919 World Series robbed people not only of their money but also of their faith in baseball.

That’s why baseball became puritanical about gambling, why Rule 21d, the prohibition of betting, has been posted in clubhouses since 1927, why the all-time hit king, Pete Rose, was banished from baseball. For years, MLB argued in courts to prevent states other than Nevada from legalizing sports gambling. But then Major League Baseball and MGM Resorts announced last November that they had entered into an agreement to promote legalized gambling just in time for the 2019 season, and ever since, the gnats of irony have been buzzing about.

They just happened to choose the centennial anniversary of the 1919 World Series and the 30th anniversary of commissioner Bart Giamatti ejecting Pete Rose to roll out this new policy. The same Pete Rose who often signs autographs at MGM Resorts’ Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas. The same MGM Resorts that owns the Borgata, a rose-colored high-rise paradise north of the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. The same Borgata where disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy liked to try his luck.

Oh, and how’s this for irony? Borgata is lingo in Italian for mafia. Among the protégés of Arnold Rothstein, the man behind the fix, were such mob legends as Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.

Read the full article here: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27798308/could-black-sox-scandal-happen-today

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Originally published: October 10, 2019. Last Updated: October 10, 2019.