MLB Week in Review (May 11-17)

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There has been a major battle in pro sports throughout North America for years as every major league with a home in the USA has fought against gambling.

For them, it all started as a stand for morality as gambling was seen as a thing that only degenerates did.

It was a bad habit that lost money and was done in secret more often than not, after all, Las Vegas isn’t nicknamed Sin City for nothing.

With that image, it was hard for major leagues to get behind gambling and so they continued to take a stand against betting on sports.

Then sports got bigger and the sports industry grew to one of the biggest forms of entertainment in the world.

With more people watching the demand for other ways to be involved in sports only grew and that includes betting.

For many that love sports betting gives them something to put on the line and make games actually mean something.

It can be a dark place though as some do get addicted and begin losing far too much money on gambling.

For so many more gambling itself was just a way to have fun and put something on the line.

Those who loved to bet on sports it was a lot tougher to put something into it as gambling, in general, was only allowed in small spots and sports betting even less.

Only Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana have the ability to bet on sports with only Delaware and Nevada actually having sportsbooks.

That legality has made Nevada, and more specifically Las Vegas, the centre for all gambling in the USA.

Nevada became the place to go to bet on the biggest games and every year billions was wagered in the state.

In 2017 Nevada saw $4.8 billion in wagers on sports and out of that money they took $248.7 million for their own coffers.

That type of money has only grown in past years and that is in the one place where gambling is legal.

There are no official stats for how much money is spent on sports betting illegally throughout the country every year.

There are countless bookies who take illegal bets in every corner of the USA because the demand is there.

Billions of dollars are spent throughout the country betting on sports and yet every major league had little to no interest in admitting that it exists.

They continued to fight against sports betting and they continued to talk about how bad gambling is for so many people.

For many, it was not the smartest business move as there had to be a way for any league to capitalize on that money.

There were ways for these leagues to get in on the business by licencing certain apps or providers or even creating their own ways to bet on their games.

It is a lot of money that they refused to get in on because of a thought that it was morally wrong.

Things might change soon though as the Supreme Court made a massive ruling this past week that opened the door for sports

According to the ruling each state is now allowed to decide whether or not they want to legalize sports betting.

The federal ban has been lifted and now as states begin to make their decisions the major leagues have a decision to make.

They could toe the line and continue to say that betting is not right and that it harms the game or they could lean into this billion dollar industry.

The MLB will be watched closely as they make their decision on what they will do next especially with a history that is more complicated than any other sport.

The MLB history books are filled with scandals from the Black Sox to Pete Rose’s ban from baseball.

In the eyes of the league sports betting does more harm than good and according to the statement they released that position hasn’t changed much.

It will be interesting to see what their stance is when they are confronted with the financial reality of betting as states begin to legalize gambling.

When they have the ability to make more money and break into a new market they will likely take the chance even with their history.

Extra Innings

Cano Gets Caught

Robinson Cano was a massive signing for the Seattle Mariners in 2013 when he left the Yankees for a monster contract. After all-star seasons in New York, he was the biggest free agent of the year and the Mariners got him. He was the start of their rise and is an essential part of their team but they will be without him for a long time. He failed a drug test this week giving him an 80-game suspension and taking away the most important player from a team trying to break the longest postseason drought in the MLB.

Change is Good

Matt Harvey was once the Dark Knight of New York when he led the New York Mets and their spectacular rotation. That time has long gone as Harvey has had a few rough seasons including this one where the Mets saw him more as a liability than an asset even trying him out in the bullpen. Eventually, they optioned him and then traded him away as he was not good enough to take up a roster spot. Cincinnati took a chance and so far so good as he has started two games with pretty good success giving signs of a comeback thanks to a change of scenery.

Moving Tampa

The MLB has taken into consideration the value of expanding their league to add two more teams but Rob Manfred continues to say that they want to focus on problem areas first. One of those areas is Tampa Bay where the stadium is one of the worst, not worse than Oakland, and where the fans are sparse. For years they have been a team that many think could move because of their lack of fans in the stands. Now even a former hero thinks it might be a good idea as Evan Longoria has said that the Rays might be better off if they were moved, and from one of the longest-tenured players it carries some weight.

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