Last night while watching the situation unfold more for the NBA, David Stern, and the Tim Donaghy saga of betting on sports, I questioned something: Does betting go on in my sport? Are the results of my beloved baseball legitimate?
It’s a decent question. Afterall, if an NBA referee has been contacted and convinced to fix and sway NBA game results, you can bet it’s happened to officials of the NFL, NHL, NCAA, and yes, even our beloved MLB.
As a Cleveland fan and follower, I’ve made jokes many times about Vegas gamblers paying off someone to make sure the fix and farce is in on our boys. The Vegas dark figures of the evil night paying off someone to make sure we never get a championship. I have conspiracy theory that Dennis Northcutt’s drop in the 2002 NFL playoffs was simply due to a Vegas gangster payoff. I still somewhat believe it.
The simple matter of this is that this just doesn’t end with Donaghy. He’s not the only man in sports that took some money to sway a game. Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 White Sox weren’t the last figures in baseball to take some money and run. It happens and it goes on, probably somewhere every day, in every major city that owns a sports franchise.
It’s probably hard for someone to recall a darker time in sports. I can deal with the steroids, the dog killings, the bogus records being set, parody, players changing cities and selling out for money. The one thing I can’t deal with is the harsh reality that has been brought to fruition recently: that what I’m watching just might be as much of a fix as a WWE Title match.
One must wonder how many MLB Umpires, pitchers, players have been contacted to take a lump of money and throw a big game. I promise you, that evil is out there. They’ve gotten to some of our boys of the MLB, and it’s happened. If the authorities want to take enough time away from their O.J. Simpson-real-killer-like steroid probe search, they’ll find it.
I’d love to say that the NBA, which we knew was fixed to a point for a long time, was the only sport that has some bogus results. I can’t say that, as it is just as likely that these things have happened even to a greater degree in baseball, with the real results mattering as to winners and losers (since there isn’t a point spread in baseball). It would also be very simple for a home plate umpire to take a load of cash and control the game on a windy day at Wrigley Field so that the under is reached and not the over. The possibilites are endless. I hate to say it, but I would bet the fixes have been in before in MLB. Suddenly Pete Rose looks more human doesn’t he?
Some light on the Tim Donaghy situation. (20 Second Timeout)