HomeSportsTucupita Marcano abruptly cut short her career 

Tucupita Marcano abruptly cut short her career 

El criollo is just the latest case of players involved in baseball betting

Since Monday afternoon, Tucupita Marcano has monopolized space on sports portals and not precisely because of his recovery. But, he bet on baseball and even worse on games that involve his team; the Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom the Venezuelan played in the two seasons prior to this one. 

Tucupita is making history, unfortunately in the worst possible way. He is the first to be banned for life for violating Rule 21(d)(2) since Pete Rose was found to have bet on Cincinnati Reds games while managing the team in 1989. 

“People should know that I am very sorry for making the mistake that I made… If you want to look back, which you can, I should have admitted (to – Commissioner Bart – Giamatti) the first time he called me into the office in January '89, but I didn't do it," Rose said at the time, alluding to the fact that he hid his gambling addiction. 

But MLB has not been exempt from such cases in its history either, since the pioneer is the Black Sox scandal in the 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. Eight Chicago players fixed the series; letting himself be lost in exchange for one hundred thousand dollars from the mafia. 

That scandal represented a break for baseball. Among those involved was “Barefoot” Joe Jackson. At that time one of the visible faces of the sport and for which MLB took years to recover and cleanse his image. 

MLB is strict on the subject of betting

MLB is clear with its rules and although there were some modifications as a result of the legalization of betting on some bets, the industry continues to be quite clear in this regard: 

Fine at the discretion of the Commissioner if bets are confirmed in illegal centers or with bookmakers. The suspension is one year if guilty of betting on baseball. Whereas, I have a lifelong ban if betting goes to the extent of involving the team of which one is a member. And, although it sounds cruel; There is no defense that is worth it.

Read also: Tucupita Marcano is suspended from the MLB

More recently we have the case of the former interpreter of Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ippei Mizuhara. He bet in an illegal center and stole money from the Japanese star from his bank account, causing federal entities to get involved in the investigation. 

There were other smaller scale cases

Others on a smaller scale were those of former Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart in 2015. He, like Mizuhara, was fined for placing bets in an illegal center, although none related to baseball. He himself cooperated with the investigation and at that time MLB corroborated and issued a statement that he was acquitted of having bet on baseball. 

Cosart continued playing, in that season and two others. Although, he did not maintain the level and the San Diego Padres put him on assignment at the end of 2017 and he opted to declare himself a free agent, never again stepping foot on a Major League diamond. 

Meanwhile, Peter Bayer - also a former pitcher - was suspended for placing more than 100 bets on baseball, including at least 12 on his own organization (Oakland Athletics) during the shortened 2020 season and when the Minor League season had been canceled. due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It was impossible to predict the future of Tucupita Marcano…

Now, perhaps no one could predict the future and say whether Tucupita Marcano would have a good career or not. However, we will no longer know that and the questions will remain as to what would have happened if he had made better decisions. How many opportunities would he have had or even kept playing at the highest level as a utility player, role player or replacement. 

The truth is that now he has to live in his native Venezuela, settle in Mexico or some other latitude in the world to continue his career, although now without the possibility of stardom in the Major Leagues. Surely there is a lot of frustration at not being able to continue with the major league dream. Among all, the positive thing is that he can still dedicate himself to sports, but looking for other alternatives. 

It should be noted that the most frustrating thing about Tucupita's case is that he did (bet) injured. That is to say, the image we have of him in MLB is that unfortunate step on the third base cushion that caused him to tear the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on July 24, 2023 in a match between the Pirates and the Padres. 

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