MLB , just like a lot of things in life, has rules… rules for the playing of the game… rules for what a player can use to enhance his physical prowess… and rules about gaming the game… betting. Lately, it seems a lot of MLB rules are made for breaking… or, at least, it is a many nuanced thing on how the rules are interpreted.
This week we take a look at some of the most recent disciplines handed down that involved a couple of players and one future interpretation that will be forthcoming by the commissioner’s office on a manager… and, what the MLBRT crew thinks about it all.
And, oh yeah… what’s the best baseball movie ever… the crew says…
The MLB reps and the MLBPA reps on the Treatment Board deadlocked on whether Hamilton should be disciplined, with MLB taking the position that Hamilton violated his treatment program and is subject to discipline by the Commissioner and, obviously, with the MLBPA saying he didn’t based on the logic that Hamilton’s cocaine and alcohol use was a “slip” and not a violation.
Under the rules of the treatment program, an outside arbitrator was appointed to break the tie, and the arbitrator ruled that Josh Hamilton’s conduct did not violate his treatment program.
Therefore, due to the arbitrator’s decision the commissioner can’t suspend or even impose any other discipline on Hamilton.
Ok, guys, what are your thoughts about this ruling?
Archie: Bullshit. Just another way to get over. Seems there is always some legal way money can get you out of just about anything. There is no civil court in these United States that would allow me to go unpunished if I violated a rehab program due to drugs and/or alcohol.
Earl: I’m unsure what to think. A “slip” is still a violation in my opinion. People do make mistakes, granted, but this is something that Hamilton has been fighting for years. A “slip” in his judgement should have some sort of consequence so it doesn’t make sense to me that the MLBPA and the arbitrator ruled that Hamilton shouldn’t be punished. The whole thing stinks to me, and makes little sense but I guess it is what it is.
The union has done the man more harm than good, in my opionion, and simply, the union is enabling an addict.
Steve: If, I recall correctly, it was Hamilton who basically turned himself in and reported the violation. That alone is enough humility to say that Hamilton admitted to having a problem, and, he relapsed. I think the arbitrator made the right call, and, Hamilton should not be suspended.
It is likely that he will still miss some time away from the game to take care of his personal issues. I just hope that he can come back from this, and, continue his career.
2) One more Hamilton question…
After the decision stating that Hamilton had not violated his treatment program and was not subject to any discipline, Angels’ GM Jerry Dipoto issued a statement that said, “The Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans. We are going to do everything possible to assure he receives proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family.”
Angels team president John Carpino added, “It defies logic that Josh’s reported behavior is not a violation of his drug program.” The
Does it appear that the Angels are more concerned about paying Hamilton because he probably is not going to be as productive a player as they want for the money they are paying him while he takes care of his problems, than maybe actually being concerned for him getting the “proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family.”?
Archie: Of course it is business first or those guys would not be in their current position. IMO, they are also correct in stating that it defies logic that his behavior did not violate his drug rehab.
Earl: Money has to be a major part of this. The Angels made a huge investment in Hamilton and it hasn’t paid off. Whether that’s because of suspected drug use, or Hamilton is just a declining player, looking to get out of that contract, or get him “fixed” in hopes he can play up to that money should be the organization’s priority. While the humanitarian in me hopes that DiPoto and Carmino’s comments were for the good of Josh Hamilton, I’d be fooling myself not to think that the dollar dollar bill y’all ain’t got something to do with it.
Joe: I’ll give the Angels mangement team the benefit of the doubt and say that they honestly want to help Hamilton recover from his addiction. However… they also wouldn’t mind if he was suspended either, because then they could be off the hook for million of bucks that they still owe him.
Steve: Probably, but, knowing the Angels organization, I think they do have a vested interested in Josh Hamilton and genuinely care about his health and well-being. Hamilton is making upwards to 25 million dollars a year, and the Angels want to be able to use Hamilton as a top tier player, which I thought he could have been a guy who could be one of the most improved players, or, comeback player of the year. Now, that he is obviously still battling some demons, it is a shame, and, I think, sure the Angels are upset to have to pay his contract, but, really do care about his health.
So, my favorite baseball movie was released at an age where I was old enough to see it in theaters and it related to my childlike sensibilities.
That movie? The Sandlot. It was released in 1993, when I was 11 years old.
The story of Scotty Smalls, better known as Smalls in the flick and his friends bonding over ball in the Summer of ’62 stood out to me.
It’s just a great depiction of everything that is great about baseball… and that it’s the best game that was ever invented and the heart and soul of America.
Yeah, I know it’s tad syrupy and a heart tugger but I’m an old softie at heart.
I always quote lines from that movie, and, I still laugh every time I watch it.
It is one of the few movies that I never get bored watching.
4) Earlier this year The Tampa Bay Rays filed a tampering charge with MLB against the Chicago Cubs after they hired Joe Maddon to manage the Cubs. The Rays said that the Cubs contacted Maddon, while he was still under contract to them. Rob Manfred said a decision would be handed down before opening day.
Now his office is saying they are still gathering info and a decision will not be rendered until after opening day.
Is this an indication there may be something to the Rays’ tampering claim?
Earl: Not likely. The Commish very well could be sitting on the thing. That’s something that his predecessor Bud Selig was accused of doing on a few occasions. Something could be up with tampering, but honestly, I doubt there’s anything to come from this.
Just the cost of doing business.
Maybe, what will happen is that the Cubs will make it all the way to the World Series, and, it will come out that the Cubs cheated to get Maddon, and, will have to forfeit the NL Championship. That would be the Cubs’ luck.
Come on Tampa, quit with the sour grapes and just move on. You have a lot more to worry about than a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908.
5) MLB says it has found no evidence that Jared Cosart bet on baseball but that he will be given an unspecified fine for placing illegal bets… aka he bet with a bookie.
What’s your opinion on this? Should Cosart have been disciplined more severely? Is this much ado about nothing? Or, is there more here that MLB needs to address?
IF MLB wished to fine every player that placed a bet with a bookie it would take a special investigation team of about 50 guys traveling permanently with every club as baby sitters just for the over watch. Those guys have money. I would say a conservative guess would be that about 40% like to gamble, just because of the competition. It happens. Let it go.
Earl: Much ado about nothing, but it does send a message to other players about placing illegal bets. Gambling in sports is nothing new, but placing a fine on Cosart does send a message that you’re “serious” about limiting or at least regulating how and what you gamble on.
If, he doesn’t then there is no problem; so, just slap his hand, fine him and let’s move on.
I tend to believe Cosart was just placing some bets with a local bookie and that’s all it was and why he just simply got a fine. At least, I hope that’s all it is.
I am willing to bet (no pun intended) that there are more than a handful of players that have gambled at one time or another. As long as a player has not bet on the game, or on his team for that matter, I could care less.
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