Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Athletes “Gambling” On Sports

I was reading different news articles about “spot fixing” in cricket over the past few days.  I know what “match fixing” is but I never knew what spot fixing was until a few days ago.
There is a difference between gambling and fixing.  Gambling is placing bets on a team to win or lose.  In my opinion, it’s like buying a lottery ticket – you may win or you may lose…but the probabilities are random. 
On the other hand, match fixing and spot fixing are serious offenses.  Basically you’re cheating and the bet is no longer random but heavily skewed in one direction.  Making sure something is fixed and the outcome is already pre-determined – well that makes you a cheater.  By gambling on a fix, you are capitalizing on the cheat.  Like I said before, a serious offense.
Pete Rose is a former professional American baseball player who is very famous.  Pete Rose to baseball, is like Tendulkar to cricket or Beckham to soccer.  To say that Pete Rose loves playing baseball is quite an understatement.  Let me give 2 examples of his love for baseball.
1 - He once said in an interview that he will play baseball even if no one paid him any money to play.  He loves the game so much that he’ll play for free.  (I don’t think Tendulkar or Beckham will make such a statement.)
2 – During his games, whenever he got a “Ball 4 - Walk”, he would run as fast as he could to first base, instead of just walking to first base.  (Non Baseball readers: If you do not understand the game, it is OK).  This is just an example to show Pete’s enthusiasm for playing the game.  He is like a 12 year old boy, playing a game with friends on the weekend, in the middle of the street.

Because of his unique playing style (enthusiasm of a school boy in a professional sport), Pete was nick named Charlie Hustle.
Pete should have been automatically elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.  However, there were accusations and allegations that he gambled on baseball.  Therefore, he was banned from induction into Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Gambling on baseball is legal in Las Vegas and other places that take Sports Book Bets.  However, players should not gamble on the games.  Yes indeed, Pete did what he is not supposed to do and he is paying for it.  Hopefully they will reconsider the ban and vote him into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  He has a tremendous backing of people (fans) who want to see him inducted…but the Baseball Commissioner’s office is against him.
Oh by the way, there is one final point I wanted to make about Pete Rose’s gambling on baseball.  What kind of bets did Pete make?  He always made bets for his team to WIN.  He never made any bets for his team to lose.
Fixing happens when athletes lower their performance on purpose so they look bad and the team looks bad (now they can make money by betting against themselves).  Pete always wanted to win and also bet that way. Banning him is indeed a tragedy.


  1. Who Posted This?May 28, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    If Pete Rose gets in the Hall of Fame…then I should get in the Hall of Fame.

    Shoeless Joe Jackson

  2. Thanks for your comments Joe. First of all, I have sympathy for you because we both share the same birthday. Second, your participation in the scandal to fix the World Series in 1919 is still disputed. I know you were banned for life along with 8 other members of your team. Also, this happened almost 100 years ago. Come on, you have suffered enough. My vote is for you to be inducted in the Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

  3. what indian people are doing is not betting, they are cheating.. and cheaters like this should be punished without any second thought..

  4. Spot fixing and lowering ones performance to make a quick buck is cheating the audience who have assembled in the stadium, and are watching from the TV. I wonder why people still watch such games, when they know that certain tournaments are highly commercial and there will be lot of pressure on players to get involved in such activities. Maybe people like fiction more than reality?

    Destination Infinity

  5. Thanks for your comments Renu. Looks like VIPs from all parties are silent on this issue.

  6. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. In India, cricket has become WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). In WWE, everything is scripted. Everything is planned out. They know in advance who is going to win. But still people watch these wrestling matches for fun.

    Same thing for cricket in India. Look for the revenge of the century. Dhoni of CSK meets head on Tendulkar of MI this coming Sunday at 7 PM.

  7. yes you are right... govt is investigating such an incident occurred recently in Indian cricket...


  8. Thanks for your comments Krishna. Do you think this government investigation is for real?

  9. No, Tendulkar will never make such a statement!

    We will never see dedicated players anymore here, in India. Yes we too had sincere players like Dravid, Kapil etc. they were passionate players. They didn't play just for the sake of playing. They were true to what they were doing.

    Maybe because of the wishes of his fans, Pete might enter the Hall of fame.

  10. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. Will let you know if he is elected to the Hall of Fame.

  11. When they fix a match,what for the game is played?Fooling the people.Apt post for the time.

  12. SG I am deeply disturbed by what cricket in India is coming to these days! It is no longer a sport but entertainment. So when it is entertainment the rules are different... I dislike IPL and all the paraphrenelia, the "auctioning" of players and the "cheer leaders" -all of it!!!