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MLB disciplines umpire for allegedly violating league’s gambling policy; punishment appealed: report

Major League Baseball has reportedly disciplined one of its top umpires for an alleged violation of the league’s gambling policy.

Multiple reports say Pat Hoberg, 37, was disciplined after an investigation, and he is appealing the punishment, which has not been revealed, denying he had ever bet on baseball.

MLB said in a statement it had “commenced an investigation regarding a potential violation of MLB’s sports betting policies” by Hoberg during spring training.

He has not worked in the regular season because of the investigation.

The league said there is no evidence that “games worked by Mr. Hoberg were compromised or manipulated in any way,” but “MLB determined that discipline was warranted.”

This comes roughly two weeks after MLB handed down a lifetime ban to Tucupita Marcano for betting over $150,000 on multiple MLB games and one-year suspensions to four other players.

Pat Hoberg behind home


Marcano is accused of betting on MLB games during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season while he was on the injured list. According to The Associated Press, he was found to have placed 387 baseball bets, including 231 MLB-related wagers, between Oct. 16, 2022, and Nov. 1, 2023, totaling over $150,000. 

“The strict enforcement of Major League Baseball’s rules and policies governing gambling conduct is a critical component of upholding our most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans,” baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said when announcing the players’ discipline. 

“The longstanding prohibition against betting on Major League Baseball games by those in the sport has been a bedrock principle for over a century. We have been clear that the privilege of playing baseball comes with a responsibility to refrain from engaging in certain types of behavior that are legal for other people.”

Pat Hoberg umpiring

That same day, the league also said it cleared Shohei Ohtani of any wrongdoing in the gambling scandal involving his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who is facing 33 years in jail for allegedly stealing almost $20 million from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts.

Hoberg joined the majors in 2014 and is widely regarded as one of the best umpires behind the plate. In Game 2 of the 2022 World Series, he called all 129 taken pitches correctly.

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