Ex-Pirates infielder facing lifetime ban for gambling during Pittsburgh tenure

Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates v Arizona Diamondbacks / Norm Hall/GettyImages

From Shoeless Joe Jackson and the White Sox in the 1919 World Series, to the Pete Rose scandal, gambling has often been the game of baseball's blight. Gambling has become more prominent in the sports world today and is embraced in states where it is legal. This has caused a lot more accessibility for fans and players, but MLB remains strong in their stance on gambling amongst players and employees.

Major League Baseball has made it very clear that they have a zero tolerance for gambling within the sport. Dating back to well before the Pete Rose gambling issue, they have ruled with an iron fist on the topic, leaving signs across clubhouses making their position obvious. The punishments are severe, in hopes of steering players aware from gambling within the game of baseball. The rules state that any player betting on teams other than the team that they play for will receive a one-year ban. Any player that bets on games that involve the team that they play for at that time, will be permanently banned. While players are able to bet on other sports, the league also states that players are subject to a penalty as the commissioner deems appropriate if the player uses any illegal bookmakers.

The most well-known current issue in that regard revolves around international icon Shohei Ohtani, whose interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, allegedly stole money from the former MVP to cover his gambling debts. According to the authorities, Ohtani had no involvement and has been cleared, but that tale shines a light on how ugly things can get.

Tucupita Marcano could be facing a lifetime ban after betting on Pirates games during his time with the team in 2023

The latest scandal comes from former Pirates infielder, Tucupita Marcano. The now Padres infielder is under investigation for gambling on Pirates games while he was a member of the team. Marcano, allegedly, bet on Pirates games while he was on the injured list last season. Marcano was placed on the injured list July 25 after tearing a ligament in his right knee. The Pirates got a good look at Marcano in 2023 while he filled in at shortstop when the team lost Oneil Cruz for the season. He was waived this offseason and claimed by the Padres (the team that traded him for Adam Frazier back in 2021) and has yet to play a game this year while recovering from his knee surgery.

The full details are still not yet know, and according to reports from Lindsey Adler and Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal, there could be four other players involved. As things stand right now, Marcano could be facing a lifetime ban if found guilty of the accusations.