Padres' 24-Year-Old Shortstop Banned for Life for Gambling


Major League Baseball handed San Diego Padres shortstop Tucupita Marcano a lifetime ban on Tuesday after he was found to have violated the league’s policy on gambling.

The announcement followed an investigation into the 24-year-old that found he wagered on more than 200 MLB games, including some that involved the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2022 and 2023 seasons when he was on the team, ESPN reported.

Marcano was acquired by San Diego last fall.

In total, the league said Marcano placed 387 bets related to baseball, with 231 of them on MLB games.

Marcano wagered a total of $150,000 on the contests between October 2022 and November 2023.

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Twenty-five of the bets involved his own team — the Pirates — while he was on the roster but was recovering from surgery for a torn ACL.

He did not play in any of the games in which he had placed bets and lost each parlay wager that included his own team.

Marcano was said to have ultimately won on 4.3 percent of all bets he placed on the outcomes of MLB games.

His decision to wager on the games cost him much more than the money he lost as he will never suit up for another team again.

Is this a fair punishment?

In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that banning Marcano was crucial to protecting the integrity of the game.

“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,” Manfred stated.

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

Baseball clubs are clear with players that gambling on the sport they play is strictly prohibited and what the outcome will be.

Per ESPN, it is believed Marcano is the first active player in 100 years to be handed a lifetime ban.

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In 1924, then-New York Giants outfielder Jimmy O’Connell was also banned for life after he was found to have wagered on games.

Pete Rose was given a lifetime ban for gambling in 1989, but it was three years after he retired while he was managing the Cincinnati Reds.

Marcano’s bets were reportedly discovered when a “legal sports betting operator” reached out to the league to alert MLB officials.

The Venezuelan national was not the only player punished on Tuesday, but he was the only one to be given a lifetime ban.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly was handed a one-year suspension for placing bets on MLB games while he was in the minors.

Additionally, minor leaguers Jay Groome, Jose Rodriguez and Andrew Saalfrank were all suspended for one year.

Every player punished on Tuesday denied betting on any games they played in and all denied having wagered with inside information.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.