“The NFL isn’t fixed. Too many people are watching. But a double header Sunday night game with two shitty baseball teams? I believe it.” – Anonymous Vegas Gambling Source
I, of course, didn’t believe him. And how could I? Sports being fixed is the Sasquatch in the woods; about 30% of America believe Bigfoot exists but can offer very little proof, if any at all. But then something happened that actually proved it, and man, did I start listening afterward.
Thomas Vanek, was implicated in a gambling ring in Rochester, NY in 2014. As the NHL playoffs rolled around, my Source told me not to bet on the Minnesota Wild. Vanek was on the take.
“But he was cleared of any wrong doing”, I stupidly said.
Vanek had an incredible season right up until the playoffs. He played the worst he’s ever played. So much so that the coach at the time sat him. The Wild lost and I came away with a lesson learned.
What This Means for Baseball
The first time this came up this season is early this summer when Justin Upton dropped a pretty routine fly ball at the very end of a game. The Tigers were up 7-0 in the 9th with the over/under set at 9.5. One of the very last plays of the game and Upton lets this fly drop and 3 runs score to finish the game at 10 total runs.
— RunTheBases (@RunTheBasesMLB) June 29, 2017
The public bet incredibly heavy on the under. In one dropped fly Vegas roped in millions. I started watching a bit closer.
Last week, Michael Taylor dropped a fly at the end of the game to. It just happened to bust the over under, a bet that was very publicly heavy on the side of the under again. I’ve watched the end of this game 50 times, and I believe he may have literally just dropped it. It was the end of the second game after a double header. He probably had beers and sweat pants on his mind, but who’s to say . (fast forward the video to the very end to see what I mean)
Upton Gets Traded
Justin Upton just got shipped to LA. If publicly heavy under’s start getting blown, I think we might have to revisit the theory that sometimes sports are fixed. I don’t think it’s every game, and I don’t think it’s some super crime family that resembles Tony Soprano. I just think that sometimes, it could be possible for a few games to be fixed. Baseball might be the culprit. We already know hockey is thanks to Thomas Vanek.
No, one bad apple actually doesn’t spoil the bunch. But if you don’t have someone to call out that bad apple, you could end up with a sour taste in your mouth.
Photo Credits: OC Register
Anthony Norman White is a writer from New York.
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