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Fox News Flash top sports headlines for March 1

Former minor league pitcher Peter Bayer has spent his life loving the sport of baseball.

And now all he desires is to be welcomed again into the game.

Bayer finds himself in a irritating state of affairs that intertwines the rising world of sports activities betting and the grey space surrounding it.

For the second yr in a row, Main League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred have positioned Bayer on the league’s Ineligible Checklist. His crime? Inserting on-line baseball bets when he was a Minor League Baseball participant in 2020. Nevertheless, that yr there was no MiLB season; it was canceled as a result of pandemic.

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Through the break day and with no contract, Breyer admitted to putting a handful of sports activities bets; MLB’s rule ebook says that Bayer ought to have solely been suspended one yr.

So why is he now occurring the third yr of not having the ability to be concerned in baseball by any means?

A general view of the Draftkings Sportsbook sign in right field during the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2022 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A common view of the Draftkings Sportsbook check in proper subject through the Main League Baseball sport between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2022 at Residents Financial institution Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Wealthy Graessle/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photographs)

Bayer believes it might need to do with the truth that he was actively outspoken in opposition to the league and a few groups for refusing to pay or slicing again on minor league salaries. He was a principal proponent in MiLB ultimately turning into unionized final yr, one thing MLB fought for years.

May Manfred and baseball be utilizing Bayer for instance to others? They argue that Bayer has accomplished extra than simply sports activities betting by issuing an announcement that features a imprecise “different misconduct” declare.

In the meantime, Main League Baseball continues large partnerships value upwards of lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} with on-line sportsbooks.

In an interview with OutKick, Bayer defined his irritating state of affairs that will function a warning to different athletes, maybe at his personal expense.

BAYER’S STORY GOES LIKE THIS…

In 2020, Peter Bayer was an aspiring minor league baseball participant who was signed with the Oakland Athletics Excessive-A crew. It seemed like Bayer was on observe to be promoted to Double-A that season.

Nevertheless, there by no means was a season that yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. Main League Baseball ultimately had a shortened season that started on July 23 for a complete of 60 video games, after which playoffs. Minor League Baseball by no means performed.

Bayer says that when Minor League Baseball canceled the season, all of the gamers acquired letters that their contracts have been suspended.

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S ENTIRE 2020 SEASON CANCELLED

Not solely have been all MiLB contracts suspended in March of 2020, however the Athletics have been one of some groups that introduced that they wouldn’t be paying their minor league gamers after Could 31.

“Sadly, contemplating the entire circumstances affecting the group at the moment, we have now determined to not proceed your $400 weekly stipend past Could 31,” learn an e mail despatched by GM David Forst on the time. “This was a troublesome resolution and it’s one which comes at a time when quite a few our full-time staff are additionally discovering themselves both furloughed or dealing with a discount in wage for the rest of the season. For all of this, I’m sorry.”

Bayer was a participant who actively spoke out in opposition to this.

(Only a few weeks later, Athletics proprietor John Fisher modified his place and agreed to pay minor leaguers after a public outcry – together with from gamers like Bayer. Fisher is value an estimated $2.2 billion.)

MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS WERE FINANCIALLY STRUGGLING

Gamblers flow into Caesars Sports Book at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino to watch and bet on the Kansas City Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles in the National Football League's Super Bowl LVII (which is taking place in Glendale, Arizona) as viewed on February 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gamblers stream into Caesars Sports activities E book at Caesars Palace Lodge & On line casino to look at and guess on the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs vs Philadelphia Eagles within the Nationwide Soccer League’s Tremendous Bowl LVII (which is going down in Glendale, Arizona) as seen on February 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (George Rose/Getty Photographs)

A 2020 Sports activities Illustrated story documented Bayer having to choose up a number of jobs, together with being a DoorDash supply driver simply to try to get some further revenue. He estimated that in 2019 he made about $1,500 earlier than taxes taking part in a complete season in Excessive-A.

It’s essential to notice that in this time, Bayer and gamers have been accumulating state unemployment as a result of they didn’t have a contract. He additionally wasn’t receiving well being advantages from the league. He was by all appearances laid off or furloughed.

“We bought an e mail from MLB saying all Minor League contracts have been suspended. So I figured I might guess on some baseball on FanDuel and DraftKings.” He says that he guess on about 30-40 totally different baseball video games all through July and August. (MLB formally began their shortened season in July).

He resides in Colorado, which formally opened on-line sports activities betting on Could 1, 2020.

In October, the Athletics formally launched Bayer as a part of the anticipated Covid-related restructuring.

The Cincinnati Reds signed Bayer just some months later in January of 2021 however he quickly was contacted by MLB that he could be below investigation for his sports activities betting.

Bayer believes that as a result of he was primarily an everyday citizen – with no contract, no advantages and no job, that he shouldn’t proceed to be punished for his sports activities bets, greater than what MLB’s rule states.

MLB PUNISHES BAYER

A number of weeks after the Reds signed Bayer, the Colorado Gaming Fee “flagged” Bayer’s title and knowledgeable Main League Baseball of his prior betting exercise from the summer time earlier than that resulted in August. MLB and the Commissioner’s workplace knowledgeable Bayer that he was below investigation.

They first positioned him on a “Restricted / Investigative Checklist,” which prevented him from signing or being part of any MLB group in 2021. He was in a position to reapply after the next World Collection that yr.

MLB then positioned him on the “Ineligible Checklist,” which as soon as once more wouldn’t let him be part of baseball in any capability for the 2022 season.

Then, three weeks in the past, Commissioner Manfred as soon as once more put him on the Ineligible Checklist, totaling 3 seasons that Bayer hasn’t been allowed to play baseball.

BAYER BELIEVES HE’S BEING MADE AN EXAMPLE OF

Underneath MLB’s personal guidelines, it seems that Bayer ought to have been solely positioned on the ineligible listing for one yr, not the two-plus that’s already taking place.

In Rule 21 (D), MLB states that:

“Any participant, umpire, or Membership or League official or worker, who shall guess any sum by any means upon
any baseball sport in reference to which the bettor has no obligation to carry out, shall be declared
ineligible for one yr.”

MLB’S STRANGE REASONING

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports Center on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks through the Baseball Corridor of Fame induction ceremony at Clark Sports activities Heart on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Photographs)

In an announcement, MLB and the Commissioner’s Workplace stated, “After a radical investigation, it was decided that Mr. Bayer repeatedly guess on baseball in violation of Main League Rule 21 and MLB’s coverage on sports activities betting and engaged in different misconduct that was not in the most effective curiosity of baseball. Subsequently, he was positioned on the ineligible listing, the place he stays.”

The “in different misconduct,” half is fascinating.

OutKick has reviewed a letter first obtained by The Athletic despatched to Bayer from Commissioner Manfred on April 11, 2022, that alleged that along with the sports activities betting allegations, Bayer threatened a state gaming regulator that he would “take this to the media,” in addition to allegedly denied making bets to an MLB govt. Bayer admitted to OutKick that he did write an e mail to the regulator insinuating that he would escalate the state of affairs by bringing it to the press, however denied he was threatening him. He additionally says that he by no means lied to the MLB Govt – in actual fact he says he did the alternative. Bayer stated that he admitted to the Govt in an e mail that he had guess throughout that suspended season and apologized for “making a mistake.”

After receiving MLB’s April 11 letter, Bayer and his lawyer met with Main League Baseball a number of occasions through Zoom to make clear a number of the alleged infractions. Bayer stated that concerning the sports activities betting state of affairs, MLB didn’t confide in him and his lawyer info concerning their wager claims [MLB claims Bayer wagered 100’s of bets, which Bayer denies. There also is a dispute over how much was wagered. Bayer and his attorney asked MLB to provide this evidence, which they never did.]

Curiously, when the Commissioner lastly launched the official Ineligible ruling for Bayer two weeks in a while April 25, it didn’t point out any of the person fees, however quite made it the extra imprecise and broad “different misconduct.”

That’s what Bayer has a problem with. He believes that “different misconduct” is now primarily based round MLB attempting to make an instance of him due to his vocal criticism attempting to get MiLB gamers extra rights, and ultimately a union. OutKick reached out to MLB a number of occasions however didn’t obtain a response.

WHY IS MLB TREATING BAYER DIFFERENTLY?

“I used to be on the forefront, on the entrance strains of all of that stuff [more player’s rights] for years. I used to be working with MiLB advocates who have been in a position to ultimately get the MLBPA to assist symbolize MiLB athletes by the Gamers Affiliation,” Bayer instructed OutKick.

And it labored. After Bayer and others started getting extra consideration for calling out MLB, the league raised minor league wages in 2021, with Class A gamers getting practically a $200 weekly increase.

In 2022, Main League Baseball’s Gamers Affiliation formally unionized Minor League Baseball gamers, which is precisely what Bayer had fought for.

He says he’s now paying the worth by not being allowed again in baseball, regardless of having served the official rule ebook’s punishment.

“What I did probably gave them a motive to say ‘We’ve had sufficient of this man…’ as a result of truthfully they’re able to do no matter they need,” Bayer stated.

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BAYER JUST WANTS HIS REPUTATION BACK

Bayer stated he utterly understands and didn’t have a problem with the one-year suspension. “I instructed them that if this was what the clause stated that I’d serve the one-year suspension, much like what occurred to [NFL player] Calvin Ridley.”

He additionally admitted to being at fault for not clearly understanding what the weird, once-in-a-lifetime situation of MiLB canceling a complete season absolutely meant.

“However they now received’t let me again into the sport,” Bayer defined.

He’s now preventing for his repute and to in some way be allowed again into the game in some capability, even when not being an energetic participant.


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