Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Former White Sox Player Suspended For Gambling

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Five players have been punished by Major League Baseball for violating the league’s sports betting rules. Among them is former White Sox minor-league infielder Jose Rodriguez, otherwise known as “Popeye”. 

Rodgriguez was suspended from baseball for one year along with Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly, San Diego Padres minor-league pitcher Jay Groome, and Arizona Diamondbacks minor-league pitcher Andrew Saalfrank. San Diego Padres utility player Tucpita Marcano received the harshest punishment with a lifetime ban from the MLB. 

Rodriguez is currently a part of the Phillies organization and was accused of placing 31 bets on three college baseball games and 28 MLB MLB-related bets while he was still under contract with the White Sox. According to the MLB those wagers  “included bets involving the White Sox ‘Major League team while he was assigned to the White Sox Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama.” The MLB goes on to say that the two White Sox bets were on the over/under for how many runs would be scored in a game. 

Rodriguez bet a total of $749.09 on baseball, $724.09 of which was spent on MLB-related bets. His average bet was just over $25 dollars, which often included multi-leg parlays. The MLB says that Rodriguez never appeared in the games he bet.

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Rodriguez appeared in just one game as a pinch-runner for the White Sox. While he scored a run he did not get an official at-bat. The 23-year-old spent his final season in the White Sox organization splitting time between Double and Triple-A. He struggled with plate discipline striking out in over 20 percent of his plate appearances with a walk rate of just 4.1%. However, he did hit .262 with 21 homers and stole 31 bases.

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