Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano facing lifetime ban for betting on MLB games: report

Another betting scandal has hit MLB, as San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is reportedly facing a lifetime ban for allegedly betting on games, per The Wall Street Journal. 

Marcano, 24, is being accused of betting on multiple MLB games during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season while he was on the injured list. While The Journal does not have the specifics of those bets, the report states four other players are also under investigation for betting on minor-league contests. 

ESPN added that the league’s investigation into Marcano remains ongoing, though a lifetime ban from the league “could be imminent.”

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“We are aware of an active investigation by Major League Baseball regarding a matter that occurred when the player in question was a member of another organization and not affiliated with the San Diego Padres,” the Padres told The Wall Street Journal in a statement. “We will not have any further comment until the investigation process has been completed.” 

Marcano, a Venezuela native, suffered a right ACL tear last season with the Pirates, ending his campaign after 75 games. He hit .233/.276/.356 with three homers, 12 doubles, two triples and 18 RBI over 202 at-bats. 

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Marcano’s bets only came after he was injured. 

Marcano has not played with the Padres at any level this season, as he continues to recover from his injury. 

Marcano’s betting allegations come as MLB dealt with Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s now-former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, reportedly stealing nearly $17 million from the ballplayer to cover gambling losses. Mizuhara pled guilty to federal bank and tax fraud charges following an investigation. 

A lifetime ban was also seen in the NBA this past regular season, as Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter was found to be purposefully limiting his availability in games for betting purposes, while also betting on games. 

Every professional sports league in the country has similar gambling policies, which prohibit players from placing any bets on their own sport. MLB allows bets to be made on other sports legally. 

Per the league’s gambling policy, betting on a baseball game involving a team other than the player’s own would be a one-year suspension. However, betting on your own team leads to a lifetime ban from the league. 

Marcano started his career with the Padres, making his debut in 2021 when he slashed .182/.280/.205 over 25 games. He would play for the Pirates sparingly in 2022 before notching his career-high in games in 2023. 

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