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Major League Baseball Disciplines Umpire Pat Hoberg over Gambling Violations

Major League Baseball announced Friday that it was disciplining umpire Pat Horberg for violating the league’s gambling rules.

MLB did not disclose the exact nature of the violations or what disciplinary action may be imposed.

“During spring training this year, Major League Baseball opened an investigation into possible violations of MLB’s sports betting policy by umpire Pat Horberg. During the investigation, Mr. Horberg was removed from the field,” the league announced on Friday. “While MLB’s investigation did not find evidence that games in which Mr. Horberg officiated were in any way compromised or manipulated, MLB determined that disciplinary action was warranted. Mr. Horberg has elected to appeal the decision, and therefore will not be able to comment further until the appeals process has concluded.”

Manny Machado, No. 13, of the San Diego Padres, argues with home plate umpire Pat Horberg, No. 31, after striking out in the top of the fifth inning of Game 2 of the MLB World Tour Mexico City Series against the San Francisco Giants in Mexico City, Mexico on April 30, 2023. (Sean M. Hafey/Getty Images)

The 37-year-old umpire, who joined the league’s umpire staff in 2014, is appealing the decision and denies ever betting on baseball, according to ESPN.

“I am appealing Major League Baseball’s decision that I should be disciplined for violating sports betting rules. It would not be appropriate for me to discuss the matter while my appeal is pending,” Horberg said in a statement after the announcement. “That said, I have dedicated my entire adult life to the profession of umpiring, and the integrity of baseball is of the utmost importance to me. I look forward to the appeal process and am grateful to the Major League Baseball Umpires Association for their support in my appeal.”

MLB imposes a life ban on players who bet on games they are involved in, and a one-year ban on games they were not involved in.

Umpire Pat Horberg watches a game between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs at Target Field on May 12, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

MLB umpire Pat Horberg watches the Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago Cubs game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 12, 2023. (Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Horberg was just lauded for pitching a perfect game in Game 2 of the 2022 World Series, correctly calling 129 of 129 pitches.

The umpire has not made a call in any game this season.

The announcement of Horberg’s punishment came just weeks after the league on June 4 banned San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano for life for betting on games he played as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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