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By Murray Chass

March 24, 2019

When legal betting on professional sports first penetrated the realm of possibility, Major League Baseball was firmly opposed to the idea. The National Basketball Association lobbied aggressively for legal sports betting, but baseball remained silent. Belatedly, spurred by the N.B.A., baseball cautiously dipped its toe into the gambling water to take its temperature. Now baseball has catapulted 180 degrees from its original position and is pandering to bettors.

Baseball in bed with gamblers? Say it ain’t so, Shoeless Joe.

But where there’s money, there’s baseball.

Earlier this winter baseball notified clubs about a new requirement this year. They will have to submit their starting lineups for that day’s game no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled game time.

Explaining the new requirement, officials have said the aim is to protect the integrity of the game. They don’t want, for example, a clubhouse kid noticing a player limping in the clubhouse and calling a bookie to tell him about the injury.

But didn’t M.L.B. deal with that potential problem in 1920, after the 1919 Black Sox scandal, when it named a commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis? Wasn’t that all about …

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By Marty Noble

March 17, 2019

Dementia. Damn it!

Sad to say I saw it coming. And I hardly was the only one. At the very least, I had disturbing suspicions, some from four and five years ago.

But now this episode in the life of Tom Seaver comes with a diagnosis, an unsettling one and a future for a most accomplished former athlete that no one wants to contemplate.

Now it seems official. As a result, it also sounds more ominous. And it feels worse than it sounds for those of us who have known Seaver for decades.

Now, the diagnosis has removed whatever hopes we’ve had for him and prompted us to suspect that the worst case scenario is unfolding. How bad is it?

We know he won’t participate in …

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By Murray Chass

March 10, 2019

On the second day of 1977 Bowie Kuhn, then the commissioner of Major League Baseball, levied a one-year suspension against Ted Turner, the irrepressible owner of the Atlanta Braves. Earlier Kuhn fined Turner and the Braves $10,000. Kuhn had found Turner guilty of tampering with a free agent, Gary Matthews, before he became a free agent. At a World Series cocktail party, Turner had told Bob Lurie, owner of the San Francisco Giants, for whom Matthews had played, that he, Turner, would get Matthews no matter what Lurie offered to pay him.

“I’m thankful he didn’t order me …

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