MLB umpire Pat Hoberg disciplined for gambling violation

Fri Jun 14 8:44pm ET
Field Level Media

Umpire Pat Hoberg has been disciplined for violating Major League Baseball's gambling rules and is appealing the decision, The Athletic and ESPN reported on Friday.

Per ESPN, Hoberg -- who has not umpired a game this season -- has denied betting on baseball. MLB issued a statement but did not clarify what discipline Hoberg could face.

"During this year's Spring Training, Major League Baseball commenced an investigation regarding a potential violation of MLB's sports betting policies by Umpire Pat Hoberg," MLB's statement read. "Mr. Hoberg was removed from the field during the pendency of that investigation. While MLB's investigation did not find any evidence that games worked by Mr. Hoberg were compromised or manipulated in any way, MLB determined that discipline was warranted. Mr. Hoberg has chosen to appeal that determination. Therefore, we cannot comment further until the appeal process is concluded."

MLB would not reveal more while the appeal is pending, per The Athletic. The appeal will be heard by commissioner Rob Manfred.

Hoberg released a statement to ESPN saying in part that "it would not be appropriate" to discuss his case while his appeal is under review.

"That said, I have devoted my 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 I am grateful that the Major League Baseball Umpires Association is supporting me in the appeal," Hoberg said.

Hoberg, 37, became a professional umpire in 2019, a full-time major league ump in 2017 and worked his first World Series game in 2022, according to MLB's umpires media guide. In that World Series, he earned a perfect score in the game he served as plate umpire from tracking site

Hoberg's reported discipline comes in the wake of other gambling-related issues in baseball and other professional sports in 2024. Earlier this month, former major leaguer Tucupita Marcano was banned for life for gambling on baseball, while four other players received a one-year suspension.

Earlier this spring, Ippei Mizuhara pleaded guilty to fraud for stealing money from Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani to settle gambling debts. David Fletcher, Ohtani's former teammate with the Los Angeles Angels, is being investigated by MLB for allegedly placing wagers with an illegal bookmaker, per ESPN.

Umpires are covered by the same MLB statute that regulates player gambling, officially known as Rule 21. Those who gamble on games in which they weren't involved receive a one-year ban, but those who gamble on games they're involved are banned for life.

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