MLB umpire Pat Hoberg Apr 30, 2023; Mexico City, Mexico; Home plate umpire Pat Hoberg (31) calls an out in the fifth inning during a MLB World Tour game between the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball has had its fair share of gambling controversies in past months with the likes of David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani via his former interpreter being investigated for illegal bookie wagers. And on Friday, a bombshell dropped about another gambling investigation involving MLB umpire Pat Hoberg.

The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal broke the news on X, formerly known as Twitter.

According to Rosenthal, Hoberg violated the MLB’s gambling policies during this year’s Spring Training. An investigation then commenced into Hoberg’s gambling activities. He was subsequently removed from his duties as an MLB umpire and has not yet worked a game in this year’s regular season thus far.

MLB issued a statement on the matter, claiming that the investigation found that none of the games Hoberg worked on were “compromised or manipulated” by his gambling violations.

“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 said in a statement issued to The Athletic. “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.”

Hoberg will appeal the MLB’s decision that bars him from working games, which MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will hear.

This kind of development certainly makes you wonder whether Hoberg’s gambling violations go back further than just Spring Training. Particularly because he has been a full-time major-league ump since 2017 and started umpiring professionally in the minor leagues in 2009.

There will surely be more information that develops about this situation in the coming weeks and months. But for the time being, this certainly isn’t a good look for the MLB, especially considering how big of an impact umpires have on any given game.

This is also another argument for potentially swapping out human umpires in favor of robot umpires, a possibility that has only grown in popularity in recent years amongst baseball fans.

The Athletic reached out to Hoberg, who could not immediately be reached by phone or email to give an official statement on the decision of the MLB.

[The Athletic]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.