Charlie Samuels has been fired by the New York Mets. He was the 27 year manager for the team and has been let go for illegal gambling. Apparently he bet on NFL games and he’s being looked at for possibly using club funds to bet.
On the surface this really doesn’t seem like much but it always goes much deeper. This will be much worse if they find out Samuels bet on baseball. While it is still done, baseball is not the most popular game to bet on but this is in New York and there may be more of a market there. Major league teams prohibit illegal gambling to protect the integrity of the game. Even though Charlie didn’t bet on baseball, he appears to have a problem if it warranted an investigation. There’s a good chance that he owed money to a bookie and he either stole club funds to pay his debt, or he was in the perfect position to provide information to a bookie about the Mets to affect the gambling line and make more money for a bookie. When you deal with a bookie, he may come across as a decent person but he is still a criminal and his bosses get dirtier the higher up you go.
Everybody should be worried about illegal sport betting. If you are a sport fanatic, you should want the contest you’re watching to be pure competition. It should not be affected by an athlete who is keeping the score within a certain area so the spread can be favorable to the criminals that got to him. Athletes, especially in college, need to avoid gambling for their years at school as an athlete. Right now the NCAA has a somewhat lax view if an athlete is caught in a illegal poker game.
I met Michael Franzese at a training a couple of years ago. He used to be a Capo in the Columbo family before he walked away after serving time in federal prison. He told me he would target athletes at poker games and when they ran out of money, he would loan them money. Well the money added up and they could rarely pay back the whole amount, so now they owed him money and favors. He would get the athletes to provide information on the teams they were on and control the score when they were playing. There went the integrity of the game. If that contest you are watching is being controlled by the mob, you might as well be watching a staged wrestling match. The purity of the game is lost when illegal bookies are involved. Bravo for NYPD for investigating this in a city where the politicians care little but rely heavily on organized crime.