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Torii Hunter Breaks MLB rule, out for 3 years?


bucskick20

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Maybe a thank-you note would have sufficed.

Torii Hunter's gift of expensive champagne to the Kansas City Royals has the Minnesota Twins outfielder in some bubble trouble.

Hunter's gift of four bottles of Dom Perignon, which he had delivered to the Royals clubhouse this past weekend, was meant as a reward for the Royals sweeping the Detroit Tigers last September, allowing the Twins to come from behind to win the American League Central. The gift fulfilled a promise Hunter made last fall.

But baseball has rules about this sort of thing.

Namely, rule 21-b, which proclaims "Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered ... in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club ... shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years."

And after "The Cheater's Guide to Baseball Blog" reported the violation, the Twins got a phone call from the commissioner's office about the proffered bubbly. And the Twins found themselves in an awkward position -- having to call the Royals to ask that the champagne be returned.

Luckily, the Royals hadn't popped the corks yet.

Hunter said he wasn't aware of the rule. "I do good things," he said, according to the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis. "If you want to make a good thing into a bad thing, then so be it."

Twins GM Terry Ryan wasn't aware of it either.

"I'm to blame as much as anybody because I didn't know the rule," Ryan said, according to the Star Tribune. "We'll end up righting the wrong. We've already contacted the Royals. They're going to return the goods, and hopefully that'll be the end of it."

Ryan called Hunter's gesture "an honest mistake," according to the Star-Tribune. But he acknowledged that the rule is designed to avoid any tampering between teams and that Major League Baseball isn't about to let that slide with a slap on the wrist for Hunter and the Royals.

"Integrity of the game; it's as simple as that," Ryan said, according to the newspaper. "This is an honest, trivial exchange, but it could grow into something different if you let it get away."

Ryan said he didn't anticipate punishment.

The rule is posted inside the Twins' clubhouse, but Hunter said Tuesday that he didn't know about it until this week. The MLB public relations office had no comment Tuesday, because officials were still gathering information.

Do you think 3 years is just? I don't, a slap on the rist would be enough

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You have got to be kidding me. Hunter had no idea about this rule I am waging to bet, and its not hurting the integrity of the game, a slap on the wrist and a further warning for the future is enough, MLB better not suspend him, I mean they go after Torrii Hunter but Bonds gets celebrated that would be so wrong.

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I think it'd be incredibly messed up to give Hunter a 3 year ban, but at the same time, this wasn't just some dumb rule put into the books.

It had very strong reasoning at the time, and still does. But I don't feel like this incident will lead to others, so I think that is what they need to judge on.

From The Cheater's Guide to Baseball Blog (the source that first broke this I believe), here's why the rule exists.

When teams made friendly bets on who would win a series, it was mostly innocuous, but it was in these same kind of bets and payoffs that some of the worst cheating was forged. By paying off another team to take out a divisional opponent, teams affected the strategies used and tampered with the game?s outcome: if there?s a large monetary reward to beat the team you?re playing today, there?s a huge incentive to do everything you can, even if it means you?ll be much worse off when you face the next team.

Those kind of bets and payoffs led to the constant noise in baseball up to the Black Sox scandal, when many division races were affected (or just as damningly, from a public perspective, rumored to be affected) by one competitor paying a third team, out of the race, to beat their rivals for the pennant. It wasn?t far from paying a team to beat another to paying them to lose to you, and when teams were taking money coming and going from outside sources in other teams, it wasn?t a big jump to take money from gamblers and other interested parties?

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The Champagne was returned (or at least the same amount of the same type was). I doubt MLB will suspend Hunter for 3 years when the gift had been re-payed (thus making the Royals receive nothing in the end). Baseball is not going to suspend one of it's biggest stars for something as trivial as this.

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The Champagne was returned (or at least the same amount of the same type was). I doubt MLB will suspend Hunter for 3 years when the gift had been re-payed (thus making the Royals receive nothing in the end). Baseball is not going to suspend one of it's biggest stars for something as trivial as this.

I don't think they'd suspend anyone for this, although I don't think it should matter whether it was returned or not. The Royal were offered this prize for winning games, they won games, they recieved the prize. I really don't think it ought to matter that they gave it back.

What should matter is that, like you said, this is trivial.

The rule is there for a reason though, and they should use this opportunity to bring a greater presence to the rule (but not by making any example out of Hunter).

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The Champagne was returned (or at least the same amount of the same type was). I doubt MLB will suspend Hunter for 3 years when the gift had been re-payed (thus making the Royals receive nothing in the end). Baseball is not going to suspend one of it's biggest stars for something as trivial as this.

I don't think they'd suspend anyone for this, although I don't think it should matter whether it was returned or not. The Royal were offered this prize for winning games, they won games, they recieved the prize. I really don't think it ought to matter that they gave it back.

What should matter is that, like you said, this is trivial.

The rule is there for a reason though, and they should use this opportunity to bring a greater presence to the rule (but not by making any example out of Hunter).

Wrong.

The Royals were offered this prize because they won games. Hunter (I assume) didn't propose this offer to the Royals before that series was played.

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The Champagne was returned (or at least the same amount of the same type was). I doubt MLB will suspend Hunter for 3 years when the gift had been re-payed (thus making the Royals receive nothing in the end). Baseball is not going to suspend one of it's biggest stars for something as trivial as this.

I don't think they'd suspend anyone for this, although I don't think it should matter whether it was returned or not. The Royal were offered this prize for winning games, they won games, they recieved the prize. I really don't think it ought to matter that they gave it back.

What should matter is that, like you said, this is trivial.

The rule is there for a reason though, and they should use this opportunity to bring a greater presence to the rule (but not by making any example out of Hunter).

Wrong.

The Royals were offered this prize because they won games. Hunter (I assume) didn't propose this offer to the Royals before that series was played.

Good call, I read it wrong. It's still a violation of the rule, but makes it even more of a trivial one.

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As a Twins fan I will be irate if Hunter gets even the rest of the year (his last as a Twin, presumably) because I know that DJ would never get it.

The move was obviously spontaneous and after-the-fact and there was no intent to do anything to hurt the integrity of the game. On the other hand, the rule makes sense and I think MLB needs to make clear that this cannot occur. I think they need to give him something, even if it's only five games.

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As a Twins fan I will be irate if Hunter gets even the rest of the year (his last as a Twin, presumably) because I know that DJ would never get it.

The move was obviously spontaneous and after-the-fact and there was no intent to do anything to hurt the integrity of the game. On the other hand, the rule makes sense and I think MLB needs to make clear that this cannot occur. I think they need to give him something, even if it's only five games.

I don't even think they'll get that really.

A fine would be alright.

They need to have SOME punishment just to enforce the rule, and then they need to better publicize the rule.

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If you rob a bank/murder someone/get a DUI and say that you didn't know it was a crime, you would still get the penalty. Torii's a dumb :censored: for doing this. By rule, should they punish him? Absolutely. Would I like to see him punished? I couldn't care less, but if he was I wouldn't have a problem with it because he did violate the rules. If he is given a pass on this one MLB should make it a point that MLB players know ALL the rules and angles of the game, on and off the field. You can't have crap like this going on. I don't have any pity for Mr. Hunter here. He should know every rule and regulation at his workplace that he has to abide by. At my job, I know I do.

-E.A.R.

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From Yahoo! Sports' MLB page:

If Major League Baseball is going to take a hard stance on Torii Hunter's champagne gift to the Kansas City Royals, it really ought to take another look at the A.J. Pierzynski trade that brought Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser.
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If you rob a bank/murder someone/get a DUI and say that you didn't know it was a crime, you would still get the penalty. Torii's a dumb :censored: for doing this. By rule, should they punish him? Absolutely. Would I like to see him punished? I couldn't care less, but if he was I wouldn't have a problem with it because he did violate the rules. If he is given a pass on this one MLB should make it a point that MLB players know ALL the rules and angles of the game, on and off the field. You can't have crap like this going on. I don't have any pity for Mr. Hunter here. He should know every rule and regulation at his workplace that he has to abide by. At my job, I know I do.

-E.A.R.

Crap like this? Crap like this is the problem? Steroids, that one we'll let slide. Torii Hunter giving the Royals some champagne? That's a serious offense.

The fact that some blogger can find a random rule that a player (and I would assume almost every player/manager/gm/owner in all of baseball) didn't know existed and that influences this guy's career? That's ridiculous.

Remember a couple years ago where some guy sitting on his couch noticed a golfer perform an illegal tap-in and called the PGA who I believe disqualified the guy? People like this are ridiculous and should have no bearing on the decision making of major sports.

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If you rob a bank/murder someone/get a DUI and say that you didn't know it was a crime, you would still get the penalty. Torii's a dumb :censored: for doing this. By rule, should they punish him? Absolutely. Would I like to see him punished? I couldn't care less, but if he was I wouldn't have a problem with it because he did violate the rules. If he is given a pass on this one MLB should make it a point that MLB players know ALL the rules and angles of the game, on and off the field. You can't have crap like this going on. I don't have any pity for Mr. Hunter here. He should know every rule and regulation at his workplace that he has to abide by. At my job, I know I do.

-E.A.R.

Crap like this? Crap like this is the problem? Steroids, that one we'll let slide. Torii Hunter giving the Royals some champagne? That's a serious offense.

The fact that some blogger can find a random rule that a player (and I would assume almost every player/manager/gm/owner in all of baseball) didn't know existed and that influences this guy's career? That's ridiculous.

Remember a couple years ago where some guy sitting on his couch noticed a golfer perform an illegal tap-in and called the PGA who I believe disqualified the guy? People like this are ridiculous and should have no bearing on the decision making of major sports.

Well, it IS a serious rule, and it IS posted outside clubhouses with the other gambling rules.

But, still, in this case, it is trivial crap.

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From Yahoo! Sports' MLB page:

If Major League Baseball is going to take a hard stance on Torii Hunter's champagne gift to the Kansas City Royals, it really ought to take another look at the A.J. Pierzynski trade that brought Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser.

Fu*king Giants <_<

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If you rob a bank/murder someone/get a DUI and say that you didn't know it was a crime, you would still get the penalty. Torii's a dumb :censored: for doing this. By rule, should they punish him? Absolutely. Would I like to see him punished? I couldn't care less, but if he was I wouldn't have a problem with it because he did violate the rules. If he is given a pass on this one MLB should make it a point that MLB players know ALL the rules and angles of the game, on and off the field. You can't have crap like this going on. I don't have any pity for Mr. Hunter here. He should know every rule and regulation at his workplace that he has to abide by. At my job, I know I do.

-E.A.R.

Crap like this? Crap like this is the problem? Steroids, that one we'll let slide. Torii Hunter giving the Royals some champagne? That's a serious offense.

The fact that some blogger can find a random rule that a player (and I would assume almost every player/manager/gm/owner in all of baseball) didn't know existed and that influences this guy's career? That's ridiculous.

Remember a couple years ago where some guy sitting on his couch noticed a golfer perform an illegal tap-in and called the PGA who I believe disqualified the guy? People like this are ridiculous and should have no bearing on the decision making of major sports.

I never mentioned steroids in my post, jman, but in that sense, you are right that steroids are the bigger problem in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps I should have bashed Bonds in this thread, which has nothing to do with him by the way (and look, I dislike Bonds as much as anybody else for the way he acts. I also hope that he never breaks Aaron's record and that he gets caught for being on the 'roids, but tearing him up in conversations that don't mention his name isn't really necessary) to appease all the Bonds haters. So a random blogger found this rule and pointed it out to MLB. I'd say the ridiculous part is that someone not even associated with MLB has to notify them of rules that are being broken. I mean MLB should be smart enough to figure this stuff out on their own without the aid of those who don't work for them. I don't know, ditching Selig would probably alleviate that problem, but it's just a hunch. If Hunter doesn't put himself in a sketchy situation by sending bottles of champagne to the Royals, then this isn't even a problem. This blogger isn't influencing Hunter's career as much as Hunter is influencing his own career. Hunter made the decision to send champagne to the Royals, and this blogger made the decision to point the breaking of this rule out to MLB. Hunter didn't know that he was breaking the rules (he says, which I'd be more apt to believe compared to my next point.) Compare that to Gary Sheffield who didn't know that the product he took was steroids. Though he wasn't (beacause at the time I don't believe the steroid policy that is in effect was in effect then,) if Sheffield or anyone else for that matter made the comments that they didn't know they were taking steroids nowadays be banned for their naiveness? If your answer would be no for this question, I'd call you a hypocrite. Now, I'd be more willing to give Hunter a pass on this as opposed to someone who "didn't know they were taking steroids" but rules are rules. You need to enforce them. I know MLB doesn't, as with the steroids for example (in your's and my post) but the fact is, they should.

-E.A.R.

If you rob a bank/murder someone/get a DUI and say that you didn't know it was a crime, you would still get the penalty. Torii's a dumb :censored: for doing this. By rule, should they punish him? Absolutely. Would I like to see him punished? I couldn't care less, but if he was I wouldn't have a problem with it because he did violate the rules. If he is given a pass on this one MLB should make it a point that MLB players know ALL the rules and angles of the game, on and off the field. You can't have crap like this going on. I don't have any pity for Mr. Hunter here. He should know every rule and regulation at his workplace that he has to abide by. At my job, I know I do.

Crap like this? Crap like this is the problem? Steroids, that one we'll let slide. Torii Hunter giving the Royals some champagne? That's a serious offense.

The fact that some blogger can find a random rule that a player (and I would assume almost every player/manager/gm/owner in all of baseball) didn't know existed and that influences this guy's career? That's ridiculous.

Remember a couple years ago where some guy sitting on his couch noticed a golfer perform an illegal tap-in and called the PGA who I believe disqualified the guy? People like this are ridiculous and should have no bearing on the decision making of major sports.

Well, it IS a serious rule, and it IS posted outside clubhouses with the other gambling rules.

But, still, in this case, it is trivial crap.

If that is true, STL Fanatic, then all the more reason to enforce this rule on Hunter. 3 year suspension, 2 year, 1, a few months, a few games, whatever. The point is that this rule should be enforced somehow. Heck, you even said that in one of your posts. If you aren't going to punish him (not even a little) then why even have this rule.

-E.A.R.

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This rule may have meant something 100 years ago, when even offering someone an extra $100 to win a game meant that they'd consider plotting a murder against the opposing pitcher, since that $100 would feed their family for a decade (exaggeration, I know.)

Nowadays with all the money these guys make, how big of a bounty would someone have to offer to seriously affect the way any game is played? A million? Two million? I'm not sure it is even possible.

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Nowadays with all the money these guys make, how big of a bounty would someone have to offer to seriously affect the way any game is played? A million? Two million? I'm not sure it is even possible.

You probably couldn't buy off Manny or A-Rod, but those guys make more during one game than a Sept call-up makes all season. If the Cubs were out of the race in Sep (a wild concept, I know), maybe one of their youngsters would spike Albert Pujols to help another team catch the Cards in the standings.

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This is the best Bud Selig can come up with in response to the NFL fining Urlacher $100 grand for wearing a vitaminwater hat to a Super Bowl press conference in the eternal game of "Who can be more irrational?"

Seriously, let's look at the situation. Torii Hunter said he was going to buy the Royals a case of champagne for winning games they already played to get the Twins the division crown. He wasn't bribing anybody, and he was speaking from the exuberance of snatching the AL Central at the very last moment, under improbable circumstances.

To even threaten him for making good on his public declaration with 3 years is asinine. It won't happen, and it will make Bud look like a(n even bigger) jackass. His game is rife with people abusing drugs of all kinds, but he's carcking down on an All-Star with a solid reputation for celebrating a win. Sheesh.

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Nowadays with all the money these guys make, how big of a bounty would someone have to offer to seriously affect the way any game is played? A million? Two million? I'm not sure it is even possible.

You probably couldn't buy off Manny or A-Rod, but those guys make more during one game than a Sept call-up makes all season. If the Cubs were out of the race in Sep (a wild concept, I know), maybe one of their youngsters would spike Albert Pujols to help another team catch the Cards in the standings.

Because then the Cubs' meal ticket (Soriano, someone else, I don't know, their best player though) would get either plunked, spiked, or some combination thereof. LaRussa's fairly draconian in that regard.

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