Gambling on the Game: Losing to Win (or not)

1156 Words Jun 16th, 2018 5 Pages
The 1919 fix of the World Series by the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds was one of the most infamous events in the history of American sport. Though it was not the first (nor was it likely the last) fix in the game’s history, it had a far greater negative impact on the game’s perception throughout America than any other preceding or proceeding fix. Americans were forced to come to grips that their game—America’s game—was flawed, and that its reputation had been compromised by a few people chasing the almighty dollar. As Eliot Asinof said in a 1988 interview and as he portrayed in his Eight Men Out, however, the eight players who came together to throw the series were not out to ruin the game they loved. It was not that …show more content…
More than any other single outside force, he was the reason his players put their careers on the line. With his star players in their primes, at the height of their earning power, Commy still justified paying his best players about half of what other owners paid their top guys. Even players on teams in the league cellar were making comparable sums. When his team won the pennant in 1917, for which he had promised them a bonus, he gave them a case of champagne, and when Eddie Cicotte neared thirty victories for the season, for which he would have been due a $10,000, Comiskey sat him down to ensure he did not reach the figure. The movie represented these as occurrences from the 1919 season (and also represented the champagne as flat), and even though that was inaccurate, it still got across the point that Comiskey was unwilling to spend money to keep his pennant-winning team happy. Thus, when the opportunity came for the ballplayers nearly to double or even triple their salaries, they took advantage, especially after nearly striking for better pay in mid-season (another aspect the movie glossed over). The gamblers swooped in and did what they always did by taking advantage of others, manipulating their situation for profit. Even though these eight ballplayers were in error, their motivations for fixing the World Series were clear, and in some ways, quite logical.
Ultimately, in a tragic twist of fate, the
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