Red Sox 18-1 to win 2016 World Series


Before fantasy sports, there was really old school gambling and it does still exist. As quaint as stepping into the Golden Gate Casino on Freemont Street. In fact, if you go back far enough as I do, you can remember the gamblers section at Fenway Park back when few fans even bothered to show up. I would sit and watch the clandestine operation as various “Pug Uglies” would use a variety of hand signals and gestures to wager on virtually every pitch.

Gambling is nothing new to baseball as one can just Google Pete Rose for a more modern version, but if you drifted back to the very beginnings of baseball the phrase “The fix is in” could apply to many contests. Baseball was not viewed by many as a pastoral sport, but one of alcohol and gambling.

Ban Johnson, founder of the American League, had the firm desire to make the sport as clean as possible. To sanitize the new league and remove any connections to the more odorous connections to gambling. For many observers baseball was about as real as the WWE is today.

Injuries of star players often had a tint of suspicion about them. The idea of quick money was an enticing attraction to players who often had questionable backgrounds and owners who displayed the parsimony of Scrooge McDuck.

"“They didn’t rush at the players or umpires. Instead of fighting, the mob simply surged out upon the field … and stood around.” – Chicago Tribune"

One incident of little note in Red Sox history is the Gamblers Riot of 1917. This is an incident that I had come across many years ago and found a rather intriguing bit of Red Sox history and the morals that existed in professional baseball. The riot is detailed in this article with the summarization that the police on horseback, eventually had to be summoned to restore order.

A great place to stay for a visit to Fenway Park is the Buckminster Hotel that is within a two-minute walk to the park. You can also get a room that has a view of Fenway and you can admire a plaque dedicated to the hotel as the location where the Black Sox Scandal was concocted.

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Now baseball and other sports have returned to those glory days of the past. With Fan Duel and Draft Kings you can get your gamble on with a legit connection to Major League Baseball and toss in the Massachusetts Lottery – which is a Red Sox sponsor. Oh well.

So back to old school.

Many Las Vegas sites are popping out of the dark to lay out the odds for the Red Sox to be in the World Series. What I found fascinating is one has the Red Sox at 18-1 or the same as the Royals as in World Series Champion Royals. Now that can either be construed as some confidence that DD will not be rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic. The other side of the betting coin is the Rodney Dangerfield “respect” quotient the Royals are receiving.

Another site shows a wee bit more faith in the Royals by placing them at 12-1 or just behind the Chicago Cubs at 11-1. The Red Sox are 20-1 on that list – just a notch below the Yankees at 18-1.

The odds will change almost daily. If the Red Sox manage to lose some luggage – Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez being such baggage – you could see them move up. A delivery of an ace could further enhance those positive odds. But if you gamble just lay your money down now while you can get 20-1.