Former minor leaguer Peter Bayer claims he is being unfairly penalized by MLB for betting on baseball in the 2020 season.

Former minor league pitcher Peter Byer has loved the game of baseball all his life.

And now all he wants is to return to the sport.

Bayer finds itself in an awkward position in which the growing world of sports betting and the gray area surrounding it are intertwined.

For the second year in a row Major League Baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred placed Bayer on the league’s list of ineligible players. His crime? Bet online on baseball when he was a Minor League Baseball player in 2020. However, there was no MiLB season that year; it was canceled due to the pandemic.


In his spare time and without a contract, Breuer admitted to making several sports bets; The MLB rulebook states that Bayer should have been suspended for only one year.

So why hasn’t he been able to play baseball for three years now?

A general view of the Draftkings Sportsbook sign in right field during a Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2022 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A general view of the Draftkings Sportsbook sign in right field during a Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2022 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Rich Grassle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bayer believes this may be due to the fact that he actively opposed the league and some teams for refusing to pay or cut minor league salaries. He was the main supporter of MiLB, which eventually became a union last year, something MLB has been fighting against for years.

Can Manfred and baseball use Bayer as an example for others? They allege that Bayer has done more than just sports betting by issuing a statement that is vague about “other misconduct.”

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball continues its massive hundreds of millions of dollars of partnerships with online bookmakers.

In an interview with OutKick, Bayer explained his embarrassing situation, which could serve as a warning to other athletes, possibly at his own expense.


In 2020, Peter Bayer was signed to a minor league baseball starter Oakland Athletics High A team. It seemed that Bayer were on track to get a double five this season.

However, there was no season that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. After all, Major League Baseball had a shortened season that began on July 23 with a total of 60 games followed by the playoffs. Little League Baseball has never been played.

Bayer says that when Minor League Baseball canceled the season, all the players received letters saying their contracts had been suspended.


Not only were all MiLB contracts suspended in March 2020, the Athletics were one of the few teams to announce that they won’t pay their minor league players after May 31.

“Unfortunately, given all the circumstances affecting the organization at this time, we have decided not to renew your $400 weekly stipend after May 31st,” according to an email sent by General Manager David Forst at the time. “This has been a difficult decision and comes at a time when a number of our full-time employees are also either leaving or facing pay cuts for the remainder of the season. I regret all this. .”

Bayer was a player who actively spoke out Against this.

(Just a few weeks later, Athletics owner John Fischer reversed his position and agreed to pay minor league players after public outcry, including from players like Bayer. Fischer stands estimated at $2.2 billion.)


Players are taken to the Caesars Sports bookmaker at the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino to watch and bet on the Kansas City Chiefs vs.  Philadelphia Eagles matches in NFL Super Bowl LVII (which takes place in Glendale, Arizona) 12 February 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Players are flocking to the Caesars Sports Book at the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino to watch and bet on the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles in NFL Super Bowl LVII (which takes place in Glendale, Arizona) on February 12, 2023. Las Vegas, Nevada. (George Rose/Getty Images)

A 2020 sports illustrations story it is documented that Bayer had to take several odd jobs, including being a DoorDash delivery driver, just to try and earn extra income. He estimates that in 2019 he earned about $1,500 before taxes by playing the entire season in High-A.

It is important to note that during this time, Bayer and the players were receiving unemployment benefits because they did not have a contract. He also received no health benefits from the league. Apparently, he was fired or sent on unpaid leave.

“We received an email from MLB saying that all minor league contracts are on hold. So I figured I could bet on baseball on FanDuel and DraftKings.” He says he bet on about 30-40 different baseball games during July and August. (MLB officially began the shortened season in July).

He lives in Colorado, where online sports betting officially opened on May 1, 2020.

In October, the Athletics officially released Bayer as part of an expected Covid-related restructuring.

Cincinnati Reds signed with Bayer just a few months later in January 2021, but was soon contacted by MLB that he would be under investigation for his sports betting.

Bayer believes that because he was essentially an ordinary citizen – no contract, no benefits, and no job – he should not continue to be penalized for his sports betting beyond what MLB rule says.


Weeks after the Reds signed with Bayer, the Colorado Gaming Commission “tagged” Bayer’s name and briefed Major League Baseball on his previous betting activity from the summer before it ended in August. . Bayer was told by MLB and the commissioner’s office that he was under investigation.

They first placed him on a “restricted/investigation list” preventing him from signing or becoming part of any MLB organization in 2021. He was able to re-apply after the subsequent World Series that same year.

MLB then placed him on the “ineligible list”, which again prevented him from playing baseball in any capacity for the 2022 season.

Then, three weeks ago, Commissioner Manfred put him on the ineligible list again, making Bayer not allowed to play baseball for 3 seasons.


Under MLB’s own rules, it appears that Bayer should have been placed on the ineligible list for only one year, not the two-plus that is already happening.

Major League Baseball Rule 21(D) states that:

“Any player, referee, official or employee of a Club or League who is required to wager any amount on
any baseball game in connection with which the player is not required to perform his duties is called
disqualified for one year.


MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

A statement from MLB and the commissioner’s office said: “After a thorough investigation, it has been determined that Mr. Bayer has repeatedly wagered on baseball in violation of Major League Rule 21 and MLB’s sports betting policy, and engaged in other illegal activities not authorized by law. . the best interests of baseball. Therefore, he was placed on the ineligible list, where he remains.”

The “in other misdeeds” part is interesting.

OutKick reviewed a letter first received Athletic sent to Bayer from Commissioner Manfred on April 11, 2022, alleging that in addition to the sports betting allegations, Bayer threatened the state gambling regulator that it would “report it to the media” and also allegedly refused to bet in MLB. Executive Bayer admitted to OutKick that he wrote an email to the regulator implying he would escalate the situation by reporting it to the press, but denied threatening him. He also says he never lied to an MLB executive – in fact, he says he did the opposite. Bayer said he admitted to management in an email that he made the bet during that suspended season and apologized for the “mistake” he made.

After receiving the April 11 letter from MLB, Bayer and his lawyer met with Major League Baseball several times via Zoom to clear up some of the alleged wrongdoing. Bayer said that in regards to the sports betting situation, MLB did not disclose to him and his attorney information about their wagering requirements. [MLB claims Bayer wagered 100’s of bets, which Bayer denies. There also is a dispute over how much was wagered. Bayer and his attorney asked MLB to provide this evidence, which they never did.]

Interestingly, when the Commissioner finally released the official decision of inadmissibility to Bayer two weeks later on April 25, it did not mention any of the individual allegations, but rather made the “other misconduct” more vague and broad.

That’s where Bayer has a problem. He believes that “other misconduct” is now based on MLB trying to set an example for him due to his vocal criticism trying to get more rights for MiLB players and eventually the union. OutKick contacted MLB several times but received no response.


“I was at the forefront, at the forefront of it all [more player’s rights] for years. I was working with MiLB defenders who were eventually able to get the MLBPA to represent MiLB athletes in the Players Association,” Bayer told OutKick.

And it worked. After Bayer and others began to draw more attention to the MLB call-up, the league gave minor league pay raises in 2021 and Class A players received almost Weekly raise $200.

In 2022 Major League Baseball Players Association officially unionized Minor league baseball players, that’s what Bayer fought for.

He says he is now paying the price for not being allowed to return to baseball despite serving his sentence under the official rulebook.

“What I did probably gave them a reason to say, ‘We’ve had enough of this guy…’ because, frankly, they can do whatever they want,” Bayer said.



Bayer said he fully understood and had no objection to the one-year ban. “I told them if that’s what the paragraph says I’ll be serving a one year suspension, which is how it happened. To [NFL player] Calvin Ridley.”

He also pleaded guilty to not fully understanding the full meaning of the unusual once-in-a-lifetime scenario when MiLB cancels an entire season.

“But now they won’t let me back in the game,” Bayer explained.

Now he is fighting for his reputation and somehow getting back into the sport in some capacity, even if he is not an active player.

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