I’m not sure whether MLB umps are precluded from gambling activities that are unrelated to baseball; certainly players are permitted to participate in legal, no-baseball betting. We’ve all heard about hi-rolling athletes dropping large sums in Vegas; the press has reported on Alex Rodriguez’s poker playing in recent years. Don Zimmer made no secret of his love for the track. Joe Torre has a stake in at least one race horse; the Boss has long been involved in thoroughbred racing. Maybe it’s time baseball rethink its tolerance for gambling. High stakes gambling can lead to uncomfortable positions and unpleasant bedfellows, and there’s nothing that will undermine a sport faster than the suggestion that the games are in some way fixed. I cast no aspersions on the integrity of those mentioned here, but it’s hard not to worry that it’s only a matter of time before baseball winds up with another Pete Rose situation. And, really, doesn’t the game have enough problems?