PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – A report has surfaced of a small-time sports handicapper claiming that he, in connection with Pirates Starting Pitcher Jeff Locke, had been fixing games.
The full report on Sports Illustrated says Locke was cleared of any connection to the handicapper who made these accusations.
The co-author of this story, Lance Williams joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about his report and why the claims made by the handicapper were completely false.
“Brian Tuohy, who is a freelance writer, brought in a tip that a gamble — and we didn’t even know his name — was claiming to fix Pirates games,” Williams said. “He claimed to be best friends with Jeff Locke and claimed they had fixed a game together. Of course the truth was there was no fixed game. What there was, was bad blood over a social media insult the young gambler, who we identified as a guy called Kris Barr who lives in Arizona, had been a little league teammate with Jeff Locke back home in New Hampshire. When he reached out to him on Facebook, after Jeff was a pro player, he felt disrespected and he did the fixed game hoax to get even. And that’s all it was.”
Williams says the claims that were made against Locke were originally believed by Major League Baseball and they took the allegations very seriously.
“What made it look real to them was two things,” Williams said. “First, the kid picked five straight starts of Jeff Locke’s accurately, four losses and then a win, this was at the tail end of the 2012 season, so that was interesting. The other thing that made it interesting was there was some kind of relationship there. What it turned out to be was as I say, a social media insult and a guy trying to get even for that. Locke didn’t do anything to fix games or throw games or collude with this guy at all, and the guy says that when you talk to him. It was just a personal issue that got way out of hand.”
Click the audio link below to hear more about how often stories like this pop up in professional sports.