Hit the showers for good…. Major League Baseball has slapped a lifetime ban on San Diego infielder Tucupita Marcano for violating its betting rules and policies. Four other players got one-year suspensions for gambling-related violations.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the punishments were levied to uphold “the most important priority: protecting the integrity of our games for the fans.” How noble!

He noted that since the Supreme Court “opened the door to legalized sports betting, we have worked with licensed sports betting operators and other third parties to put ourselves in a better position from an integrity perspective through the transparency that a regulated sports betting system can provide.”

That’s the problem. MLB didn’t just work with legalized sports betting, it jumped into bed with them.

The MLB website that has Manfred’s high-handed statement also features a “Beat the Streak” competition with a grand prize of $5.6M. It is presented by BetMGM.

Major League ballparks are awash with ads from sports betting operators, as are broadcasts of the games.

Manfred noted that none of the suspended players bet on games that they played in, or traded in inside information.

But what does that matter?

Marcano made 231 baseball bets. Twenty five of them were on Pittsburgh Pirates’ games, when he was on that team. He was on the injured list when he placed those bets.

A bet is a bet is a bet. A player on the injured list can get the same locker room dope about who is up or down as easily as an active player.

It’s a safe bet there will be more betting scandals to tarnish the reputation of MLB. Manfred needs to keep his “integrity of the game” statement handy.

Still battling "wokeness." Florida governor Ron DeSantis had hoped that his campaign against wokeness would be his ticket to the White House. But Republican primary voters gave a big thumbs-down to the governor, who then high-tailed it back to Tallahassee.

DeSantis through is still flogging that dead woke horse.

As part of what he calls “Freedom Summer,” DeSantis has mandated that all bridges in Florida use the colors red, white and blue, if they want to be lit up at night.

That means there will be no rainbow-lit bridges to honor Pride Month. And forget about the red, black and green colors to celebrate Juneteenth.

In DeSantis’ Florida freedom doesn’t ring true for all. It is limited to those who share his narrow world view.

The governor’s first-in-freedom nonsense meets its match in North Carolina.

The Tarheel State’s Dept. of Motor Vehicles offers "First in Freedom" license plates as a no-cost alternative to the long-running “First in Flight” design.

The First in Freedom slogan honors North Carolina’s signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence on May 20, 1775, and the Halifax Resolves on April 12, 1776.

Those two events are considered as the first steps toward independence from Great Britain during the early stages of the American Revolution.

Florida was nothing but swampland when North Carolina patriots were breaking ties with the Mother Country.

DeSantis’ focus on wokeness sounds like a broken record. If the governor wants to stay relevant on the national stage, he needs a new act.

The injustice of it all. Some customers of the former First Republic Bank are not pleased with the service they are receiving under FRB’s new owner, JPMorganChase, which bailed out the San Francisco-based bank.

And some snoots are downright apoplectic about the account switch-a-roo.

Here is what Silicon Valley tech big shot Pieter Nel told the Wall Street Journal:

“We were all used to legendary service and dedicated bankers. Folks like me generally fly business class, stay in four- or five-star hotels, and are used to a level of service in every other aspect of our lives—except not with banking now that First Republic is gone.”

Pieter needs to put things into perspective. Two-thirds of FRB accounts had balances of more than $250K, which were uninsured. The run on the bank put the life savings of many customers (but certainly not Nel) at risk. The Feds seized the bank and ironed out a deal with Chase. Pieter should be thankful that Chase rescued the fortunes of many of his colleagues.

Personally, I’m a fan of Chase because of the quality of the free pens that are available at the branches.

They are a lot better than the ones at TD Bank, which probably doesn’t do any business with Nel.