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Ohtani's interpreter fired by Dodgers after allegations of illegal gambling, theft from star

81 Comments
By STEFANIE DAZIO, RONALD BLUM and BETH HARRIS

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81 Comments
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The kid is gonna get dragged by the Japanese media. This should be fun.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

7 years of friendship only for your closest friend to have a gambling problem.

Yeah, once that kind of addiction hit you, it will completely ruin you.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Moron. He had a sweet gig guaranteed for several years!

29 ( +33 / -4 )

Major Red Flags. 

We just learned a lot about Otani’s decision-making process. 

First, he doesn’t seek advice before moving large sums of money. Second, he’s willing to become involved in his friend’s shady gambling schemes. (“Mizuhara said on Tuesday, Ohtani logged onto his own computer and sent the wire transfers under Mizuhara's supervision in installments over several months last year.”)

He’s a darn good baseball player though.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

He had his 15 minutes of fame, but it turns out Mizuhara is a very shady individual!

I just hope this doesn't affect GOATani and his preparation for the season.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Fighto!

He had his 15 minutes of fame, but it turns out Mizuhara is a very shady individual!

Ohtani and Mizuhara were together far longer than 15 minutes. Ohtani even stayed with Mizuhara after learning of the gambling scheme.

According to the LA Times, “Mizuhara has been a constant companion of the extremely private Ohtani throughout the player’s MLB career. The two typically drive to the ballpark together. Mizuhara performed grocery runs when Ohtani was injured. They are rarely seen apart around team facilities. Their wives even appeared to have struck up a relationship recently, spending time together during the team’s current trip to South Korea.”

11 ( +12 / -1 )

According to a report by ESPN, Ippei Mizuhara claims he "only" placed bets on international soccer (football), NBA basketball, NFL American football and college football; but he NEVER bet on baseball...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Gambling addiction is a horrible thing and as a matter of public policy, I think legalization of on line betting is a cancer on society (I understand that Ippei was betting with an off-line unlicensed bookie, but the point remains).

I hope (seriously doubt) that he banked his earnings because he’s never working in MLB (or in any role that involves a modicum of trust) again

Otani learns a critical lesson: When you mix friends and family with business, you frequently lose all three.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

There may be more to this than what meets the eyes. Who knows, maybe Ohtani knew of this addiction and bailed Ippei out. Lawyers have to protect their guy. Evidence of Ohtani doing this would be massive and could lead to repercussions.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Did Ippei win on his bets? That’s what I wanna know.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Aside from this, you would've thought Otani, after however many years in the US, would make some effort to speak English in interviews rather than relying on an interpreter.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

As pointed out by another poster gambling is a horrible addiction yet is sanctioned by governments who often profit by back channels.

When casinos become operational in this country we'll unfortunately see many more cases like Mizuhara's.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

It's so funny to me that commenters here, who only speak English, have no idea what it means to learn a language. It can't be done in two months the way they think it can. Even two years isn't enough. English is one of the tougher languages for most foreigners to learn.

That being said, what has Ohtani's mastery of English have to do with a story about the improprieties of his interpreter? You seem a little off topic.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Aside from this, you would've thought Otani, after however many years in the US, would make some effort to speak English in interviews rather than relying on an interpreter.

When one is as eye-wateringly wealthy as Ohtani, there is no need. He will be focused 24/7 on his baseball over the next 10 years. Simply no time or even need to learn English - devoting hundreds of hours to mastering a language would be to the detriment of his training.

Ohtani has become of the greatest players ever with little to no English. No real need to change that.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Sounds like somebody has caught the gambling bug!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Sad. That’s one habit I am glad I don’t have. He threw away a wonderful career.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

My guess is that the gambling site used AI to identify people who were (consistently) winning.

Then find some way to eliminate them, leaving only very moderate winners and losers with access to the site.

gary

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I see Mizuhara in this story. I see the gambling. I do NOT see the part about any theft from Otani.

What I see do is "social-distancing" at its finest. It looks like Mizuhara is going to be the fall guy. Otani has to claim its theft. Otherwise, he could be linked to supporting Mizuhara with his gambling debts.

It's kind of like when a woman is caught cheating. She can admit to it or she can claim it's something else that she did not agree to.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Another incentive for Ohtani to master English. From what I've seen on TV, he's already fairly well anong.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Naive from the sticks meets Shady out of left field - a bad combo. Ohtani, the country boy from Hicksville, Iwate, seems to have been blindsided by his bush league gambling guide to America who played the angles while his boss-buddy played ball. Let's hope Ohtani has learned his lesson and wises up asap to the corruptions of the greenback in the land of the free(wheeling) where playing fast and loose with the law is in a very different league than back home.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Well, I think we all knew that the interpreter wasn't fired because Shohei became proficient in English.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Japanese standards are dropping faster than the yen.....

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I just finished reading this on ESPN and wow, what a warning to all you “idiots” out there—gambling is bad—just when you think you have everything under control, that’s when you lose. A good example of how we can throw it all away… just like that.

Look at this:

[ "I'm terrible at gambling. Never going to do it again. Never won any money," Mizuhara said. "I mean, I dug myself a hole and it kept on getting bigger, and it meant I had to bet bigger to get out of it and just kept on losing. It's like a snowball effect."

After Ohtani agreed to pay the debts, Mizuhara said on Tuesday, Ohtani logged onto his own computer and sent the wire transfers under Mizuhara's supervision in installments over several months last year. They added "loan" to the description field in the transactions.

"We had to add a description for the wire,'" Mizuhara said. "I think Matt [Bowyer] might have told me to just put loan. You had to put something.”

Asked why Ohtani didn't simply give him the money instead of paying Bowyer's associate directly, Mizuhara said Ohtani didn't trust him with the money.

"He didn't want me to gamble it away," Mizuhara said.

Mizuhara said he told Ohtani he would pay him back.

When an ESPN reporter asked Ohtani's camp about the allegation from Mizuhara that Ohtani was present and helped move the funds and that he was going to be paid back, the spokesman contacted Ohtani's attorneys, who then issued the statement saying he was the victim of a "massive theft."

Mizuhara, though, Wednesday afternoon, walked back much of what he had said late Tuesday, saying Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling activities, debts or efforts to repay them.

"Obviously, this is all my fault, everything I've done," he said. "I'm ready to face all the consequences.” ]

Apparently they’re close, but not that close.

Ohtani doesn’t need Mizuhara, he’s a big boy, he’ll be fine. The whole situation is a little bit confusing but one good thing to come out of this is that now we don’t need to see that guy next to Ohtani 24/7, when we all know that Ohtani can speak English, it was actually annoying and cringy af.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I don't know why, but whenever I watched Mizuhara, I had a bad feeling about him.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Gambling adverts are rife in other sports. Many soccer teams have the names of gambling sites as their shirt sponsor. Companies only place adverts because they work. They suck in new customers. Its a very enticing setup. Its a game you're watching, you already have some interest in it, so why not deepen that interest? Just forget that the house always wins.

I wonder how high the burden of proof is for him placing bets for Ohtani. If he has been, even just occasionally, that would multiply the story by 1000.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japanese standards are dropping faster than the yen.....

But still far above the West's Standards.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

On what planet would any sane bookie give a line of credit for $4M to a guy making $400k? This story is shady as heck! Imagine if Pete Rose had an 'interpreter' too...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Ippei was planning to pay Ohtani back with his winnings, what could possibly go wrong.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I’m glad that he is being so frank about it in the end. What else can he really say? He got in a black hole, like Sandler in Uncut Gems. I’m just glad I don’t have this particular addiction. What a waste.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Came here for the comments

4 ( +8 / -4 )

And... there is also the possibility his translator was betting for Ohtani and Ohtani knew all about it. Not saying this is what happened but it is a possibility.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

well, it looks like he could have a bright future in private equity or investment banking.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

99% of gamblers quit right before they win out, give the man 1 more bet.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

owzerToday  08:10 am JST

Moron. He had a sweet gig guaranteed for several years!

Backstabbing and major uncool.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mizuhara said he incurred more than $1 million in debt by the end of 2022 and his losses increased from there.

Wouldn't a reasonable person just declare bankruptcy?

The MLB gambling policy, posted in every locker room, prohibit players and team employees from wagering — even legally — on baseball and also ban betting on other sports with illegal or offshore bookmakers.

Clearly the compliance training was not sufficient. Just a poster is apt to be ignored.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If Ohtani is implicated in any way with this, this'll be a major downfall.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Trying to save Ohtani’s image by 'Major theft' line now.

Though Ohtani did not gamble, he should have never agreed to pay off is friend's gambling debts. We all make mistakes and Ohtani will learn from this.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

[ "I'm terrible at gambling. Never going to do it again. Never won any money," Mizuhara said. "I mean, I dug myself a hole and it kept on getting bigger, and it meant I had to bet bigger to get out of it and just kept on losing. It's like a snowball effect."

After Ohtani agreed to pay the debts, Mizuhara said on Tuesday, Ohtani logged onto his own computer and sent the wire transfers under Mizuhara's supervision in installments over several months last year. They added "loan" to the description field in the transactions.

"We had to add a description for the wire,'" Mizuhara said. "I think Matt [Bowyer] might have told me to just put loan. You had to put something.”

Okay that's proof right there. If you quoted that "verbatim", then Ohtani did not directly gamble. However, he is culpable and complicit in supporting gambling.

That confirms my suspicion that Ohtani and his agents are doing this to cover their interests. Now the IRS may have something different to say about this, but that's an entirely different matter.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

How do you say 'fall guy' in Japanese?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Aside from this, you would've thought Otani, after however many years in the US, would make some effort to speak English in interviews rather than relying on an interpreter

Yes, given the time he’s been there.

I’m not one of those who expects people to be fluent in a matter of months but he’s been there years now and obviously planned on staying for an extended time.

Of course he has the money to rely on interpreters, but not learning the language of the country which has given him the opportunity to earn sensational money is a bit…disrespectful?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Curious as to whether Ippei was betting on the Angels since he would have had knowledge about Ohtani or other players' conditions on particular days. Inside information.

Gambling addictions are a real problem. I remember there was a boy in my high school who was the number one student of his class and gave the goodbye speech at his graduation. Some years ago he was found guilty of stealing funds from the local government he worked for and he did several years in prison for his crime. The fact is, he couldn't stop gambling and when his dept became so great he stole to sustain his habit, not all that different from a drug addict. Some (maybe most) people can control it, but some people including the brightest ones have no control over it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

At least he still has one big payday making sure Ohtani is not implicated.

Hopefully he'll not gamble it all away.

But if I'm a betting man I bet he will

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Curious as to whether Ippei was betting on the Angels since he would have had knowledge about Ohtani or other players' conditions on particular days. Inside information.

I know for certain that the Dodgers have much more media focus than the Angels. So it wasn't a surprise that the L.A. Times broke the story. Playing for the Angels, none of this may have ever come to light.

This story is a lot more shocking than Ohtani's marriage news. Ippei and him were always together even during the game. His wife was even sitting with Ohtani's wife and parents last night.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Dang 3-500k a year to translate a few sentences before and after a game, jet setting the world and friends with one of the biggest sports celebrities in modern times… what a fumble. And on gambling. Feel bad because gambling is very addictive but also what a massive mess up

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Totally blindsided by this and hope it doesn’t bring Ohtani down.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@usreamer; Naive from the sticks meets Shady out of left field

Sadly over the years the above has happened in various entertainment fields, Various fields in general, grifters easily suss out the vulnerable, plenty of marks for sharks to prey on.Often the sharks are politicians from the elite establishment.

I feel bad for Ohtani Senshu, I want to believe he will be cleared, he has been one of the best things to happen to MLB.If he's implicated in gambling his MLB career could be over.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Ooops.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Going to a bookie is not easy, and then calling to place bets is so time-consuming. This whole thing is fishy. Are there transactions out of state on some of the betting apps? Did Ippei do it? The big thing here is it could be Shohei doing all the betting. I can't wait for the investigation.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

fxgai Today  08:46 am JST

Did Ippei win on his bets? That’s what I wanna know.

As the article says, he'd racked up over $1 million in debts by 2022 and it only got worse from there.

So, did he win on his bets? Apparently, most of the time, he did not.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Speed Today  11:45 am JST

If Ohtani is implicated in any way with this, this'll be a major downfall.

Here are some excerpts from the ESPN story:

*The Los Angeles Dodgers interpreter for Shohei Ohtani was fired Wednesday afternoon after questions surrounding at least $4.5 million in wire transfers sent from Ohtani's bank account to a bookmaking operation set off a series of events.*

*Ippei Mizuhara, the longtime friend and interpreter for Ohtani, incurred the gambling debts to a Southern California bookmaking operation that is under federal investigation, multiple sources told ESPN.*

*Initially, a spokesman for Ohtani told ESPN the slugger had transferred the funds to cover Mizuhara's gambling debt.*

*The wire-transfer payments were sent from Ohtani's account to an associate of (illegal bookie Mathew) Bowyer's, according to multiple sources and bank data reviewed by ESPN.*

*ESPN had reviewed bank information showing Ohtani's name on two $500,000 payments sent in September and October.*

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I know for certain that the Dodgers have much more media focus than the Angels. So it wasn't a surprise that the L.A. Times broke the story. Playing for the Angels, none of this may have ever come to light.

I had the same thought as well.

The Dodgers would definitely conduct a risk assessment and background check on Otani and Mizuhara before signing them on to such a high stakes contract.

Mizuhara was probably sweating bullets at the thought, and praying that Otani stays with the Angels.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Note: I know this is not the real subject of the article.... but there are so many commenting out of ignorance...

Tha Ohtani uses (needs) an interpreter and after 7 years living in LA he is not able to speak English.

First, how do you know he is not able to speak? I have seen some clips where he is clearly talking to his team mates without an interpreter... I think, he is able to communicate enough in a day to day basis.

Second, there are people that have a natural affinity to learn languages, this means that, also there are people that have difficulty to learn a language.

Third, communicating technical issues and/or delicate manners in a language you are not used to speak is stressful and physcally can exhaust you. As a professional sport player and as the managing team, what do you think will be the choice, between, stressing out a player just to talk to the media or allowing him to concentrate as much as possible to his play... I think the choice would be the latter.

Forth, even having the capacity to learn a language, be able to spleak it and be fluent in it becasue the long time you have lived in an English speaking country. You may choose (if there is the oportunity) to shiled yourself with an interpreter.. May be you don't want for people to reach you bacause you are kind of antisocial (I am just imagining), specially if you are walking on the street and want to avoid some people of the press or something like that...

There are some of the reason I think Ohtani as well as others keep using an interpreter. I strongly feel he does not have enough confidence to talk in public officially in Enlgish, and fiven he is a perfectionits, he would like to avoid if possible talking in a broken Enlglish in front of people he does not know or trust fully.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

There are some of the reason I think Ohtani as well as others keep using an interpreter. I strongly feel he does not have enough confidence to talk in public officially in Enlgish, and fiven he is a perfectionits, he would like to avoid if possible talking in a broken Enlglish in front of people he does not know or trust fully.

Very true. Public figures always use an interpreter, unless they speak the foreign language in question at a professional level.

Every statement he gives is scrutinized and analyzed. If he doesn’t speak English on a professional level, there are a lot of liabilities involved in speaking in public. Not to mention legal and contractual issues behind closed doors.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

ESPN said it spoke to Mizuhara on Tuesday night, at which point the interpreter said Ohtani had paid his gambling debts at Mizuhara's request. After the statement from Ohtani's attorneys saying the player was a victim of theft, ESPN says Mizuhara changed his story Wednesday and claimed Ohtani had no knowledge of the gambing debts and had not transferred any money to bookmakers.

Hmm, why change his story about Ohtani helping him pay off his debt?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I feel bad for Ohtani Senshu, I want to believe he will be cleared, he has been one of the best things to happen to MLB.If he's implicated in gambling his MLB career could be over.

I think some people are overreacting a bit here. There is no evidence at all Ohtani has been gambling. Even if he had, it is legal for an MLB player to bet on any sport, except for MLB. From the MLB amended rules in 2023:

Players are allowed to “place legal bets on the other sports or play fantasy basketball, football, etc. for money.

I personally don't gamble - but it is an incredibly popular pasttime among many people, including wealthy professional athletes.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Wouldn't be surprised if it turns out Mizuhara was placing bets for Otani.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Aside from this, you would've thought Otani, after however many years in the US, would make some effort to speak English in interviews rather than relying on an interpreter.

Ichiro used an interpreter for his entire MLB career. Of course, Ichiro could speak English. You can watch his Mariners HOF speech. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgossI-oZII

I think the problem is more to do with Japanese culture, not the difficulty of the language. In the NHL, NBA, and even in MLB with Latin players, players are expected to speak English after a season or two when they give interviews. I've never seen an NHL player or an NBA player use an interp for more than a season.

However, Japanese players seem to do it for far longer (except Munenori Kawasaki). Yu Darvish still using one despite his fluency. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVirLxeMIaU

Ichiro always said that he wanted the Japanese fans back home to get his comments directly "from the heart" so he insisted on speaking in Japanese during interviews. I just hope Ohtani puts a little more effort into his English in the near future. I'm certain that he gets a little jealous when the Latin born players give interviews without the interp.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There is no evidence at all Ohtani has been gambling. Even if he had, it is legal for an MLB player to bet on any sport, except for MLB. From the MLB amended rules in 2023:

I read that money from his account was sent to settle a gambling debt, and online gambling is illegal in California. I am a hard core Ohtani fan but this looks really bad.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Ohtani should have just transferred the money to the interpreter's bank acct and let the interpreter pay the debts using his ownaccount

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Even if he (Ohtani) had (gambled), it is legal for an MLB player to bet on any sport, except for MLB

It's not legal to gamble on sports in California, which is where Ohtani has been living and playing ball for the past six years.

And it's against MLB rules to bet on sports with illegal or offshore bookies. The bookie in question was the former.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So, does this mean there is a job opening? Where can I send in my resume?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I get it now. Ohtani will now "retire" and take up basketball (he just married a former pro). After the dust settles around the gambling rumors, he'll make his NBA, I mean MLB comeback.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I personally don't gamble 

Thanks for sharing.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Ohtani should have just transferred the money to the interpreter's bank acct and let the interpreter pay the debts using his ownaccount

That’s what Otani will do now. Billionaires don’t leave their only friend in a financial bind.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's so funny to me that commenters here, who only speak English, have no idea what it means to learn a language. It can't be done in two months the way they think it can. Even two years isn't enough. English is one of the tougher languages for most foreigners to learn

No, English is not one of the tougher languages. Japanese is one hundred times more difficult. But it depends on your country of origin. I am not a native English speaker, so know I am talking about.

Every language does take years to learn but all professional interpreters have natural skills and can nearly master it quite quickly.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Mizuhara said he incurred more than $1 million in debt by the end of 2022 and his losses increased from there.

It's pretty impressive that a bookie will let a foreigner run up three times their annual salary in debt. Most people would skip the country or declare bankrupcy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A few here either haven't read the article or don't comprehend what they read, before posting comments.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@DudeDeuce GOOD POINT!! The reason why Ohtani's handlers ended this investigation was to prevent him from becoming another Pete Rose. Ohtani is the face of baseball and the MLB knows this but he is not bigger than the MLB. They do no want the game tarnished. The MLB specifically laid out the rules for ALL to see which was posted in every locker room, prohibiting players and team employees from wagering — even legally — on baseball and also ban betting on other sports with illegal or offshore bookmakers. Because of that and Ohtani paying to clear his friends name that in itself is called aiding and abetting which Ohtani knew. Being a ex-professional baseball player and knowing THE RULE our team representatives would TELL US in spring training meetings if you have a PROBLEM with gambling and that includes employees, it is best to come forward and let team officials know instead of the team finding out. There was an instance where we were having batting practice when I was in the minors and a player made the mistake of saying "I bet I hit the first 3 out" well that player got fined!!! Its not joke and they take it very seriously. If I were Ohtani and I know he has to be a good guy with a good hard and he put the friendship before his business perhaps he thought the easy money would make things go away, but you would be surprised of what goes on pregame, and after the game and when players have time off. You have autograph seekers, drug dealers, women who will follow you from city to city to see what they can get from you. This investigation took years and its not because they knew Mizuhara was betting they knew he was associated with Ohtani, when the FEDS come in they just don't shut the operation down immediately, they follow the trail to see where it leads. They want the big guy and the big guy was Ohtani and when the trail goes cold they contact Ohtani who perhaps told his lawyers who then contacted the Dodgers and the Dodgers fire Ippei. The feds knew Ippei was hooked to a bookie this is why Ippei story changed several times. He doesn't know what they know. The feds bring everyone in and inform them of the actions they committed but they will not tell you what they have. This is noting but GUILT by Association. Ohtani tried to protect a friend but he went about it the wrong way. I get it, he only knows baseball but when Ippei informed him about his problems instead of trying to wash the problem away with money he should have contacted his attorneys and got the advice that he needed most to keep his good name clear. After that he could have told Ippei he would take care of his betting problem based on the advice of his attorneys. After all when Ippei decided to gamble the question is did he tell Ohtani he was betting he did say he was terrible at betting but the more he gambled the more he lost. These guys spent a lot of time together friendship is friendship but it was also a business relationship. One thing Ohtani has learned from this perhaps is knowing the difference between a friendship and the service the friendship provides and at what cost. This incident will only drive Ohtani who is media shy into further hiding, I don't think it will impact his career or image at all but he will become less visible and chose friends more wisely.

There may be more to this than what meets the eyes. Who knows, maybe Ohtani knew of this addiction and bailed Ippei out. Lawyers have to protect their guy. Evidence of Ohtani doing this would be massive and could lead to repercussions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Gene Hennigh WORDS and the ACTIONS behind the results of words can be COSTLY. Whether it a YEN or a DOLLAR! Language is important if not Ohtani wouldn't have hired an interpreter!

It's so funny to me that commenters here, who only speak English, have no idea what it means to learn a language. It can't be done in two months the way they think it can. Even two years isn't enough. English is one of the tougher languages for most foreigners to learn.

*That being said, what has Ohtani's mastery of English have to do with a story about the improprieties of his interpreter? You seem a little off topic.*

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He is a very good friend... Taking the fall for Ohtani's dodgy gambling. Im sure he will be paid handsomely.

There is a lot more to come out... If baseball is prepared to harm it's golden egg laying goose.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@u_s__reamer You have no idea of where Diamond Bar California is, the area is by NO MEANS bush league and the University of Riverside is a top rated university. Don't know where you got your information from.

Naive from the sticks meets Shady out of left field - a bad combo. Ohtani, the country boy from Hicksville, Iwate, seems to have been blindsided by his bush league gambling guide to America who played the angles while his boss-buddy played ball.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@dmhondz He is dealing with the feds! They have more evidence than he think or knows that they know against him. They will tell him that, and say if he does not cooperate and tell the truth his situation can be worse. This is why when the FEDS come in either you sing like a bird, or you swallow your tongue and take the penalty that they will impose on you and that means you do every day you are sentence to, and not given the 2-1 on day on a state crime. This was an investigation that has been ongoing it did not just happen over night. The booking operation was under investigation the initial investigation from the feds was not centered on Ohtani the booking operation led the feds to what they think or thought was a big fish they follow the money trails and they saw the funds being transferred from Ohtani account this is why the Feds didn't shut the operation down they let it proceed to see where it takes them especially if they have a big fish involved. There is more to this and this is why his story changed about Ohtani "helping him pay off his debt" its either Ohtani's debt or not and he has to state that and what ever he states can and will be used against him in the court of law. They will tell you that!!! Now that is a wake up call!!

ESPN said it spoke to Mizuhara on Tuesday night, at which point the interpreter said Ohtani had paid his gambling debts at Mizuhara's request. After the statement from Ohtani's attorneys saying the player was a victim of theft, ESPN says Mizuhara changed his story Wednesday and claimed Ohtani had no knowledge of the gambing debts and had not transferred any money to bookmakers.

Hmm, why change his story about Ohtani helping him pay off his debt?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He is a very good friend... Taking the fall for Ohtani's dodgy gambling.

Ohhh, a conspiracy! Thanks for telling us your theory.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Hmm, why change his story about Ohtani helping him pay off his debt?

https://sports.yahoo.com/shohei-ohtani-interpreter-scandal-piecing-together-the-confusing-timeline-based-on-what-weve-been-told-so-far-014454049.html

It’s also worth noting that using a wire “which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of bets or wagers” is explicitly listed in the U.S. criminal code as a violation that can result in a fine or imprisonment for up to two years, which might explain the about-face after Mizuhara said Ohtani himself sent the wire transfer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There may be nothing, however, I find it fishy the timing of Ohtani's very low-key marriage and his translator's gambling scandal.

A lot of times not only in Japan, however, many times in Japan they will try and reflect any scandals, when possible, with something upbeat and when one does not see coming.

This may not be the case here; however, I cannot stop wondering.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Nah, it would've been the other way around. And no chance Ohtani would announce his marriage after this scandal came out. Only the LDP could pull something like that off. Some people think they even caused the earthquake and plane crash, lol.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mizuhara seems to be the fall guy.

why did Ohtani pay the bookie directly?

why did Ohtani announce his marriage at this time?

why does Ohtani never speak?

what else is he hiding?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People are jumping to conclusions, some of which are hard to believe. That Ohtani did the betting is farfetched. It appears that his translator certainly was the bettor. Even so, how in the heck does his marriage announcement have anything to do with anything? Does getting married mean a man starts betting? Does it mean he did it to cover his actions? How?

Conspiracy theories have that sound of made up fantasies. If Ohtani did in fact have direct involvement (which is doubtful) that will be concluded later, if at all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"...that will be concluded **later, if at all."**

The lawyers will cover it up, given the sums of money that are at stake.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ohtani should sue the Dodgers for not hiring a legit interpreter! This should have absolutely no ill reflection against Ohtani what so ever! I hope that guy pay's back what he stole & serve a long time in prison. This is very sad to hear!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Feds are involved - they're investigating the illegal bookie with whom Mizuhara was placing his bets. That's how this whole thing got started (Mizuhara and Ohtani are names that they found during this investigation)

Since the Feds are involved and this is a possible crime, this thing is gonna get deeper and more things will come to light (compared to a typical MLB investigation)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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