Shohei Ohtani Is Reportedly Almost Out Of The Woods In Gambling Scandal, As Former Interpreter Is “In Negotiations” To Plead Guilty

Shohei Otani

The Shohei Ohtani gambling scandal hasn’t really impacted his performance on the field with the Los Angeles Dodgers at all, and barring some unforeseen development, it looks like the superstar will avoid any legal or disciplinary ramifications.

According to a new report by The New York Times, Ohtani’s ex-interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, kept his friend in the dark about making large bets on sports, which would appear to absolve Ohtani of any wrongdoing. Mizuhara is on track to plead guilty to theft and whatever else.

Shirking the paywall and other nitty-gritty details, the key takeaway from this Ohtani update is that Mizuhara allegedly changed settings on bank alerts so that he could continue digging himself into millions of dollars of gambling debt without anyone noticing.

I guess that makes some sense, if you assume Ohtani didn’t want any of his handlers monitoring Mizuhara’s activity. They were best friends, and perhaps Ohtani didn’t deem it necessary to keep a close watch on any activity his pal was involved in. Then again, what kind of handlers does Ohtani have on his accounts if they couldn’t notice millions of dollars disappearing? Do they just not check in on his finances at all?

I haven’t the slightest clue how Ohtani manages his wealth or who’s in charge of such things. Based on the way this allegedly played out, I wonder if anyone advises him on money. It’s either one of the worst cases of workplace negligence in the history of mankind, or the folks Ohtani has in charge of his accounts are straight-up morons. Also, Ohtani might be the most blissfully ignorant, blindly trusting athlete in pro sports in recent memory.

Considering he deferred $680 million of his 10-year, $700 million contract, you’d think Ohtani would want to put somebody in position to mind his wealth, if not personally see to it himself.

Not ashamed to say that I unambiguously wrote about how multiple elements to Ohtani’s story didn’t add up after his press conference to address the gambling fiasco. The latest news would seem to exonerate him entirely. I doubt we’ll ever know the full truth from Ohtani’s side or from Mizuhara. It’s hard to believe that Mizuhara isn’t a fall guy at least to some small degree, right?

Anyway, nobody who’s investigating this has any incentive to incriminate Ohtani or to sully his reputation. Frankly, I hope it all blows over, because he’s the one star who can actually get a good size of the casual U.S. sports population to care about MLB. He’s the modern day Babe Ruth, only he might be better. Whether he’ll reach Ruth’s statistical heights as a hitter remains to be seen. Nevertheless, now that Ohtani isn’t toiling away on the sh*tty Angels anymore, he’s positioned for all-time legendary status with the Dodgers, especially once he returns to pitching in 2025.

Saying all that to say, I’m rooting for Ohtani and hope the rest of the investigation’s revelations don’t dredge up anything unsavory.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock