“A best friend to take the fall” – Michael Kay makes light work of Shohei Ohtani & Ippei Mizuhara situation with Pete Rose comparison

Michael Kay makes light work of Shohei Ohtani & Ippei Mizuhara situation with Pete Rose comparisonMichael Kay makes light work of Shohei Ohtani & Ippei Mizuhara situation with Pete Rose comparison

Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, is being investigated by MLB and the IRS for alleged gambling. Last Wednesday, the news of the scandal broke when Ohtani was preparing for his highly anticipated debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers in South Korea, with Mizuhara attending the tour as his interpreter.

Soon after the Dodgers front office became aware of the news, they fired Mizuhara. Ohtani hasn’t made any comments on the matter, though.

Amid the investigation, Yes Network’s host and New York Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay linked Ohtani’s alleged case with the notorious betting scandal of former Cincinnati player/manager Pete Rose in a humorous joke.

“Somebody came up to me in the Yankees clubhouse today and said, ‘You know what, Pete Rose was missing?’ And I said, ‘What, a best friend to take the fall?” said Kay.

Rose’s situation wasn’t too different from Shohei Ohtani’s case. Rose got a lifetime ban for gambling on baseball (on Cincinnati Reds) in 1989. So far, ESPN reported two sides of the story.

In the first one, Mizuhara told ESPN in an interview that he went to Ohtani for help after his debt rose to $4.5 million. Ohtani paid the amount from his personal bank account in eight to nine installments.

However, the story changed when a spokesperson on behalf of Ohtani told ESPN that Shohei Ohtani didn’t have any recollection of such events shared by Mizuhara. Later, in an official statement by Ohtani’s lawyer at Brek Brettler LLP, Mizuhara was accused of stealing money. He confessed to ESPN about his lies in his previous interview but restrained from commenting further.

Shohei Ohtani could face a similar punishment as Pete Rose

After retiring from his stellar baseball career, Pete Rose remained in MLB as the Reds manager for six seasons. According to Bleacher Report, Rose’s gambling habit was no secret.

But it took a serious turn when in May 1989, John Dowd reported to then-MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti a detailed breakdown of Rose’s betting activity, which included 52 bets on Reds games.

In August of that year, he accepted a lifetime ban from the League. As a result, he was also prohibited from being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose tried to lift the ban, but both Rob Manfred and his predecessor, Bud Selig, denied his plea.
“I never bet on baseball,” Mizuhara told ESPN, according to the Associated Press. “That’s 100%. I knew that rule … We have a meeting about that in spring training.”
It is still not clear whether Mizuhara gambled on baseball and Shohei Ohtani’s involvement in the scandal. The investigation is ongoing with no further information yet.