Shohei Ohtani apparently hates gambling more than anyone you’ve ever met

MLB is investigating Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who is at the center of a gambling scandal. Mizuhara wants us all to know how much Ohtani hates sports betting.

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I’m not here to say whether or not Shohei Ohtani was involved in the illegal gambling scandal involving his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. MLB is investigating those events and should have some sort of conclusion in the coming weeks. For now, Ohtani remains on the roster during said investigation.

The facts surrounding Mizuhara’s dismissal are murky to say the least. Initially, Ohtani’s reps claimed he paid off some of Mizuhara’s gambling debt. Then, Ohtani’s legal team disregarded that statement, saying that Mizuhara stole money from Ohtani ($4.5 million, to be exact). To his credit, Mizuhara has come to Ohtani’s defense and then some, even detailing how much the Dodgers two-way star hates sports betting. The following is Mizuhara, courtesy of ESPN’s Trisha Thompson:

“Ohtani has never gambled and ‘thinks gambling is terrible.'” Thompson wrote. “He sees that people, teammates would be gambling all the time, and he’ll be like, ‘Why are they doing this? Gambling is not good.’ He would make comments like that. People would ask him to go to casinos on road trips, and he would never go. No, he’s not into it.”

How involved was Shohei Ohtani in Ippei Mizuhara gambling scandal?

For now we have more questions than answers surrounding Ohtani’s involvement in Mizuhara’s gambling debt. One would hope the MLB investigation will provide definitive answers on that front. There is no place for gambling in baseball, especially if that betting is on the sport itself. That has been well established, despite MLB’s partnership with sports gambling companies.

Mizuhara’s conduct has been brought into question, which is fair. He’s not a reliable witness at this point. Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reported that Mizuhara’s credentials, which claims he graduated from UC Riverside, are false.

The Dodgers made the right call by firing Mizuhara on the spot. For now, Will Ireton will take over duties as Dodgers interpreter for Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

With Ohtani back in Los Angeles, he is scheduled to speak with the media on Monday.