Skip to main content

Shohei Ohtani, one of the brightest stars in Major League Baseball, is at the center of a very confusing gambling scandal. The math is not adding up on either side of what has unfolded.

Agents, both current and former, find the entire saga to be embarrassing!

Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers cut ties with his long-time interpreter on Wednesday. Ippei Mizuhara no longer serves as his Japanese-English translator after five MLB seasons together.

He allegedly wired at least $4.5 million from the Japanese superstar’s bank account to a bookie in order to cover his massive gambling debts. However, the timeline of events is rather suspicious.

  • A representative for Ohtani went on the record with ESPN to say that his client transferred $4.5 million himself to a bookie on behalf of his interpreter, who allegedly racked up a massive debt.
  • A spokesperson for Ohtani presented Ippei to ESPN to provide a statement.
  • Ippei says on the record to ESPN that Ohtani felt bad for him and paid off his debt so that he would never end up in this situation again. He said that Ohtani never placed a bet.
  • A spokesperson for Ohtani says that Ippei is lying after Ippei spoke with ESPN for 90 minutes.
  • Ohtani’s lawyers released a statement to claim that Ippei is guilty of “massive theft.”
  • Ippei changes course to say that Ohtani did not know about his debt or gambling problem.

Although Major League Baseball does not have enough evidence to remove Ohtani from the Dodgers, yet, there was a concerning trend with some of his games in recent years and a bookie reportedly told others that he was a client. To make matters worse, Mizuhara’s resume might be fraudulent.

Shohei Ohtani is commanding headlines.

All of this goes to say that there are a lot of unanswered questions that both the MLB and federal government are investigating. The scandal is all anyone is talking about during Opening Week.

That is not going over well with people around the league!

“It’s embarrassing what’s happening right now,” said one prominent player agent to USA TODAY Sports. “This is supposed to be a great time, getting ready for the season, and we’re going through this. It’s ugly.”

Another former agent echoed those sentiments.

“The reason baseball is so concerned is that even with this big shift towards gambling is the one thing that can damage professional sports is the perception of by fans that the games are not played on an even playing field, and that the games are fixed,” Leigh Steinberg said. “I’m sure there will be a million conspiracy theories that will be passed around, but often times the truth will be simpler. This is just the beginning.”

Steinberg is right. This is just the beginning.

There is still a long way to go before Ohtani’s scandal is cleared up.