HomeTrending MLB NewsTimeline of events says interpreter misled Shohei Ohtani

Timeline of events says interpreter misled Shohei Ohtani

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The latest twist regarding the gambling scandal involving Shohei Ohtani and former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara paints the Los Angeles Dodgers star as an unknowing victim, misled by a friend. 

In a timeline of events released by ESPN, Tisha Thompson broke down four days’ worth of conversations with Mizuhara and Ohtani’s camp, which included a recently hired crisis communications spokesman. According to the spokesman, Mizuhara purposely deceived Ohtani. Likewise, the change in the story once the news broke after Wednesday’s Dodgers game was due to Mizuhara’s ability to “control information” as the interpreter. 

“He didn’t know any of it, didn’t know there was some inquiry,” the spokesman told Thompson. “After the game, that’s when he found out. He didn’t know what f— was going on.” 

Initial conversations with the spokesman revealed that Ohtani paid off Mizuhara’s debt. He admitted to sending “several larger payments” to a South California bookmaking outfit operated by Mathew Bowyer, who is under federal investigation. However, until Mizuhara’s confession in the Dodgers clubhouse, communication between Ohtani, his agent and spokesman had gone through Mizuhara.

Mizuhara’s account allegedly took Ohtani aback after a new interpreter filled him in. Soon after, a statement from Ohtani’s lawyers said he’d been the victim of “massive theft.” 

In a second conversation with Mizuhara, he said he couldn’t reveal when Ohtani became aware of his gambling debts and didn’t answer when asked if he stole money from Ohtani. 

Despite ESPN’s clarification of the events, several looming questions remain concerning this mess. For one, how did Mizuhara get access to Ohtani’s accounts? And two, why is a bookie allowing an interpreter, who self-admittedly made $85,000 a year while with the Los Angeles Angels, to rack up roughly $4.5 million in debt without assurances of seeing that money? 

Ohtani has reportedly asked authorities to investigate the matter, with the Los Angeles Police Department, district attorney’s office and Orange counties believing it will be a “federal matter.” So, most likely, every juicy detail will emerge eventually. 

Meanwhile, according to ESPN’s T.J. Quinn, MLB has formally opened its own investigation and is expected to seek interviews with “all parties,” including Ohtani and Mizuhara.

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