MLB Star Ohtani Denies Betting Claims Amid Interpreter’s Gambling Scandal


Shohei Ohtani, Major League Baseball’s luminary athlete, reiterated earlier claims that his interpreter had been pilfering funds from his account. The interpreter, identified as Ippei Mizuhara, was beleaguered by gargantuan debts resulting from unchecked gambling. Ohtani peacefully faced the media swarm, distancing himself from any betting inclinations, stating emphatically he had never staked a wager on sports events. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ revelation that he was oblivious to Mizuhara’s financial quagmire until it was laid bare before the entire team in a meeting added more layers of intrigue to the unfolding drama.

There was no trace of uncertainty in Ohtani, during the press briefing that lasted a dozen minutes on a calm Monday afternoon. Standing before an audience of at least 70 reporters, the 29-year-old baseball sensation, communicating through a newly assigned interpreter, asserted that he never funneled payments to an illegal bookmaker reputedly patronized by the ensnared Mizuhara.

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Scrutinizing the shock ridden spectacle with piercing intensity, Ohtani admitted, “Up until a few days ago, I didn’t know this was happening. In conclusion, Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies.” He then affirmed, “I’ve never bet on baseball or any other sports or asked someone to do it on my behalf. I’ve never asked a bookmaker to do it on my behalf.”

Much to everyone’s surprise, just a week ago, Mizuhara, perhaps in a doomed attempt to alleviate the weight of the allegations, told ESPN that Ohtani dispatched the cash to the betting syndicate to clear Mizuhara’s substantial debt, which amounted to a staggering $4.5M. But within mere hours, Mizuhara slid backwards, purporting that Ohtani was in fact innocent of paying off his debt.

When Ohtani confronted Mizuhara, the latter eventually confessed to siphoning funds from Ohtani’s account and directing it to the bookmaker’s coffers. Ohtani voiced this revelation to the media, berating Mizuhara for his lies and deceit.

Ohtani further revealed, “When I was finally able to talk to my representatives, that’s when my representatives found out Ippei has been lying the whole time and I started contacting the Dodgers and my lawyers. My lawyers recommended that since this is fraud, that we have the proper authorities handle this matter.”

Consequence loomed like an ominous cloud over Mizuhara, and resulted in his termination from his employ with the Dodgers. Two separate investigations have commenced, one spearheaded by MLB, the other involving federal law enforcement, both tracking Mizuhara and a certain Mathew Bowyer, the alleged mastermind behind the illicit gambling scheme.

Practically buried under the uproar, and without losing sight of his professional aspirations, Ohtani continues his stupendous career under the Dodgers’ banner, the riches of his 10-year, $700M contract intact. Originally hailing from Japan, the twice-named MLB MVP, and former player for the Angels, find himself nabbed in the headline-grabbing controversy.

Adding an unexpected twist to the story, Mathew Bowyer’s name appeared in a Tuesday news article published in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, which documented his historic “large wagers” and subsequent banishment from Las Vegas gaming establishments. Past losses, to the tune of $425K at the Aria and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and his elusive evasion of a $1.2M debt collection attempt from Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino offered an alarming exposition on Bowyer’s gambling addiction. According to Bowyer’s attorney, Bowyer never indulged in any direct interaction with Ohtani, a statement yet to be confirmed by more investigations.

Amid the circulating scandal, MLB’s former standout Pete Rose took a humorous jab at his own darker times with a lighthearted comment via an Instagram post. The one-time Cincinnati Reds player – banished for life from the game following the disclosure of his betting engagement on his own team’s games – wistfully remarked, “Well, back in the 70s and 80s I wish I’d had an interpreter. I’d be scot-free,” suggesting humorously that if he had an interpreter to blame as Ohtani does now, he might have side-stepped the repercussions of his gambling history. The impact of his jest is yet to be felt in the heightened atmosphere surrounding Ohtani’s case.