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Shohei Ohtani’s translator sparks huge controversy over possible gambling theft

2024.03.29 09:23:26 Yuna Cho

[U.S dollar bills rolled up; Picture credit: Pexels]

Recently, a huge issue has come up regarding the possible theft of money belonging to Shohei Ohtani, a famous baseball player currently affiliated with the LA Dodgers, and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.


This became controversial during an interview on March 20th amid the ongoing Major League Baseball (MLB) Seoul series.


Reports indicate a potential loss of $4.5 million, casting a shadow over the long-standing relationship between Ohtani and Mizuhara.


They have known each other over six and a half years, much to the dismay of fans and players alike.


The Dodgers took swift action to the allegations, and terminated Mizuhara’s employment last week.


Moreover, MLB has initiated a comprehensive investigation into the matter.


Mizuhara has stated that he has indeed gambled before in sports such as international soccer, the NBA, the NFL, etc., but has never been involved in baseball betting due to his access to broad information, given Ohtani’s close relationship with him.


However, inconsistencies in his statements, coupled with conflicting claims regarding Ohtani’s awareness of the alleged debts, have raised skepticism.


At first, he claimed that Ohtani agreed to pay off his gambling debts, but during an interview the next day, he said that Ohtani was actually unaware of his gambling debts.


On the other hand, there is a widespread speculation that it won’t be long before Ohtani himself becomes the subject of an investigation.


Amidst this uncertainty, four avid fans were questioned about their perspectives and what they believe should be the next steps in handling the situation.


Mason Kim, a middle schooler and fervent supporter of Ohtani expressed his dismay, emphasizing the importance of legal action to deter future wrongdoing.


“The news was very shocking. Legal actions must happen to prevent any future crimes,” Kim remarked.


Noah King, another middle schooler, provided a nuanced perspective, drawing attention to Ohtani’s character and the intricate nature of the circumstances.


“After everything Ohtani has done for the league and the sport, I strongly believe that he is innocent,” King asserted.


He added, “However, everyone should be held up to the same standard.”


Grade 8 student AK also echoed the sentiment of accountability and claimed the need for punishment for both the interpreter and Ohtani if he was complicit.


“The rules must be followed, so I think punishment is the right consequence for them,” AK stated firmly.


An anonymous student raised concerns about the potential impact on Ohtani’s career and safety, advocating for severe legal consequences for the interpreter’s actions.


“There should be a severe punishment law-wise as well,” the student insisted.


While opinions varied among the fans, there was a shared belief in the importance of accountability and justice in handling the scandal.


As investigations unfold, the baseball community remains on edge and awaits the truth behind the allegations.


For now, all that can be done is to wait for further developments in this unfolding saga.

Yuna Cho / Grade 8
St. Johnsbury Academy Jeju