Silvanio: A timeline of the Shohei Ohtani gambling situation

Shohei Ohtani gambling graphic. - Graphics Editor / Julia Quennessen

The figure in sports that everybody least expected is making headlines for the wrong reasons. It is alleged that Shohei Ohtani’s translator Ippei Mizuhara stole $4.5 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers star, but that just scratches the surface of this story.

Picture this: it’s the opening series of the 2024 season, the Dodgers are facing the Padres in South Korea, and Shohei Ohtani is seen with his translator laughing and having a great time.

Following the game, the Dodgers fired Mizuhara for stealing $4.5 million from Ohtani. They were just best friends in the dugout less than 12 hours before the news broke; how is this possible?

Initially, a spokesperson from Ohtani’s camp told ESPN that Ohtani had transferred the funds to an offshore gambling company, which is illegal even if it’s not betting on baseball. MLB players can bet on other sports on legal sportsbooks, but not illegally with offshore companies.

As a follow up, news broke that Ohtani had transferred the funds to cover Mizuhara’s gambling debt. The next day, Ohtani’s camp stated they “discovered that Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft, and we are turning the matter over to the authorities.”

How does this make sense? It can be interpreted in multiple ways; could Ohtani have been in on it? Potentially. Could Ohtani just be a good friend?

It also makes you wonder why a gambling bookie would let a MLB translator build up $4.5 million in debt, assuming he’d be able to pay him back. It theoretically opens the door for Ohtani’s direct involvement.

So, what is next? More will come out after the league investigates Mizuhara. If it’s revealed that the bets being placed were on baseball, then things might start to get bad for Ohtani.

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