Home News Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani to address media Monday in first comments amid...

Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani to address media Monday in first comments amid scandal

After days of silence, Shohei Ohtani is set to address the media.

The Los Angeles Dodgers superstar plans to speak on Monday, which would mark his first public comments since his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired amid a mysterious saga that includes allegations of “massive theft.”

“It’s the right thing to do,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday. “I’m happy he’s going to speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation. I think it will give us all a little bit more clarity.”

Mizuhara claimed to ESPN last week that Ohtani had agreed to cover the interpreter’s gambling debts, which were reported to be at least $4.5 million. Before ESPN published the interview, Ohtani’s lawyers released a statement.

“In the course of responding to recent media inquiries, we discovered that Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft, and we are turning the matter over to the authorities,” the law firm Berk Brettler LLP said.

Mizuhara then told ESPN he could not comment when asked if he had been accused of theft.

Money was reportedly wire-transferred from Ohtani’s account to an associate of Mathew Bowyer, whose California-based bookmaking operation is being investigated by federal officials.

Major League Baseball said it is investigating the situation.

Ohtani, 29, and Mizuhara, 39, were seen on the SportsNet LA broadcast sharing a laugh during the ninth inning of Wednesday’s MLB opener in Seoul. The reports surfaced later that day. Ohtani then declined to address the media after Thursday’s game in Seoul, with a pair of public relations staffers reportedly standing by his locker.

Ohtani, a hitting-and-pitching sensation who won two American League MVPs with the Los Angeles Angels, joined the Dodgers during the offseason on a historic 10-year, $700 million contract featuring heavily deferred money.

In his original interview with ESPN, Mizuhara claimed Ohtani “had zero involvement in betting.”

With News Wire Services


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here