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Shohei Ohtani to speak to media for 1st time since illegal gambling and theft allegations against interpreter – Chicago Tribune

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Shohei Ohtani to speak to media for 1st time since illegal gambling and theft allegations against interpreter – Chicago Tribune

LOS ANGELES — Shohei Ohtani plans to speak to the media Monday for the first time since the illegal gambling and theft allegations involving the Los Angeles Dodgers star and his interpreter emerged during the team’s trip to South Korea.

The interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired by the Dodgers last week when the team opened the season with two games against the San Diego Padres in Seoul.

Manager Dave Roberts endorsed Ohtani addressing the matter publicly. He said it was the two-way superstar’s decision to do so.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Roberts said. “I’m happy he’s going to speak and 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 was let go from the team following reports from the Los Angeles Times and ESPN about his alleged ties to an illegal bookmaker and claims from Ohtani’s attorneys that the Japanese star had been the victim of a “massive theft.”

Major League Baseball has opened an investigation of the matter. The Internal Revenue Service has confirmed that Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker in Orange County, California, are under criminal investigation.

Ohtani made only a brief appearance in the Dodgers clubhouse before Sunday’s Freeway Series opener against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. The teams are playing three exhibition games before the Dodgers host St. Louis in their home opener on Thursday.

Ohtani received a huge cheer as he walked to the plate for the first time at Dodger Stadium. He flied out to left field as the designated hitter. In his second appearance, he drew a walk by Angels pitcher Hayden Seig to load the bases with two outs. In the fourth inning, Ohtani struck out swinging against Griffin Canning.

He’s also expected to play Monday and Tuesday in Anaheim, where he was a two-time AL MVP before leaving the Angels as a free agent to sign a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers in December.

Roberts said Ohtani has not addressed his teammates as a group.

“I think that he’s had one-off conversations with players,” Roberts said.

The manager said he checked in with Ohtani to see how he’s doing.



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