Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Expected To Speak More After Ippei Mizuhara Plea Deal

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers were blindsided in the early stages of their 2024 season due to a gambling scandal involving Ohtani’s former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

Mizuhara was formally charged with federal bank fraud following a federal investigation that uncovered details on how he allegedly stole more than $16 million from Ohtani to pay off a bookmaker. More details have since emerged surrounding the case, including ties to a TV celebrity and using a casino to launder money.

With an investigation that cleared Ohtani’s name from any wrongdoing in the eyes of the United States government and Mizuhara later surrendering himself to federal authorities, the whole debacle has been in the rearview for a while now.

Before the investigation was concluded, Ohtani declined to answer questions surrounding the case and he has continued to maintain his privacy even after Mizuhara turned himself in.

However, Ohtani does plan to be more open about the situation and potentially answer questions following Mizuhara’s plea deal, which was first expected on May 9, but was instead changed until May 14, via Jon Heyman of the New York Post:

Word is, he’ll talk more after Mizuhara takes his plea as early as May 9, and maybe MLB completes what figures to be a perfunctory investigation.

Mizuhara is expected to plead guilty, and he faces up to 33 years in prison.

It’s unknown if Ohtani has been interviewed by MLB in their own instigation, separate from the that was completed by the U.S. government. MLB has expressed their desire to wait until there is a resolution to the criminal proceeding before they determine their next steps or if further investigation is even warranted.

Shohei Ohtani has been unfazed by whirlwind start to Dodgers tenure

With his full focus back on baseball and unburdened by outside distractions, Ohtani has showed the baseball world why he was signed to a record $700 million contract by the Dodgers this offseason.

He recently wrapped up a week in which he was named National League Player of the Week for hitting .524 with three homers, seven RBI, three walks, six runs scored, two stolen bases, a .952 slugging percentage and a .583 on-base percentage.

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