Max Muncy: Dodgers Stand Behind Shohei Ohtani Amid Sports Betting Scandal

Shohei Ohtani addressed the media on Monday for the first time since former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers amid alleged theft and illegal gambling activity.

The two-way superstar adamantly denied ever placing a bet or having prior knowledge that Mizuhara withdrew money from his bank account to pay off a bookmaker. Multiple reports indicate that Mizuhara stole $4.5 million from Ohtani to cover his gambling debt.

Ohtani also said he will cooperate with all of the investigations being conducted and is now shifting his focus to the 2024 season. “We’re all behind the guy,” Max Muncy said of Ohtani.

“For me, where I come from, you’re innocent until proven guilty. The guy has told us face-to-face what he believes is the truth, and that’s what I’m going off of. I believe him 100%. I have his back on that.”

Muncy believes Ohtani did the right thing by holding a press conference and attempting to clear his name from any wrongdoing. “It’s a hard thing to move on from, especially for him,” Muncy began.

“You definitely feel for the guy. I think he’s starting to see how we act as a group in this clubhouse, to know we all have each other’s backs and we’re going to move through this.”

Muncy thinks the situation Ohtani finds himself in will only bring the Dodgers closer. “Yeah. There’s always things that can bring a team together. You never know what it’s going to be,” Muncy said.

“You obviously don’t hope for things like this to happen and it’s yet to be seen how we come out of this, but I feel good about the group in here.

“We all feel good about the group we have in here, and I think it’s good for him to see exactly what kind of group we are. Hopefully, that will help him through this.”

Dave Roberts ‘proud’ of Shohei Ohtani for addressing sports betting scandal

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is happy with the way Ohtani handled himself during his press conference. “Yeah, I did, I think we all did,” Roberts answered when asked if he heard what he needed to hear from Ohtani.

“I think Shohei was very honest in his take of what happened. And so I know that for me, the organization is supporting him. I got a lot of questions answered, as far as what he knew, what he didn’t know.

“And I’m looking forward to kind of just moving forward and obviously letting the authorities take care of it, and just focus on baseball. But yeah, I was proud of him to sit up here and kind of give his take on things.”

Joe Kelly and Kiké Hernández were among the players who attended Ohtani’s press conference as a show of support. Roberts added that Ohtani did not address the entire team, but spoke with some players individually to answer any questions they might have about the scandal.

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