Rob Manfred Hopes MLB Investigation Into Shohei Ohtani & Ippei Mizuhara Is ‘Short’

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers opened up their domestic Opening Day on Thursday, with a lineup that included Shohei Ohtani.

Being implicated in an investigation involving former translator Ippei Mizuhara in an illegal gambling scandal, Ohtani’s name is tied to cash transfers to Southern California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, who is also under federal investigation.

Ohtani claimed he was unaware of Mizuhara’s actions and accused his former translator of theft, while Major League Baseball has since began their own investigation into the matter.

In an appearance on MLB Network’s “High Heat,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the investigation will dive into finding the truth of the matter:

“Given the way the story unfolded, it’s important in terms of assuring our fans about the integrity of the game that we verify the things that Mr. Ohtani has said, and it’s really that simple.”

MLB has a track record of conducting thorough investigations, but with federal agencies working on their own, Manfred said they aren’t likely to work together:

“It’s really difficult for the federal authorities to cooperate with us fully when they have their own ongoing investigation, so I think this is one where we’ll have to proceed on our own.”

“We never have the kind of authority that law enforcement people have, but we manage to get these investigations done and find the facts and I’m sure we will on this one.”

The cloud of this matter is bad for baseball, and the influence that sports betting has in professional sports, Manfred echoes that a hasty conclusion is best:

“I hope short. I hope short, but I just don’t know.”

In the interim, Ohtani is okay to remain with the Dodgers, and won’t be subject to any rules that won’t allow him to continue playing during the investigation.

Ohtani has remained of the position that he had no involvement into Mizuhara’s illegal activities and has never been a part of any illegal gambling.

Ippei Mizuhara made it ‘difficult’ for Dodgers to communicate with Shohei Ohtani

The scandal with Mizuhara and his abrupt exit from the organization has already had its own effect on the clubhouse.

Some, including Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, believe that without Ohtani’s former translator, a proper path of communication could be had with the two-way star. Mainly in conversations with baseball dialogue, the team should have a better line to Ohtani.

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