Shohei Ohtani’s attorneys accuse interpreter of ‘massive theft’ tied to alleged gambling

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's also not just the culture of a different country, it's the culture of someone groomed to be a professional athlete. We've long noted that pro athletes can be left extra...myopic and sheltered by the single minded process and focus built around them, starting these data from a very young age.

I'm pretty sure we have few, if any, posters with that experience.
I just wanted to echo this. I'm more familiar with the spending habits of NBA players versus baseball players but professional athletes have so much more money but also so little financial experience compared to an average SOSHer that it's hard for any of us to understand that lifestyle. I mean there was a survey done in 2016 that found that NBA players spent an average of $42,500 a month, and that's just what they are admitting to spending. (Some NBA players spends thousands and thousands in clubs - strip clubs - every time they go out). It's an entirely different world than what most of us know.

And professional athletes get scammed all of the time. For hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. They are hyper-focused on their athletic performance, which makes them even more susceptible to being defrauded.

Sure, it may not be "best practices" to give anyone unfettered access to an account with millions of dollars but I have to a good number of professional athletes end up doing this. For better or for worse.
 

BigSoxFan

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I just wanted to echo this. I'm more familiar with the spending habits of NBA players versus baseball players but professional athletes have so much more money but also so little financial experience compared to an average SOSHer that it's hard for any of us to understand that lifestyle. I mean there was a survey done in 2016 that found that NBA players spent an average of $42,500 a month, and that's just what they are admitting to spending. (Some NBA players spends thousands and thousands in clubs - strip clubs - every time they go out). It's an entirely different world than what most of us know.

And professional athletes get scammed all of the time. For hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. They are hyper-focused on their athletic performance, which makes them even more susceptible to being defrauded.

Sure, it may not be "best practices" to give anyone unfettered access to an account with millions of dollars but I have to a good number of professional athletes end up doing this. For better or for worse.
Giving access is one thing. Giving access and then having nobody monitor said access is another. That’s the piece that needs to be answered. We just don’t have any clue on how Ohtani’s team is structured but I would be surprised if it’s that unsophisticated. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ippei had access to the account. But Ippei having access still doesn’t prove that Ohtani is guiltless here.
 

uncannymanny

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there are loads of stories of famous people getting defrauded and stolen in the past...
I’d like to also point out there are loads more rich and famous dudes who thought rules didn’t apply to them because they’re rich and famous.

No one here knows this guy personally.
 

joe dokes

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Giving access is one thing. Giving access and then having nobody monitor said access is another. That’s the piece that needs to be answered. We just don’t have any clue on how Ohtani’s team is structured but I would be surprised if it’s that unsophisticated. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ippei had access to the account. But Ippei having access still doesn’t prove that Ohtani is guiltless here.
You are right about access not proving guiltlessness. But, I dont agree about "monitoring access." As noted repeatedly, athletes and celebrities get ripped off or at least wildly spent by friends and hangers-on. Presumably, most of these folks had advisors. But I think it's naive to assume that the athletes/celebrities we are talking about haven't given un-monitored access to some "associates." The reality of the ripped off or compromised celebrity strongly suggests otherwise.

But @uncannymanny is also correct. The rich and famous also frequently play by their own rules.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Giving access is one thing. Giving access and then having nobody monitor said access is another. That’s the piece that needs to be answered. We just don’t have any clue on how Ohtani’s team is structured but I would be surprised if it’s that unsophisticated. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ippei had access to the account. But Ippei having access still doesn’t prove that Ohtani is guiltless here.
Not saying that Ohtani is guiltless - we just don't have enough information.

But professional athletes - who have spent their lives doing literally almost nothing else than trying to excel at their sport and often has a background that does not include financial literacy - often turn to friends, family (interpreters) to handle their finances. I mean why wouldn't they - it's hard enough for an average person to find a financial advisor they trust much less someone who has millions of dollars thrust upon them and doesn't have any background in this. Sometimes it works out (Jayson Tatum, famously, has his finances run by his Mom (by many accounts)).

Other times it doesn't. E.g., here's a story on Baker Mayfield who filed a $12M fraud petition (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessesilvertown/2023/08/29/baker-and-emily-mayfields-12-million-fraud-petition-is-unfortunately-familiar-for-athletes/) against his financial advisors, which firm included two entities founded by Mayfield's father, one of which was overseen by his brother.

EY did a report that concluded that professional athletes had almost $600M in potential fraud from 2004-2018: https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_us/topics/assurance/ey-forensics-athletes-targeted-by-fraud-june-2019.pdf. Sadly, I would imagine that once a bond of trust is established, professional athletes are pretty easy marks.
 

BigSoxFan

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Not saying that Ohtani is guiltless - we just don't have enough information.

But professional athletes - who have spent their lives doing literally almost nothing else than trying to excel at their sport and often has a background that does not include financial literacy - often turn to friends, family (interpreters) to handle their finances. I mean why wouldn't they - it's hard enough for an average person to find a financial advisor they trust much less someone who has millions of dollars thrust upon them and doesn't have any background in this. Sometimes it works out (Jayson Tatum, famously, has his finances run by his Mom (by many accounts)).

Other times it doesn't. E.g., here's a story on Baker Mayfield who filed a $12M fraud petition (https://www.forbes.com/sites/jessesilvertown/2023/08/29/baker-and-emily-mayfields-12-million-fraud-petition-is-unfortunately-familiar-for-athletes/) against his financial advisors, which firm included two entities founded by Mayfield's father, one of which was overseen by his brother.

EY did a report that concluded that professional athletes had almost $600M in potential fraud from 2004-2018: https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_us/topics/assurance/ey-forensics-athletes-targeted-by-fraud-june-2019.pdf. Sadly, I would imagine that once a bond of trust is established, professional athletes are pretty easy marks.
All of this is true but Shohei Ohtani isn’t Baker Mayfield. He is a billionaire dollar brand potentially. He is the best player in baseball. He is in a different stratosphere from almost every other athlete. Many of these fraud cases are by people they know and trusted and that’s certainly true here. You are right that this happens a lot. I think KG was another person who got burned badly.

My entire point is based on the premise that Ohtani has an experienced and competent team around him. If that wasn’t the case and there was a blind spot, that could potentially explain a lot of this. It surely does happen and it takes a lot of different forms.

All of these athlete examples are helpful for providing potential context/explanation but they offer zero proof into what transpired here. We just don’t know because we don’t know Ohtani’s team or how he operates in private.

All we do know is that several large wires were sent out from Ohtani’s account to an illegal bookmaker and nobody caught it, for reasons TBD.
 

BigSoxFan

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You are right about access not proving guiltlessness. But, I dont agree about "monitoring access." As noted repeatedly, athletes and celebrities get ripped off or at least wildly spent by friends and hangers-on. Presumably, most of these folks had advisors. But I think it's naive to assume that the athletes/celebrities we are talking about haven't given un-monitored access to some "associates." The reality of the ripped off or compromised celebrity strongly suggests otherwise.

But @uncannymanny is also correct. The rich and famous also frequently play by their own rules.
In many of these cases, the one committing fraud was the advisor. This is why I would like to know more about how his money is managed because it could provide some clues. These accounts have to be funded from somewhere. Someone is directing those funds.

I’m not sure what information we’ll ultimately get but this story could change on a dime depending on what turns up. For now, I’m hoping he was just the unlucky victim of fraud. I don’t even want to entertain the possibility of the other scenarios because it would suck greatly for the sport.
 

The Gray Eagle

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I would definitely believe even a young @SumnerH was smarter and wiser and better with his money than most ballplayers. :)

We've all heard the stories of Manny Ramirez not cashing his paychecks and leaving them lying around for moths, along with other insane tales of him and his money. Not saying that Ohtani is anything like Manny, who was unique even among ballplayers, but talking about ballplayers and their money, it's fun to look back at some of these Manny tales.

Manny landed a signing bonus of about $250,000 following the draft. By 1996, following the signing of a four-year extension, he was earning a seven-figure salary. And yet, neglected paychecks routinely fluttered out of Manny’s locker in the Indians’ clubhouse at Jacobs Field. He once left one in a pair of cowboy boots in the visitor’s clubhouse in Texas. The team’s controller required the PR director to talk to Manny about depositing the paychecks.
The PR director asked Manny: “How are you doing for money?”
“I’m doing great,” Manny said. “You need some?”
The PR director politely declined and instead suggested Manny hadn’t been cashing his paychecks. Manny rummaged through his cleats and batting gloves and teammates’ belongings at the bottom of his locker and unearthed three unopened, crumpled envelopes, each containing a check worth two weeks’ salary.
“These?” Manny asked.
“They found stuff from April in August,” Alomar says.
Of course, Manny had plenty of cash. He once left $25,000 in his locker over the offseason. A clubhouse attendant discovered the money while cleaning out Manny’s space. The Indians deposited it for him.
Clubhouse attendants regularly drove Manny’s burgundy, souped-up Chevy Impala to the car wash. Manny instructed them to use the cash in the glove compartment. A few singles would cover the cost. Instead, as one clubbie recalled, he opened the glovebox and out spilled a pile of $100 bills, totaling about $10,000.
Still happening years later in Boston, with a different car:
https://www.jeffspevak.com/look-out-kid/
Ramirez wants his Mercedes run through the car wash. I tell Ramirez I need some money to get it done. I’m a kid, I never have more than $10 in my wallet. He’s like, “Um, ah, check the glove compartment.” I do as I am told. I flip open the glove compartment door. No gloves. But a brick of cash falls out. Hundreds, 50s, 20s. I don’t count it. But it has to be somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. I take $10, ease the rest of the money back into the glove compartment and snap the door closed.
Those are examples of Manny being Manny, but I wouldn't think he'd be the only ballplayer who was incredibly careless with huge amounts of money.

I have no idea if Ohtani gambled or did anything illegal or against the rules. And maybe he isn't the type to be reckless or naive when it comes to money, but that's the thing, none of us really knows anything about him as an individual, as many have said. That's why I wouldn't rule out anything based on what's been reported so far. Including him being incredibly reckless, gullible, or naive. Or him being a calculating gambler who tracks every penny of his money and who orchestrated this whole thing and is trying to make his former best friend the fall guy.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I would definitely believe even a young @SumnerH was smarter and wiser and better with his money than most ballplayers. :)

We've all heard the stories of Manny Ramirez not cashing his paychecks and leaving them lying around for moths, along with other insane tales of him and his money. Not saying that Ohtani is anything like Manny, who was unique even among ballplayers, but talking about ballplayers and their money, it's fun to look back at some of these Manny tales.





Still happening years later in Boston, with a different car:
https://www.jeffspevak.com/look-out-kid/


Those are examples of Manny being Manny, but I wouldn't think he'd be the only ballplayer who was incredibly careless with huge amounts of money.

I have no idea if Ohtani gambled or did anything illegal or against the rules. And maybe he isn't the type to be reckless or naive when it comes to money, but that's the thing, none of us really knows anything about him as an individual, as many have said. That's why I wouldn't rule out anything based on what's been reported so far. Including him being incredibly reckless, gullible, or naive. Or him being a calculating gambler who tracks every penny of his money and who orchestrated this whole thing and is trying to make his former best friend the fall guy.
I also have no idea what really happened.

But in case people find these stories interesting, there's also the story of Allen Iverson, who blew through $200M: https://www.basketballnetwork.net/off-the-court/how-allen-iverson-threw-200-million-down-the-drain-bro-you-can-have-my-bentley. How?

Iverson reportedly often didn't travel with luggage on road trips, only to buy new clothes and jewelry.
Another one of A.I.'s expensive ventures was his outings at gentlemen's clubs. Matt Barnes, who played alongside Iverson on the 05-06 Philadelphia 76ers, was there when NBA superstar threw tens of thousands of dollars during their nights out.
Allen was the first guy that showed me how NBA players spend money in strip clubs. That guy went hard. He'd throw so much money, and this was when I was first in the league, that I used to take my foot and scoop the s–t under my chair and either re-throw it or put some in my pocket. He’d throw $30,000, $40,000 every time we went. I'm like, 'You realize what I can do with this money?'
But hold on, there's more. The Answer once landed from a flight and forgot where he parked his car. Instead of looking for it, he called a cab to a nearby car dealership and bought a new ride instead. Wow!
That isn't the only car-related anecdote that shows how careless Iverson was when it came to money. How about the time when Allen gifted his Bentley to a teammate.
 

uncannymanny

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I think everyone understands and no one needs to be convinced that fraud happens to people with money.

But that doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen here. All of this talk is fan fiction.
 

changer591

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I think everyone understands and no one needs to be convinced that fraud happens to people with money.

But that doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen here. All of this talk is fan fiction.
Do they? Because if you read this thread, it's sure full of people that can't fathom that Ohtani could have gotten his money stolen in some way.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think everyone understands and no one needs to be convinced that fraud happens to people with money.

But that doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen here. All of this talk is fan fiction.
I think everyone understands and no one needs to be convinced that some rich people play outside the rules.

But that doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen here. All of this talk is fan fiction.
 

uncannymanny

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I think everyone understands and no one needs to be convinced that some rich people play outside the rules.

But that doesn’t mean it did or didn’t happen here. All of this talk is fan fiction.
Cool, I mean I didn't post my script about what I think really happened, and what my assumption of someone's character means they did, or make any assumptions about what his personal or business relationships look like, either.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Cool, I mean I didn't post my script about what I think really happened, and what my assumption of someone's character means they did, or make any assumptions about what his personal or business relationships look like, either.
Not sure what you are trying to say.

But at the end of the day, I think we agree that there's not enough facts to have any idea what really happened.

I do agree with Charger (and disagree with BSF) - there seems to be people in this thread (not you specifically) who have a hard time believing that Ohtani might have been stolen from. That's about as far as I want to go.
 

BigSoxFan

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Not sure what you are trying to say.

But at the end of the day, I think we agree that there's not enough facts to have any idea what really happened.

I do agree with Charger (and disagree with BSF) - there seems to be people in this thread (not you specifically) who have a hard time believing that Ohtani might have been stolen from. That's about as far as I want to go.
Why don’t you cite specific cases and let’s have a look then? Because I’m not reading the same thing you are.
 

BigSoxFan

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Ehh, not saying you're wrong - we may well have different interpretations of what people have posted. No worries.
All good. And I’m perfectly cool with being told I’m wrong. Legitimately just trying to understand the opposite position.

Ultimately, we all agree on the most important thing…that we just don’t have enough info here to definitively make any determinations. “Fan fiction” is probably an apt term to use for now. We’re all reading into what we know differently and coming at it from many different angles.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Legitimately just trying to understand the opposite position.
The way I read some of the posts, there seem to be some posters who think that athletes who are worth millions or hundreds of millions or even more than that should have the infrastructure in place to prevent someone from making multiple (9) wires of $500,000 to a bookie without the athlete's knowledge.

While I agree that there is infrastructure that could help prevent it, I'm not sure that a lot of athletes have this infrastructure or would know about how to put this infrastructure into place. If athletes had this infrastructure, they wouldn't need to have their interpreters (as described upthread) conduct their financial business in the first place.

But at the end of the day, I wonder if we'll ever find out.
 

BigSoxFan

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The way I read some of the posts, there seem to be some posters who think that athletes who are worth millions or hundreds of millions or even more than that should have the infrastructure in place to prevent someone from making multiple (9) wires of $500,000 to a bookie without the athlete's knowledge.

While I agree that there is infrastructure that could help prevent it, I'm not sure that a lot of athletes have this infrastructure or would know about how to put this infrastructure into place. If athletes had this infrastructure, they wouldn't need to have their interpreters (as described upthread) conduct their financial business in the first place.

But at the end of the day, I wonder if we'll ever find out.
Many athletes/entertainers do have the infrastructure. My brother banks pro athletes and actors and deals with business managers all the time. As you can imagine, there are varying capabilities there. His bank has many fraud protection mechanisms in place and they catch stuff all the time. The hardest part of his job is when a client wants to do something more reckless and with athletes, that’s an ever-present concern.

This is why we need more clarity on Ippei’s role. If he was serving as Ohtani’s business manager and had control of banking activity and delivery of bank statements, then it wouldn’t be that hard to commit fraud. If he had access to account(s) but third party financial advisors also did, then fraud becomes much more difficult.

I don’t ever really expect to know the full truth here.
 

jcd0805

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Many athletes/entertainers do have the infrastructure. My brother banks pro athletes and actors and deals with business managers all the time. As you can imagine, there are varying capabilities there. His bank has many fraud protection mechanisms in place and they catch stuff all the time. The hardest part of his job is when a client wants to do something more reckless and with athletes, that’s an ever-present concern.

This is why we need more clarity on Ippei’s role. If he was serving as Ohtani’s business manager and had control of banking activity and delivery of bank statements, then it wouldn’t be that hard to commit fraud. If he had access to account(s) but third party financial advisors also did, then fraud becomes much more difficult.

I don’t ever really expect to know the full truth here.
I mean, if Ohtani does not go after Ippei for theft don't we kind of know the truth then?
 

joe dokes

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I mean, if Ohtani does not go after Ippei for theft don't we kind of know the truth then?
Police would be the ones to go after him criminally.
Civilly, I wonder what the point would be. To get a million dollar judgment against a guy who probably has nothing and may never set foot in the US again? Why bother?
 

Sad Sam Jones

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In the third paragraph of the SI baseball preview issue that I referenced earlier regarding Ohtani, the cover subject. Setting is a NYC hotel prior to spring training: "With him are his two most trusted friends. To his left sits Ippei Mizuhara, his training associate, ride-or-die buddy and translator. Behind him, curled comfortably on the bed, is his dog..."

The dog apparently understands commands in both Japanese and English, but either way, he ain't talking.
It's the degenerate gambling dog getting his owner into all kinds of dangerous hijinks. I think I saw that movie sometime back in the '90s.
 

jcd0805

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Police would be the ones to go after him criminally.
Civilly, I wonder what the point would be. To get a million dollar judgment against a guy who probably has nothing and may never set foot in the US again? Why bother?
Right, I mean criminally but before the police got involved he'd have to file a complaint with them right? ESPN said his camp won't get back to them to confirm what authorities they've contacted about the theft.
 

Njal

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I was just thinking ... if I were in Ohtani's shoes, and had essentially infinite amounts of money, and my best friend/longtime interpreter stole $5-10 million from me ... no way am I making a criminal complaint. I'd want him to go away, keep his mouth shut, and leave me alone. I make a complaint, he gets mad, and he starts telling stories, whether true or false, and suddenly I have an even bigger headache. I am sure the friend knows lots of embarrassing stuff, even if I haven't broken any laws, and I am sure someone would pay for a tell all biography. If the friend goes away, and knows I've done him a solid by not pressing charges, maybe the whole thing blows over. He gets his millions, I get peace.

I guess the point is that the money can be more than pocket change, and yet still not worth the hassle of making a complaint over.
 

Rovin Romine

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I was just thinking ... if I were in Ohtani's shoes, and had essentially infinite amounts of money, and my best friend/longtime interpreter stole $5-10 million from me ... no way am I making a criminal complaint. I'd want him to go away, keep his mouth shut, and leave me alone. I make a complaint, he gets mad, and he starts telling stories, whether true or false, and suddenly I have an even bigger headache. I am sure the friend knows lots of embarrassing stuff, even if I haven't broken any laws, and I am sure someone would pay for a tell all biography. If the friend goes away, and knows I've done him a solid by not pressing charges, maybe the whole thing blows over. He gets his millions, I get peace.

I guess the point is that the money can be more than pocket change, and yet still not worth the hassle of making a complaint over.
The feds (and MLB most likely) apparently have hard proof that $4.5M in wires were sent from Ohtani to an illegal bookie.

Literally the last thing Ohtani wants is for Mizuhara to "go away and keep his mouth shut."
 

Njal

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Fair enough, and you know way more about this stuff than I do. But tell me -- do you think it is in Ohtani's best interest to press charges?

Seems to me that antagonizing the interpreter carries a lot of risk. It's likely that there's very little hard evidence about whose bets these are -- whether the interpreter placed them at Ohtani's direction or not. I wouldn't really want the interpreter pissed off at me if I were Ohtani.
 

Rovin Romine

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Fair enough, and you know way more about this stuff than I do. But tell me -- do you think it is in Ohtani's best interest to press charges?

Seems to me that antagonizing the interpreter carries a lot of risk. It's likely that there's very little hard evidence about whose bets these are -- whether the interpreter placed them at Ohtani's direction or not. I wouldn't really want the interpreter pissed off at me if I were Ohtani.
Well, lets say you were in charge of investigating Ohtani for MLB. You have $4.5 million wired from Ohtani to a bookie. He says, "my interpreter did it."

Maybe you want to speak to the interpreter?
 

Njal

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If I am an MLB investigator I definitely want to speak to the interpreter. If I am Ohtani, and the interpreter is in Japan and not talking to MLB, I am not sure how I feel. Maybe not so bad?
 

Billy Jo Robidoux

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If I am an MLB investigator I definitely want to speak to the interpreter. If I am Ohtani, and the interpreter is in Japan and not talking to MLB, I am not sure how I feel. Maybe not so bad?
At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if the interpreter gets whacked like Tommy in Goodfellas.
 

beautokyo

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Mizuhara can't be found it seems. No one (and I mean no one in Japan) it seems knows anything about his whereabouts. His father has a restaurant in LA and reporters asked him "Where's you son" and the father answered no idea. Lots of speculation as he has a dog in LA, maybe at his wife family's residence in Japan. Maybe at a gambling AA type of place....just speculation. Until he answers more questions......it's being kept under wraps it seems.
 

LogansDad

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She says she never met Ohtani. Ohtani, through his new interpreter, said he did.

Ok…
Was this in the article when you read it? I think it may have been edited out, because I just read it and can't find a reference to Ohtani saying he met them.

That said, I am not at all surprised about the strong arm tactics of the Dodgers organization. It isn't the first time and it isn't the last time something like this will happen.
 

BigSoxFan

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Was this in the article when you read it? I think it may have been edited out, because I just read it and can't find a reference to Ohtani saying he met them.

That said, I am not at all surprised about the strong arm tactics of the Dodgers organization. It isn't the first time and it isn't the last time something like this will happen.
Ha, wow. Yes, it was in the original article but looks like it was edited.

80516
 

YTF

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I actually don't get this. Other than the fact that it's Ohtani's first HR as a Dodger, the ball is worthless to anyone but Ohtani. I wonder what the woman considers to be a fair offer and what the lowball offer was.
 

jon abbey

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I actually don't get this. Other than the fact that it's Ohtani's first HR as a Dodger, the ball is worthless to anyone but Ohtani. I wonder what the woman considers to be a fair offer and what the lowball offer was.
“This home run ball’s value, at minimum, is $100,000, said Chris Ivey, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions. Heritage has experience evaluating Ohtani memorabilia. He said the five items that the Dodgers gave the fans would be valued at around $1,000 each.“
 

simplicio

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I actually don't get this. Other than the fact that it's Ohtani's first HR as a Dodger, the ball is worthless to anyone but Ohtani. I wonder what the woman considers to be a fair offer and what the lowball offer was.
Rationally speaking, yes.

The collectibles market is not a rational one.
 

LogansDad

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Not to mention, literally everything Ohtani is stupid valuable on the collectibles market right now. His stuff is even less rational than the rest of the stuff out there.

I could easily see someone taking a gamble on that one at $100k if it hit the open market, even if it serms like a meaningless piece to those of us on the outside.
 

joe dokes

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I like to think I would say, "Give me a day or 2 to think about this. Who should I call when I'm done thinking.? Now leave me alone, I have a baseball game to watch."
I also like to think that if they fucked me, I'd release a statement saying it wasn't really the HR ball.
 

Ale Xander

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I like to think I would say, "Give me a day or 2 to think about this. Who should I call when I'm done thinking.? Now leave me alone, I have a baseball game to watch."
I also like to think that if they fucked me, I'd release a statement saying it wasn't really the HR ball.
Bringing an extra ball (to get signed?) and then if you don’t get it signed keep it for this purpose seems like the play here.
 

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Jul 14, 2005
2,594
Simi Valley, CA
You can take photos and videos and perhaps other evidence and get it authenticated afterwards.
The article states there is an authenticator in the dugout for all games in cases anything happens. Under what authority can a security guard separate a woman from her husband and demand he stay away from the discussion? This is a super bad look.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,526
Manchester, N.H.
Here's the thing though, it's insanely easy to make this good. If you as the team think something is important enough to go retrieve for the player and would have notable market value (which the Ohtani ball absolutely would, I think Heritage might be pumping it up - but the Angels Auction site sold a random, authenticated Ohtani Homerun Ball for $13,000 prior to his massive spike last year. I would not be surprised if a ball that actually had some real hook to it like this one would eclipse that value by multiple times. Heck, an Ohtani Foul Ball he hit in Dodger Stadium in 2021 is in five figures. The homerun ball is valuable - if you made me guess it ends under 100k but not so far under that it's notable and with Ohtani's market in particular sky is the limit.

Two hats, a signed bat, and a signed ball if actually authentic probably are in that 1k per range, but if they're not authenticated that value drops a lot on sale (I would never buy an Ohtani auto without some sort of guarantee on it). And while it's not all about the value, all they really had to do here was bring them both back to the clubhouse, introduce them to Shohei, and have them sign some things in front of them and do a photo op for the ball, and then work out a path to authenticate all the items. Or offer them something better. He was wearing a crappy Fanatics jersey that day, have him sign that - he gets the ball, they get the jersey from the game. This is just a flat out gaffe.

For reference, when a Bucs fan got Tom Brady's 600th TD ball, he got two Brady jersies signed, Mike Evans jersey and cleats signed, season tickets for the rest of 2021 and 2022, and 1k to the team store, and Brady offered a bitcoin valued at 60k at the time. Now that's overkill for his but that's how you do it right.

It's kind of incredible Ohtani spent over half a decade squeaky clean with the Angels and has two big PR/behavioral gaffes surrounding him in like one month on the Dodgers.

As for authenticating the homerun, that might actually be easier than the autographs. There is video of the homerun and presumably it going into the stands, they know what real MLB baseballs look like, that's a more reasonable thing if done quickly even if the MLB was unwilling to do it. Now who believes it and will do it I am unsure, but authenticators will verify with way less than what this couple would've had even if the MLB refused to. There are a ton of MLB collectable balls that no one has true evidence are real but enough context or details are right to authenticate.