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

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
21,786
As others have already said, Ohtani seems to be a baseball rat, much like Ichiro. It's very hard to believe he would have a gambler personality.

Trying to cover for a friend who has that problem, financing that friend for awhile, and not fully realizing it would turn into a legal fiasco? That I can see, he seems very honorable / loyal. I have no idea what an appropriate punishment would be on the field, if any.
Wasn't Michael Jordan one of the pinnacle basketball rats? :redwine:
 

beautokyo

New Member
Jun 5, 2008
284
Tokyo, Japan
That appears to be an article in Japanese. Any summary?
Everyone's in shock pretty much. On a PC you can usually right click and get it googled into EngRish but you still need to read between the lines. Sounds like the interpreter confessed to the players after the game yesterday in Kores saying everything was his fault. but.....this is going to be a mess. There have been several pro baseball players here banned over the years for betting on games so it's nothing really new.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,141
I can't possibly see how this would make any difference.
I mean, I doubt it does. But the contract is highly highly unusual and apparently Ohtani asked for it.

Maybe he has a major gambling problem and is aware enough to know he's better off not having 50M per year dumped into his bank account each year.
 

glennhoffmania

king of nothing
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 25, 2005
8,412,091
NY
I mean, I doubt it does. But the contract is highly highly unusual and apparently Ohtani asked for it.

Maybe he has a major gambling problem and is aware enough to know he's better off not having 50M per year dumped into his bank account each year.
I really don't see that. He made 30m last year, is still making 2m per year, plus I assume he has endorsement money. If he wants to gamble he has plenty of cash with which to do so.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 16, 2006
6,222
There
Paging @Tokyo Sox

How is this being covered in Japan?
I dunno I'm in Seoul. If you want pictures of Ohtani at bat, or Xander facing Joe Kelly, or Darvish at breakfast, I can help you there.

But Japanese tv coverage I'm not sure. My expectation is that it's all going to be very somber and sad. I can tell you it will be the lead story for days and will be everywhere you look.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
20,011
Somewhere
On a somewhat more serious note, this is shaping up to be the most disastrous MLB season in 30 years, right? I mean this is bad.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
47,893
I dunno I'm in Seoul. If you want pictures of Ohtani at bat, or Xander facing Joe Kelly, or Darvish at breakfast, I can help you there.

But Japanese tv coverage I'm not sure. My expectation is that it's all going to be very somber and sad. I can tell you it will be the lead story for days and will be everywhere you look.
Well, now that you offered…hook us up with some pictures!

Thanks - I’m guessing you’ll be right once the media starts reporting on it. We’ll see what other info comes out that may change the story.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 16, 2006
6,222
There
I mean, I doubt it does. But the contract is highly highly unusual and apparently Ohtani asked for it.

Maybe he has a major gambling problem and is aware enough to know he's better off not having 50M per year dumped into his bank account each year.
I really don't see that. He made 30m last year, is still making 2m per year, plus I assume he has endorsement money. If he wants to gamble he has plenty of cash with which to do so.
Yes, this is a theory which doesn't make any sense to me. As ghoff says, he made 30m in salary last year, and an estimated 50m in endorsements. This year it's 2m plus probably even more in endorsements than last year. Anything is possible but this has a bit of a conspiracy theory feel to it.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
14,141
Yes, this is a theory which doesn't make any sense to me. As ghoff says, he made 30m in salary last year, and an estimated 50m in endorsements. This year it's 2m plus probably even more in endorsements than last year. Anything is possible but this has a bit of a conspiracy theory feel to it.
I said it mostly in jest, I very much doubt it's related. But his contract remains very unusual. No one ever does what he just did, regardless of endorsements.

This gambling thing also is seemingly very bizarre. Most likely, they are simply 2 unrelated very bizarre things.

But it's not entirely far fetched to wonder if there is some round about way they aren't completely unrelated.
 

Hank Scorpio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 1, 2013
7,337
Salem, NH
On one hand, I like Ohtani and think he’s great for baseball, and hope he succeeds and hope there is nothing to this story.

One the other hand, I’d laugh my ass off if the Dodgers dynasty completely fell apart before it even started.
 

E5 Yaz

polka king
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
91,901
Oregon
30 years after Jordan's sabbatical. The major difference beyond the orchestrated nature of another sport being available is, as we've seen already, social media's insatiable need to further a story and/or conspiracy theories.

They could/will try to "sweep it under the rug," but I don't think they will be able to make it disappear
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
34,410
Maybe I've been duped by his public persona, but I would be flabbergasted if he's a gambler, sticking by that. This guilty until proven innocent culture is tiresome in this case.
 

Bongorific

Thinks he’s clever
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
8,526
Balboa Towers
Yes, this is a theory which doesn't make any sense to me. As ghoff says, he made 30m in salary last year, and an estimated 50m in endorsements. This year it's 2m plus probably even more in endorsements than last year. Anything is possible but this has a bit of a conspiracy theory feel to it.
What’s sports gambling culture like in Japan? Illegals or legal? If illegal, large black market like in US before legalized gambling?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
43,965
AZ
They have both already been mentioned but from the perspective of someone kind of rooting for Ohtani to be blameless, the two facts that concern me are: (1) how does an interpreter making $300,000 to $500,000 get into an illegal bookie for $4.5 million without the bookie thinking there is recourse, and (2) the pivot from “I helped a friend” to “he stole from me” is concerning.
 

Remagellan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Honestly, all sports are now so thoroughly in bed with these online gambling companies that I don't give a crap if any player in any sport is placing bets on any game other than the ones they play in. And even in that case, if they bet on their own team to win, I'd probably even get over that. If MLB wants me to care about players betting, they can start by stop flashing DraftKings ads on the virtual billboards they have on their broadcasts.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
76,297
If Ohtani is either banned by baseball or is convicted of a crime, and doesn't play, does his future salary count for luxury tax purposes, or it's just void? Does the fact that a Dodgers employee (the interpreter) was involved matter? Is this why they fired him right away?

So many questions.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
43,965
AZ
Honestly, all sports are now so thoroughly in bed with these online gambling companies that I don't give a crap if any player in any sport is placing bets on any game other than the ones they play in. And even in that case, if they bet on their own team to win, I'd probably even get over that. If MLB wants me to care about players betting, they can start by stop flashing DraftKings ads on the virtual billboards they have on their broadcasts.
Yeah, I tried to imply that above. It is hard to get too worked up about the fact that you did something that was permitted through DraftKings, but you just did it a different way. I guess the concern is that draft kings is very heavily regulated while illegal bookmakers are more prone to corruption.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Moderator
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
72,680
Yeah, I tried to imply that above. It is hard to get too worked up about the fact that you did something that was permitted through DraftKings, but you just did it a different way. I guess the concern is that draft kings is very heavily regulated while illegal bookmakers are more prone to corruption.
I quit sports betting cold turkey in my teens but I do know Draft Kings isn't legal in California.
 

Tokyo Sox

Baka Gaijin
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 16, 2006
6,222
There
What’s sports gambling culture like in Japan? Illegals or legal? If illegal, large black market like in US before legalized gambling?
Betting on horse racing and I think a couple other random things is legal; almost everything else is illegal. I'm sure the yakuza run some books but you never really hear any kind of big stories on the topic, so my guess is that it's not much of a scene. Certainly nothing like the US.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts way less than 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
14,622
Honestly, all sports are now so thoroughly in bed with these online gambling companies that I don't give a crap if any player in any sport is placing bets on any game other than the ones they play in. And even in that case, if they bet on their own team to win, I'd probably even get over that. If MLB wants me to care about players betting, they can start by stop flashing DraftKings ads on the virtual billboards they have on their broadcasts.
Yeah, but then how would the downtrodden owners find someone to advertise during their games? If you want a good product, gamble on draftkings and tell them MLB sent you.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
47,893
They have both already been mentioned but from the perspective of someone kind of rooting for Ohtani to be blameless, the two facts that concern me are: (1) how does an interpreter making $300,000 to $500,000 get into an illegal bookie for $4.5 million without the bookie thinking there is recourse, and (2) the pivot from “I helped a friend” to “he stole from me” is concerning.
I read the ESPN article and came away with the same conclusion. They stated that Mizuhara and Ohtani paid the debts in installments on his computer and now Ohtani is claiming he’s the victim? That doesn’t really compute. To your point #1, I don’t think an illegal bookie is letting a guy like Mizuhara get $4.5M in debt unless he knows payment is coming from someone who has the means.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Moderator
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
72,680
To your point #1, I don’t think an illegal bookie is letting a guy like Mizuhara get $4.5M in debt unless he knows payment is coming from someone who has the means.
This is exactly what I said to my wife earlier.

Maybe MLB will suspend him one year and the Dodgers will just sign JD Martinez back to a one year deal, Ohtani gets the full year to rehab.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
They have both already been mentioned but from the perspective of someone kind of rooting for Ohtani to be blameless, the two facts that concern me are: (1) how does an interpreter making $300,000 to $500,000 get into an illegal bookie for $4.5 million without the bookie thinking there is recourse, and (2) the pivot from “I helped a friend” to “he stole from me” is concerning.
Yeah, this and I'm more than just a little curious as to how the interpreter has access that much of Ohtani's cash.
 

E5 Yaz

polka king
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
91,901
Oregon
Yeah, this and I'm more than just a little curious as to how the interpreter has access that much of Ohtani's cash.
You have to go back to the original story ..

During the Tuesday interview arranged by Ohtani's spokesman, Mizuhara, 39, told ESPN that he asked Ohtani, 29, last year to pay off his gambling debt, which multiple sources said had ballooned to at least $4.5 million. Mizuhara said that he previously had placed bets via DraftKings and assumed bets placed through Bowyer were legal.
"Obviously, he [Ohtani] wasn't happy about it and said he would help me out to make sure I never do this again," Mizuhara said. "He decided to pay it off for me.
"I want everyone to know Shohei had zero involvement in betting. I want people to know I did not know this was illegal. I learned my lesson the hard way. I will never do sports betting ever again."
But on Wednesday afternoon, Mizuhara told ESPN that Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling debts and that Ohtani had not transferred money to the bookmaker's associate.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/39768770/dodgers-shohei-ohtani-interpreter-fired-theft
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
45,935
Here
On a somewhat more serious note, this is shaping up to be the most disastrous MLB season in 30 years, right? I mean this is bad.
I think it depends if he bet on baseball. If not, he might be in trouble anyway, but I think a lot of the general public won’t care so much.
 

pearccol

New Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
27
This is exactly what I said to my wife earlier.

Maybe MLB will suspend him one year and the Dodgers will just sign JD Martinez back to a one year deal, Ohtani gets the full year to rehab.
Agreed. That’s the part that just doesn’t smell right.

Given that the payment was made to an illegal bookie it may well be that Ohtani is going to be in potentially bigger trouble with the feds than with MLB. At least that’s what Yasiel Puig told me….
 

Scoops Bolling

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 19, 2007
5,999
Agreed. That’s the part that just doesn’t smell right.

Given that the payment was made to an illegal bookie it may well be that Ohtani is going to be in potentially bigger trouble with the feds than with MLB. At least that’s what Yasiel Puig told me….
That would seem to be the reason for the about face on the story here. Ohtani has a bunch of wire transfers in his name to an illegal gambling operation; it's illegal to wire money to such an entity, and there's no "doing your buddy a solid and paying his debt" exception (at least to this layman). It doesn't matter whether Ohtani made the bets. So long as he knew who he was wiring and why...his lawyers are going to be working overtime. And absolutely cursing out whoever on Ohtani's team didn't run the plan with ESPN by them first.
 
Last edited:

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
26,455
Los Angeles, CA
(1) how does an interpreter making $300,000 to $500,000 get into an illegal bookie for $4.5 million without the bookie thinking there is recourse
I suppose it’s possible that the bookie knew who this guy was and his relationship to Ohtani, so he was letting him get into huge debt, as a play for him to get bailed out by his uber-rich friend. If the guy was a habitual losing player, then it was of no cost to the bookie to let him continue playing on credit. But I can’t help but think that the simplest answer here is that the money and wagers were coming from Ohtani in the first place.
(2) the pivot from “I helped a friend” to “he stole from me” is concerning.
Agreed.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,915
Honolulu HI
Yeah, this and I'm more than just a little curious as to how the interpreter has access that much of Ohtani's cash.
I think it needs to be emphasized how close Ohtani is to Mizuhara. He is not simply his “interpreter”; he is his best friend and constant companion. in fact, their closeness is covered (in the Japanese media) to the point that Mizuhara has even become a minor celebrity in his own right.
Considering this, I don’t think it’s at all unrealistic to imagine that either of the stories coming out of Ohtani’s camp could be true, though I do admit that both being true doesn’t make sense. That said, it may be that Ohtani thought he could hide the seriousness of Mizuhara’s problems through his initial claim (that he paid off his friend’s debt) before later realizing that this was too big a story to successfully cover up with a lie - which led to him admitting what actually happened (that Mizuhara has access to his money and took millions without Ohtani’s consent). That would mean Ohtani was trying to cover up his friend’s crime, which might seem hard to believe except for the fact that these guys are incredibly close and Ohtani is so fabulously wealthy that even a theft of multiple millions might not be that upsetting to him.
 

sodenj5

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
6,632
CT
I think it needs to be emphasized how close Ohtani is to Mizuhara. He is not simply his “interpreter”; he is his best friend and constant companion. in fact, their closeness is covered (in the Japanese media) to the point that Mizuhara has even become a minor celebrity in his own right.
Considering this, I don’t think it’s at all unrealistic to imagine that either of the stories coming out of Ohtani’s camp could be true, though I do admit that both being true doesn’t make sense. That said, it may be that Ohtani thought he could hide the seriousness of Mizuhara’s problems through his initial claim (that he paid off his friend’s debt) before later realizing that this was too big a story to successfully cover up with a lie - which led to him admitting what actually happened (that Mizuhara has access to his money and took millions without Ohtani’s consent). That would mean Ohtani was trying to cover up his friend’s crime, which might seem hard to believe except for the fact that these guys are incredibly close and Ohtani is so fabulously wealthy that even a theft of multiple millions might not be that upsetting to him.
I think it’s entirely possible that Shoei didn’t understand that paying his translator’s debt was illegal. Draftkings ads are everywhere. Players are allowed to gamble, just not on baseball.

His biggest issue is that Shoei has no way of proving that his translator wasn’t placing bets for him. I think that’s probably the biggest issue, and why we saw the knee jerk change of story from his lawyers, trying to insulate Shoei completely.

I would imagine the truth is likely the original story, and Shoei intended to help his best friend out of a mess, and now he’s gotten himself into a jam.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,494
You have to go back to the original story ..

During the Tuesday interview arranged by Ohtani's spokesman, Mizuhara, 39, told ESPN that he asked Ohtani, 29, last year to pay off his gambling debt, which multiple sources said had ballooned to at least $4.5 million. Mizuhara said that he previously had placed bets via DraftKings and assumed bets placed through Bowyer were legal.
"Obviously, he [Ohtani] wasn't happy about it and said he would help me out to make sure I never do this again," Mizuhara said. "He decided to pay it off for me.
"I want everyone to know Shohei had zero involvement in betting. I want people to know I did not know this was illegal. I learned my lesson the hard way. I will never do sports betting ever again."
But on Wednesday afternoon, Mizuhara told ESPN that Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling debts and that Ohtani had not transferred money to the bookmaker's associate.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/39768770/dodgers-shohei-ohtani-interpreter-fired-theft
Or he told Ohtani it was 4.5M, but it was really a lot less. So, both "paid off his debts" and "stole from him."
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,494
I think it depends if he bet on baseball. If not, he might be in trouble anyway, but I think a lot of the general public won’t care so much.
Im not even sure the general public will care if he bet on the Dodgers, as long as he bet on them to win, since the explanation of why thats bad takes 2 sentences, and the general public usually stops thinking at 1 or fewer.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
11,419
NJ
Of course this happened when mere hours earlier I drafted him for my HR league team.

On a more serious note, this all seems rather weird and something doesn’t quite add up with the conflicting stories.
 

NDame616

will bailey
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
2,491
The things I can't wrap my head around:
-A guy making 3-500K a year is allowed to float $4.5M in gambling losses over a 3-year period
-The transfers came directly from Othani's account
-The complete about face of the Dodgers/Othani about what happened

There is a sub 10% chance this wasn't Othani heavily involved in this entire thing.
 

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
26,455
Los Angeles, CA
I think it needs to be emphasized how close Ohtani is to Mizuhara. He is not simply his “interpreter”; he is his best friend and constant companion. in fact, their closeness is covered (in the Japanese media) to the point that Mizuhara has even become a minor celebrity in his own right.
Considering this, I don’t think it’s at all unrealistic to imagine that either of the stories coming out of Ohtani’s camp could be true, though I do admit that both being true doesn’t make sense. That said, it may be that Ohtani thought he could hide the seriousness of Mizuhara’s problems through his initial claim (that he paid off his friend’s debt) before later realizing that this was too big a story to successfully cover up with a lie - which led to him admitting what actually happened (that Mizuhara has access to his money and took millions without Ohtani’s consent). That would mean Ohtani was trying to cover up his friend’s crime, which might seem hard to believe except for the fact that these guys are incredibly close and Ohtani is so fabulously wealthy that even a theft of multiple millions might not be that upsetting to him.
$4.5M might not be all that much to Ohtani (I beg to differ, but let's go with it for now), but that is a gigantic breach of trust by someone he thought was his friend. Yes, I find it very difficult to believe that he would just let a theft like that slide and try to cover up for him.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
990
So...
  • Ohtani has NO ONE managing his finances who would notice millions of dollars being transferred out of his accounts?
  • Ohtani gave his friend/interpreter access to his accounts, including passwords?
  • Ohtani was betrayed by his best friend but his lawyers thought it was a good idea to have that friend take the lead with a media interview?
There is no way the current story is true. Thoughts on how long the suspension will be? And how snakebit are the Dodgers, after absorbing the Bauer suspension, to now be walking into another scenario in which their new FA will miss significant time.