Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Not Facing Discipline In Wake Of Ippei Mizuhara Being Fired

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Controversy struck the Los Angeles Dodgers after their Opening Day win over the San Diego Padres as Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was fired due to his alleged involvement in an illegal gambling scheme.

Mizuhara reportedly stole millions from the two-way star in order to fund illegal gambling activities and was said to be involved with Southern California bookmaker Mathew Bowyer, who is under federal investigation.

“The Dodgers are aware of media reports and are gathering information,” the club said in a statement earlier in the day. “The team can confirm that interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been terminated. The team has no further comment at this time.”

In the wake of Mizuhara being let go by the Dodgers, an MLB official confirmed that Ohtani is not currently under investigation or facing discipline, via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic:

Ohtani is not currently facing discipline, according to an MLB official, nor is he believed to be under active investigation by the league.

MLB’s policy prohibits “any player, umpire, or Club or League official or employee” from betting on baseball or making illegal bets involving other sports. If personnel is found to have participated in such acts, punishment is possible and comes in the form of “such penalty as the Commissioner deems appropriate in light of the facts and circumstances of the conduct.”

Prior to the news becoming public, Mizuhara spoke to the Dodgers clubhouse at Gocheok Sky Dome to take full responsibility for the gambling and clear Ohtani’s name. However, Mizuhara’s stance and claims changed in interviews with ESPN.

Mizuhara first stated that he asked Ohtani to help pay off gambling debts and they reached an agreement. But Mizuhara then told ESPN that Ohtani never transferred money and wasn’t aware of his illegal betting activity.

Ohtani’s Dodgers contract does have a clause that guarantees him an interpreter, but it does not include the ability to opt out if the role isn’t handled by Mizuhara. Ohtani can exercise the opt-out clause if Dodgers owner Mark Walter or president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman are no longer with the team.

Will Ireton becoming Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter

Will Ireton has taken over as an interpreter for Ohtani. Ireton was Kenta Maeda’s interpreter prior to moving into the Dodgers baseball operations department.

Along with serving as an interpreter for Ohtani, Ireton is going to handle in-game translating and communication for Yoshinobu Yamamoto as well. It previously was the responsibility of Mizuhara because MLB rules only permit teams to have one interpreter in the dugout during games.

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