Dave Roberts happy Shohei Ohtani doesn’t have ‘buffer’ with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara fired

Dave Roberts happy Shohei Ohtani doesn’t have ‘buffer’ with interpreter Ippei Mizuhara fired

As questions continued to linger surrounding the situation involving Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attempted to put a positive spin on the whole thing hoping that it would have a good impact on the baseball superstar’s connection with his new teammates.

Mizuhara had been one of Ohtani’s closest companions in the United States until the Japanese star’s camp alleged the interpreter stole millions from Ohtani in an effort to cover gambling debts and led to the Dodgers firing him last week.

Will Ireton has replaced Mizuhara as Otani’s interpreter, but he won’t be at the dual-threat player’s side the way Mizuhara had been, which Roberts sees as an opportunity for Ohtani to grow his relationship with those in the Dodgers organization.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani, right, and his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, leave after at a news conference ahead of a baseball workout at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, March 16, 2024.



Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired amid gambling allegations.AP
“Actually, I would argue that it’s going to help relations internally,” Roberts said to reporters on Tuesday in Anaheim, according to The Associated Press. “Because there’s no longer a buffer. I think that I’ve already seen it the last couple of days. I think Shohei has been even more engaging with his teammates, and I think there’s only upside with that.”

Ohtani does understand English, teammates and opposing players have said in the past, and Roberts suggested people will be “surprised” to see how much English he knows.

The Dodgers manager also said he already had seen Ohtani making an effort to get out of his comfort zone over the past few days.


The Japanese star addressed the controversy for the first time Monday when he read from a prepared statement in front of reporters in which he denied ever having bet on any sports or transferred any money to alleged illegal bookmaker Mathew Bowyer’s operation to cover debts that were owed by Mizuhara.

The bizarre story first broke last Wednesday when the Los Angeles Times and ESPN published reports.

What to know about Shohei Ohtani’s accusations against his former interpreter

Lawyers representing Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani have accused his now-former interpreter and longtime friend Ippei Mizuhara of “massive theft” in a $4.5 million bombshell.

Mizuhara, who followed the two-time AL MVP from the Angels after he signed a 10-year, $700 million deal this offseason, reportedly accrued massive gambling debts he needed to pay off.


Mizuhara first told ESPN Ohtani offered to pay off the debt and later changed his story, insisting the Japanese star was unaware of the eight-nine wire transfers made from his accounts to an alleged illegal bookmaker.

Ohtani’s camp has “disavowed” Mizuhara’s initial story, per ESPN.

He was fired shortly after the Dodgers’ season opener against the Padres in Seoul, South Korea, and Ohtani has yet to publicly address the situation, though his camp is pushing for a law enforcement investigation amid an IRS probe.

“I never bet on baseball,” Mizuhara told ESPN. “That’s 100%. I knew that rule. … We have a meeting about that in spring training.”

All sides claim Ohtani has no involvement in any gambling.

Dave Roberts spoke about the situation with reporters.
Dave Roberts spoke about the situation with reporters.USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The situation involving Mizuhara became particularly bizarre after he claimed in a 90-minute interview with ESPN that Ohtani had been aware of money transfers made in his name to the illegal bookmaking operation alleged to be run by Mathew Bowyer, only to retract his comments and have them “disavowed” by a spokesperson for the Dodgers star.

While Ohatni’s attorneys released a statement saying that he was the “victim of a massive theft” and that they were turning the matter over to the proper authorities, representatives for Ohtani would not tell ESPN which authorities they reported their theft allegations to, the outlet reported Tuesday night.

ESPN reported that a spokesperson for Ohtani declined to comment, and it was not able to confirm with any local, state and federal agencies that could investigate the theft that they had been contacted by Ohtani’s camp.

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.
Shohei Ohtani warms up prior to the Dodgers game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium.USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

 Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on ahead of a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on March 26, 2024 in Anaheim, California.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts looks on ahead of a game against the Angels at Angel Stadium.Getty Images
Ohtani, playing in a spring training game Tuesday, was back in Anaheim for the first time since leaving the Angels this winter in free agency to sign with the Dodgers.

The former Angels star was given a standing ovation and a video tribute from the organization on Tuesday night.


Related Posts

SHOCKING!!! NOT DONE YET! Authorities said they’ve uncovered how Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter pulled off theft, Ippei Mizuhara stole more money from Shohei Ohtani than initially believed?

SHOCKING!!! NOT DONE YET! Authorities said they’ve uncovered how Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter pulled off theft, Ippei Mizuhara stole more money from Shohei Ohtani than initially believed?…

CONFIRMED: The Dodgers star has been officially cleared of any suspicions regarding recent gambling behavior as the investigation results specify only two reasons!

CONFIRMED: The Dodgers star has been officially cleared of any suspicions regarding recent gambling behavior as the investigation results specify only two reasons! Shohei Ohtani ‘was a…

MLB HISTORY HEIST: It’s not just a $4.5 million theft; analysts are pegging it at a staggering $21 million!!

MLB HISTORY HEIST: It’s not just a $4.5 million theft; analysts are pegging it at a staggering $21 million at the moment! Japanese interpreter charged with stealing…

Travis Kelce Leaves Taylor Swift Fans ‘Crying’ Over Sweet Childhood Video With Brother Jason

Travis Kelce shared a rare look at his childhood with brother Jason Kelce in a sweet TikTok video that left some Taylor Swift fans “crying” over how…

“We’re just proud of each other”: Taylor Swift Confesses Her Love for Travis Kelce as Kansas City Chiefs Footballer Set to Miss the 2024 Grammys

In an unexpected twist, Taylor Swift, the renowned pop icon, has grabbed attention with her revelation of admiration for Travis Kelce, the tight end for the Kansas…

Eagles’ Jason Kelce Candidly Reveals His Super Bowl Regret To Brother Travis & Lil Dicky

Eagles’ Jason Kelce Candidly Reveals His Super Bowl Regret To Brother Travis & Lil Dicky PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 22: Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) looks…