LA Dodgers bring on new interpreter for Shohei Ohtani amid Gambling Scandal

Dodgers appoint familiar interpreter for Shohei Ohtani amid scandal
from Larry Brown Sports with Steve DelVecchio, and from

Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was fired on Wednesday amid a gambling scandal, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have replaced him with a familiar face.

Prior to his team’s game against the San Diego Padres in South Korea on Thursday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that Will Ireton will be Ohtani’s interpreter for the time being.

Ireton is fluent in Japanese and English. He served as former Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda’s interpreter from 2016-2018, so he has experience with the role. Ireton has held various titles within the Dodgers organization since then and has been their manager of performance operations since 2021.

Mizuhara had also worked as star Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s interpreter during conversations with coaches and mound visits. Ireton will assume those duties as well.

Yamamoto started for the Dodgers in their 15-11 loss to San Diego on Thursday. The right-hander lasted just one inning and allowed 5 earned runs on 4 hits with a walk and 2 strikeouts.

On Wednesday, news outlets reported that Mizuhara had been fired by the Dodgers for alleged theft. Mizuhara allegedly stole millions from Ohtani and used the money to pay off gambling debts he accumulated.

A follow-up story revealed that Mizuhara spoke with ESPN on Tuesday about the situation and told the outlet that Ohtani knew about Mizuhara’s gambling problem. Mizuhara reportedly told ESPN that Ohtani paid the gambling debt on the interpreter’s behalf. When asked why Ohtani didn’t give the money directly to Mizuhara rather than to the bookie, Mizuhara said that was because Ohtani wanted to ensure that the debt was paid off and that Mizuhara didn’t gamble away that money.

There is at least one possible explanation for why Mizuhara changed his story.