Ohtani Focuses on Baseball Amid Betting Scandal, MLB Fans React

IRS Investigates Ohtani's Interpreter in Betting Scandal

by Nouman Rasool
Ohtani Focuses on Baseball Amid Betting Scandal, MLB Fans React
© Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers' phenom Shohei Ohtani is taking significant strides toward his return to the diamond, leaving behind the shadows of a recent betting scandal. Initiating his throwing program on Monday, Ohtani is making his comeback following an elbow surgery that sidelined him last September.

The two-way star's dedication to his rehabilitation and return to form was evident as he engaged with the media, affirming his commitment to the sport he excels in. Despite the controversy swirling around him, Ohtani is unwavering in his focus.

The spectacle of his pitching sessions on social media platforms like X has elicited a spectrum of reactions from the MLB fanbase. Supporters rally behind the Dodgers standout, praising his resilience and determination to move past the allegations.

"He’s already focused on baseball," one admirer notes, highlighting Ohtani's single-minded dedication to his craft.

Mixed Fan Reactions

Nevertheless, not all feedback has been favorable. Amidst expressions of support, there are voices of dissent, with some questioning the speed at which Ohtani has seemingly distanced himself from the scandal.

A fraction of the fanbase suggests possible involvement with his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, though no evidence has surfaced to substantiate such claims. "He should be banned from baseball," a detractor demands, reflecting the polarized perspectives surrounding Ohtani's situation.

The backdrop to this controversy involves an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into Matthew Boyer, a bookmaker, and Mizuhara, both entangled in the betting scandal. Operating out of their Los Angeles field office, the IRS has yet to unveil specifics of their inquiry but anticipates sharing findings in the weeks ahead.

Amidst these tumultuous times, Berk Brettler LLP, representing Ohtani, has declared their client a victim of "massive theft." As Shohei Ohtani gears up for an upcoming game against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 28, the baseball world watches closely.

The talented athlete is not expected to pitch this season, focusing instead on his recovery and proving his mettle on the field. Despite the swirling controversies, Ohtani's story is one of perseverance, dedication, and an unwavering love for baseball, serving as a testament to his character and resolve amidst adversity.