Yankees on fire in MLB while former dream target battles gambling scandal 

Shohei Ohtani was pursued by the Yankees in 2024 but ultimately joined the Dodgers at the end of December 2023
Amanda Paula
Thursday April 11, 2024

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As the MLB season kicked off, many Yankees fans lamented Shohei Ohtani’s move to the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, perhaps the Yankees’ former dream not coming true has spared them from negative headlines.

Did the Yankees dodge a scandal?

Shohei Ohtani was pursued by the Yankees in 2024 but ultimately joined the Dodgers at the end of December 2023
AP

Don’t misunderstand, Ohtani is an exceptional player. Nevertheless, while Ohtani has been making waves, the Yankees have been excelling in the MLB campaign, boasting their best start in two decades and with standout performances from players like Juan Soto.

Amidst the Yankees‘ success, Ohtani has been in the spotlight due to allegations against his ex-interpreter. The Department of Justice revealed that Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former interpreter, faces federal charges for allegedly embezzling millions from Ohtani in a gambling scheme.

In parallel to that, Michael Kay criticized Ohtani for his ‘unbelievable’ silence amid betting allegations, while the Yankees hold a 10-3 record so far, with shining performances from Anthony Volpe, Aaron Judge, and Juan Soto.

What happened?

According to United States Attorney Martin Estrada, Mizuhara is accused of committing bank fraud by siphoning over $16 million from Ohtani’s accounts to fuel his illegal sports betting activities. Mizuhara allegedly used his position of trust, gained from assisting Ohtani with his finances, to orchestrate unauthorized transfers and even impersonated Ohtani during phone calls with the bank to approve transfers to bookmakers.

Mizuhara is expected to surrender to federal authorities, with his initial court appearance scheduled in Downtown Los Angeles. Estrada emphasized that Ohtani is considered a victim in this case, having fully cooperated with the investigation. There is no evidence to suggest that Ohtani authorized the transfers or was aware of Mizuhara’s actions.

The investigation revealed that Mizuhara bet on sports other than baseball, depositing any winnings into his personal account. Ohtani, in his defense, denied any involvement in illegal gambling, stating that he never bet on sports or authorized anyone to do so on his behalf.

Despite the scandal, Ohtani continues to play for the Dodgers, focusing on his performance on the field. However, the fallout from Mizuhara’s actions has led to his termination by the Dodgers and an ongoing investigation by MLB.

While the Yankees may have missed out on Ohtani’s talents, they may have avoided the controversy that has engulfed him due to his former interpreter’s alleged misconduct.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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