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The Corydon

The Corydon

The Student News Site of Millikan High

The Corydon

The Ohtani Betting Scandal

Kayla Castillo
Photo of Money

Shohei Ohtani makes headlines for his incredible skills on the baseball field; recently, however,  he has been in headlines for other reasons. 

Whenever you see Shohei Ohtani in any media, his English translator is seen right by his side. Ippei Mizuhara, not only Shohei’s translator, but one of his closest friends. 

On Mar. 20, 2024 media outlets, such as Los Angeles Times, began to report Ohtani’s lawyers were accusing Mizuhara of massive theft. Mizuhara was being accused of secretly transferring huge amounts of funds from Ohtani to feed into Mizuhara’s extreme gambling addiction. At the time, the Los Angeles Dodgers were staying in Seoul, South Korea for a special series versus their SoCal rivals the San Diego Padres. Mizuhara has since been fired from the Dodgers organization. 

According to Ohtani himself during a press conference following the reports on March 25, Mizuhara addressed the whole team, including Ohtani, after the first game of the Seoul series. Making them aware of the charges against him before they found out from the media. Mizuhara’s confession to the team was also the first time Ohtani was hearing about the charges as well. To watch the full press conference

Shohei Ohtani up to bat at Dodger Stadium (Kayla Castillo)

click here. 

“The allegations against Mizuhara centered specifically on wire transfers from Ohtani’s account — totaling at least $4.5 million, made in at least nine payments of $500,000 — to a bookmaking operation in Southern California that is currently under federal investigation,” said NBC NEWS in an article addressing the scandal. These wire transfers were the beginning of Mizuhara’s downfall.

Mizuhara met Ohtani in 2013 while Ohtani was still playing in his hometown of Japan. Mizuhara was working as an English Translator for an English-speaking player on the same team as Ohtani. Ever since then, they were inseparable. Ohtani brought him along when he eventually signed to play with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. Wherever Ohtani went, Mizuhara was right by his side, as Ohtani had yet to learn the English language.

Now in the present day, Ippei Mizuhara is being charged with stealing 16 million dollars from Ohtani’s bank account to compensate for his extreme gambling addiction. Many were skeptical as they were wondering how Mizuhara even obtained access to Ohtani’s bank account. Some baseball fans even began to speculate the ordeal was orchestrated by Ohtani’s legal team to keep him out of trouble as they believed it was actually Ohtani with the betting addiction. 

“I never bet on baseball or any other sports. I have never asked anybody to do that on my behalf. I have never gone through a bookmaker to bet on sports. Up until a couple of days ago, I didn’t know this was happening,” said Ohtani to reporters during a press conference amid the allegations of March 25. 

Fortunately, these accusations have been debunked as Mizuhara is now in Federal Custody as of Friday, Apr. 12. He is expected to plead guilty to his crimes as there are heaps of incriminating evidence including text messages to the bookmaking operation.  

As for Ohtani, following a required MLB investigation he has been found innocent of any wrongdoing

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About the Contributor
Kayla Castillo
Kayla Castillo, Staff Reporter
Hi! I'm Kayla (she/her), I'm an MBA student and I'm in 10th grade. I'm a staff reporter and this is my first year of journalism. I make the pretty posts you see on our instagram!

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  • L

    Loreli LopezMay 22, 2024 at 1:01 pm

    On May 7, 2024, Kayla Castillo wrote an article titled “The Ohtani Betting Scandal”. Kayla introduces the topic with an intriguing hook about Ohtani and his translator; also providing a brief description about who they are. The article includes useful information about how Shohei Ohtani met his translator and former best friend, Ippei Mizuhara. Having prior knowledge of this strong connection, I was even more surprised about the unfortunate events that have recently occurred; Mizuhara facing accusations of stealing $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account to gamble. Despite the negativity, Kayla still delivers this information in a formal, sophisticated tone, implying how serious this topic is. The sequential details Kayla included is all efficient and beneficial in understanding the entire situation and timeline. Additionally, revealing what Ohtani, himself, had to say in response is a major contributing factor. It is extremely devastating that someone Ohtani considered as a best friend would betray him in such a serious manner. Although it is fortunate for Ohtani to be found innocent, he lost his translator and someone he trusted.

  • C

    Caden BuiMay 21, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    On May 7, 2024, Kayla Castillo wrote an article titled “The Ohtani betting Scandal”. The article Castillo writes explains Shohei Ohtani’s translator, Ippei Mizuhara, committed a high level of theft to feed his gambling addiction. During the Dodgers opening series against the Padres in South Korea, many charges against Mizuhara had been circling around and Ippei himself confessed to the team that he had been stealing money from Ohtani. NBC news said that Mizuhara had stolen at least 4.5 million dollars from Ohtani. Ippei was one of Ohtani’s closest friends that he had met in 2013 and brought along for his Major league Baseball career as his English translator, first starting with the Angels and then signing with the Dodgers. Mizuhara is being charged with 16 million dollars being stolen from Ohtani’s bank account, however many baseball fans believe Mizuhara was just the fall guy for Ohtani’s gambling. But, after investigations Mizuhara will be pleading guilty to his crimes and Ohtani has been found innocent. Castillo does a good job on using quotes from news outlets and press conferences. She also finds background information on Ippei and Ohtani’s relationship in the past which is wonderful. She then finishes the article by finding the end result in the case.

  • I

    Isabella GarciaMay 21, 2024 at 11:18 am

    On May 7, 2024, Kayla Castillo wrote an article titled “The Ohtani Betting Scandal”. This article starts with a good hook to engage the audience as well as introduce Ohtani and Mizuhara, the main focus of the piece. The writer does an expert job at explaining the situation as well as giving background information on how Ohtani and Mizuhara met, which is something that I wasn’t aware of before. Because of Ohtani’s switch to Dodgers, and his track record of not only being a good pitcher but an amazing batter as well, this information is big in the baseball community. It’s insane the amount of money Mizuhara is said to have stolen to fuel his gambling addiction, said to be about $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account. Due to their history as good friends since 2013, I can not imagine the betrayal Ohtani must feel. The article shares more on the story, the fact that Mizuhara has been in federal custody for a little over a month and that some fans speculate that Ohtani is the one with the gambling addiction and this is the way his legal team is choosing to cover it up. Either way, this article is giving facts on all sides and is not only well written but shines light on the whole situation for others to form their own opinions on.

  • J

    Jonathan KellyMay 21, 2024 at 9:27 am

    On May 7, 2024, Kayla Castillo wrote an article titled “The Ohtani Betting Scandal”. While I have been keeping up with this story, as baseball is something very dear to me, it still is good to know that there was some new information that I found in this article. As the article states, there were some baseball fans speculating whether Ohtani was the one who actually had the gambling problem and I was (somewhat) one of those people. I mean, he took his translator everywhere he went, and would even throw warm ups with him. It did seem kinda odd that Ohtani wouldn’t know about his gambling addiction, if he had one. However, I am also a Dodger fan, and was hoping that this wouldn’t be the case, which is why the last sentence of the article is leaving me hopeful to the fact that it actually was Mizuhara and not Ohtani who did the deed. I don’t want that 700 million dollars the Dodgers spent on recruiting him to go to waste.

  • J

    JP MialovskiMay 20, 2024 at 9:27 am

    On May 7, 2024, Kayla Castillo wrote an article titled “The Ohtani Betting Scandal.” It was really cool seeing Shohei Ohtani coming to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s awesome to see how the fan base has reacted to his signing and the insane amount of money he is making in his contract with the Dogers. he is truly one of the most valuable players in all of sports history with his $700 million plus contract. Now he has allegedly bet 4.5 million illegally and his lawyers are placing the blame on his English translator. for me something does not add up here. I’m not too sure how his translator would have access to that huge amount of money and be able to transfer it out of his account or even spend it. His translator is now being charged with stealing sixteen million dollars out of Ohtani’s bank account. Hopefully all of this settles soon and Dodger fans can finally not have to worry about a suspension or anything else and just enjoy baseball while Ohtani is on the field.

  • J

    Justin MarcheseMay 20, 2024 at 9:19 am

    To start, Kayla introduces the article with a strong hook that helps in leaving the reader intrigued and eager to read what groundbreaking information will be presented in the latter half of the article. For many of those who are unfamiliar with the Ohtani scandal and are a fan of either his or baseball as a whole, will be led into reading the article due to the hook. Kayla also remains dignified and moral throughout the article, which creates a more serious tone in the article and suggests that this should be taken seriously. When I first read this article, I was shocked as to what I was reading as I was not previously informed of what was going on involving Ohtani. Kayla pointing out that Ohtani’s translator was not only his translator, but his best friend, added more to the shock when I read it. Kayla’s formal language choices within the article make the atmosphere of the situation more tense and the use of the story between the two involved makes the situation seem even more melancholic. Overall, Kayla’s article encapsulated the emotions and atmosphere behind the situation and provided the reader with information they may have not previously known.