LA Dodgers fire Ohtani interpreter amid Seoul series

Japanese baseball superstar Ohtani Shohei excited his fans with his first hit of the 2024 season Wednesday night. It happened in the LA Dodgers' opening game in Seoul. After the game, news broke that has stunned many in the league. The Dodgers tell NHK they have fired Ohtani's interpreter, Mizuhara Ippei.

The Los Angeles Times, ESPN, and other US media outlets are reporting the interpreter was allegedly involved in illegal gambling.

Lawyers for Ohtani tell NHK that "Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft, and we are turning the matter over to the authorities."

ESPN says at least 4.5 million dollars was wired from Ohtani's bank account to an associate of a bookmaker currently under investigation by federal authorities.

Mizuhara had served as Ohtani's interpreter since the Japanese player joined the Angels. He moved to the Dodgers with Ohtani after the star signed the largest contract in sports history.

The interpreter accompanied Ohtani for the Dodgers' opener in Seoul on Wednesday. ESPN also reported that multiple sources including Mizuhara said "Ohtani does not gamble, and that the funds wired covered Mizuhara's losses."

The Dodgers tell NHK they are aware of the reports and are gathering information. The team did not provide a specific reason for firing Mizuhara.