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#pounditSaturday, April 13, 2024

Shohei Ohtani’s former manager has 1 question about the gambling scandal

Shohei Ohtani on the field

March 20, 2024; Seoul, SOUTH KOREA; Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani reacts after playing against the San Diego Padres during a MLB regular season Seoul Series game at Gocheok Sky Dome. Photo Credit: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters via USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s former manager with the Los Angeles Angels has an interesting question regarding the gambling scandal involving the now-Los Angeles Dodgers star.

Joe Maddon was the manager of the Angels for two and a half seasons. He joined the “Starkville” show with Jayson Stark for an episode published on Monday and was asked about Ohtani’s relationship with Ippei Mizuhara.

Maddon described Ohtani and Mizuhara as “best friends” and “inseparable.” Maddon said he could completely believe that Mizuhara might handle Ohtani’s day-to-day finances, such as paying bills. Maddon also said that Ohtani’s agent Nez Balelo was another trusted party for the 2-time AL MVP. Maddon even wondered how Ohtani’s agency might have missed the $4.5 million in transactions that went through Ohtani’s bank account to an illegal bookie.

“The part that I don’t quite understand is the fact that, especially when you talk about those ($4.5 million) numbers, if they are accurate, that the agency would not have known about that,” Maddon said.

Maddon’s comments led The Athletic to ask Ohtani’s agency, CAA, about the player’s finances. The agency said that a separate accounting firm handles Ohtani’s finances.

Mizuhara, who has served as Ohtani’s interpreter since the latter came to MLB, was fired by the Dodgers on March 20 for alleged theft. Ohtani’s people have said that Mizuhara stole $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account to cover Mizuhara’s gambling debt with an illegal bookie. Ohtani spoke last week and denied betting on baseball. He also said he only recently learned of Mizuhara’s gambling problems.

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