Shohei Ohtani to play Game 2 of Seoul Series amid Ippei Mizuhara scandal

Shohei Ohtani will play Thursday as the Los Angeles Dodgers play the San Diego Padres in the Seoul Series.

The news of Ohtani making the Dodger lineup for Game 2 in South Korea comes as his longtime interpreter and close friend Ippei Mizuhara was fired by the team over allegations of sports gambling.'s Juan Toribio reports Will Ireton will be Ohtani's translator for Thursday's game.

Ohtani will bat second in the Dodger lineup, same as Wednesday when the Dodgers beat the Padres 5-2 in the season opener. Below is LA's lineup for Thursday's series finale:

  • Starting lineup: Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Teoscar Hernandez, James Outman, Jason Heyward, Gavin Lux. Starting Pitcher: Yoshinobu Yamamoto.


According to a bombshell report from ESPN, Mizuhara was being asked about Shohei Ohtani's money allegedly being wire-transferred to a bookie for illegal gambling purposes. According to the ESPN report, Mizuhara allegedly was in deep gambling debts to a bookie. The Los Angeles Times, who was first to report on the Mizuhara scandal, reported that the bookie tied to Mizuhara, Mathew Bowyer, is under federal investigation.

Here is where things get incredibly confusing: Mizuhara reportedly told ESPN – with Ohtani's reps apparently arranging the interpreter's interview with the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" – that the 39-year-old was in gambling debt and asked Ohtani to pay that off for him.

"Obviously, he [Ohtani] wasn't happy about it and said he would help me out to make sure I never do this again," Mizuhara reportedly told ESPN before Ohtani's reps "disavowed" the interpreter's accounts.

In that same ESPN report published Wednesday, Mizuhara backtracked the statement, saying Ohtani paid off the interpreter's debt, telling the sports network that Ohtani did not know about his friend's gambling debt and that the Dodger star did not transfer money to a person associated with Bowyer.

Ohtani's attorneys, on the other hand, say the 2-way star was a victim of a "massive theft." Ohtani's attorneys, however, did not explicitly out Mizuhara as the alleged thief. 

Below is a statement released by Ohtani's attorneys:

"In the course of responding to recent media inquiries, we discovered that Shohei has been the victim of a massive theft and we are turning the matter over to the authorities."