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Los Angeles Dodgers Star Shohei Ohtani Set To Hold A Press Conference

Shohei Ohtani is set to hold a press conference on Monday, marking his first public appearance since the allegations of illegal gambling and theft surfaced involving the Los Angeles Dodgers star and his interpreter during the team’s recent trip to South Korea.

The interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was dismissed by the Dodgers last week while the team was in Seoul for two games against the San Diego Padres.

Manager Dave Roberts expressed support for Ohtani’s decision to address the issue publicly, emphasizing that it was ultimately the superstar’s choice.

“It’s important,” Roberts stated. “I’m glad he’s taking the initiative to speak out and share his perspective on the situation. It will bring more clarity for all of us.”

Following reports from both the Los Angeles Times and ESPN regarding alleged ties between interpreter Ippei Mizuhara and an illegal bookmaker, Mizuhara was released from his position with the team. Additionally, claims made by Shohei Ohtani’s attorneys suggested that the Japanese star had fallen victim to what they described as a “massive theft.”

An investigation has been initiated by Major League Baseball regarding the incident. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also confirmed that Ippei Mizuhara and Mathew Bowyer, the alleged illegal bookmaker from Orange County, California, are subjects of a criminal investigation.

Will Ireton, the team’s performance operations manager, has assumed the role of translator for Shohei Ohtani. Ireton previously performed similar duties for former Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda, who hails from Japan.

Ahead of the Freeway Series opener against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani made a brief appearance in the Dodgers clubhouse on Sunday. The teams are engaged in a three-game exhibition series before the Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals for their home opener on Thursday.

During his first game as a Dodger at his home stadium, Ohtani received loud cheers from the crowd of 42,607 every time he stepped up to the plate. Serving as the designated hitter, he went 0 for 2 with a walk and a strikeout before exiting the game.

He is anticipated to participate in games on Monday in Los Angeles and Tuesday in Anaheim, where he previously earned two AL MVP titles before departing the Angels as a free agent. In December, he inked a record-breaking $700 million, 10-year deal with the Dodgers.

According to Roberts, Ohtani has not yet addressed his teammates collectively.

“I think he’s had individual conversations with players,” Roberts remarked.

The manager also mentioned that he checked in with Ohtani to gauge his well-being.

“He’s maintaining his usual routine,” Roberts noted.

Within the Dodgers clubhouse, Ohtani has a double locker positioned between the shower area and fellow Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is slated for his second start of the season against St. Louis on Saturday.

Enhanced security measures were implemented in the bustling clubhouse on Sunday. Apart from players and a large contingent of media personnel, eight temporary lockers were set up at one end for minor leaguers who were brought in from Arizona for the Freeway Series.

Television screens displayed men’s NCAA Tournament games, baseball, and horse racing, with former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca providing handicapping advice for the day’s races.

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