Bill Plaschke: Shohei Ohtani's legend continues as a baseball star, not a gambler

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES — Two weeks after sinking into a murky abyss, the legend of Shohei Ohtani has suddenly come up for air, surfacing powerfully through a thick layer of felonious lies and criminal deceit.

It smiles at those who doubted its integrity. It shakes its head at those who questioned its motives.

The legend lives.

I didn't quite believe Ohtani recently when he said he knew nothing about an alleged $4.5 million in wire transfers to an illegal bookie.

With federal prosecutors announcing Thursday that they have charged translator Ippei Mizuhara with stealing more than $16 million from the Dodgers superstar to pay Mizuhara's gambling debts, I now believe.

(Sixteen million? Are you kidding me?)


I didn't quite believe Ohtani when he recently threw Mizuhara under the bus by saying, "Ippei has been stealing money from my account and has told lies."

With Thursday's criminal complaint containing allegations of phone conversations in which Mizuhara actually impersonates Ohtani to gain access to the money, I believe.

(He actually faked Ohtani's voice? Are you serious?)

After hearing the charges announced in a downtown Los Angeles news conference by E. Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, I summoned a column I wrote in this space two weeks ago.


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