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Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Lost Sleep Over Ippei Mizuhara Gambling Scandal

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The start of Shohei Ohtani’s first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers was marred because of a gambling scandal involving his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who admitted to stealing nearly $17 million from the two-way star to pay off gambling debts.

Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Between the two charges, he faces a maximum of 33 years in federal prison.

Mizuhara had served as Ohtani’s interpreter since the two-time American League MVP Award winner made his MLB debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. The two were good friends, which made the developments all the more shocking.

Ohtani admitted that he lost sleep over the incident, which prevented him from keeping a consistent routine, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“Initially I really didn’t have much sleep, obviously with the things that were happening,” Ohtani said through his current interpreter, Will Ireton. “But now I’ve been able to really have a pretty consistent routine, being able to sleep well. I think those are leading to good results.”

Ohtani said his situation improved as the investigations involving Mizuhara came to a close:

“I think really as the incidents progressed and I was able to do what I can to show that – basically doing what I can to show that I’m fine,” Ohtani said. “As the incidents were progressing and the investigation was going on, as I was starting to not be involved anymore, that’s when I was able to really focus on my sleep and being able to sleep better.”

Even with the gambling scandal hovering over him, Ohtani maintained elite production at the plate. He has continued putting up big numbers in the weeks since and even improved with runners in scoring position.

Shohei Ohtani enjoyed ‘special weekend’

May was a memorable month for Ohtani, who had his bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium before being honored at Los Angeles City Hall on May 17 in what will now be known as “Shohei Ohtani Day” for the duration of his Dodgers career.

Ohtani reflected on the week it all happened and said he enjoyed every part of it.

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