Ohtani says he never bet on sports, accuses interpreter of stealing money, lying

Ohtani says he never bet on sports, accuses interpreter of stealing money, lying

Ohtani says he never bet on sports, accuses interpreter of stealing money, lying

Baseball superstar Shohei Otani has made his first public remarks since the LA Dodgers fired his interpreter last week. The interpreter is accused of theft connected to illegal gambling worth more than $4 million US. Otani has not been accused of any involvement, but the case is unfamiliar territory for a wildly popular player who’s normally associated with his play on the diamond. Here’s some of what Otani had to say a little earlier through a different interpreter:

“It’s been a tough week for me and team officials, and I’m very grateful that the media has been patient in this process. Just on a personal note, I’m very saddened and shocked that someone who I’ve trusted has done this.”

Dodgers management and Otani’s lawyers had been handling the situation since the allegations first surfaced about a week ago. His former interpreter initially claimed that Otani paid a gambling debt for him, then changed his story to say that Otani did not know about the money. Major League Baseball is investigating. Gustavo Ariano, who helped break the story for the Los Angeles Times, joins me now from Orange County, California.

In your reporting, sources said that Otani’s representatives looked into his interpreter in response to questions by the LA Times. Tell us how things got to this point.

“This is part of a yearslong investigation that federal authorities in Southern California have been looking into with alleged illegal gambling rings. In October, federal authorities raided the house of an alleged illegal bookie in San Juan Capistrano named Matt Boer, but he has not been charged with anything at all. So, we started calling around, and this is how we got to this point.”

Otani has put the blame on his former interpreter. Is this going to stop the questions about his involvement in the scandal?

“This has been what he said. Obviously now, he and his people have asked authorities to look into the matter, including Major League Baseball and at least the IRS according to the Associated Press. So, the questions are not going to stop at all.”

Otani signed a record 10-year $700 million contract with the Dodgers this past December, making him the highest-paid player in North American sports history. How could something like this, a scandal like this, affect him both on and off the field?

“We’re not going to see until the actual season progresses. Otani is Superman on the baseball diamond, but he’s also a human being off of it. The fact that someone so close to him allegedly betrayed him must weigh on him. But athletes have this preternatural way of blocking out what’s going on with them in real life and just putting it all on the diamond or on any playing field.”

Gustavo, I want to pick up on something that he just said there, you know, this personal relationship that he had because he was known to have a close relationship with his former interpreter. How do you think, do we have any insight into how this might be affecting him personally?

“We do not know that right now. But again, we’ve all had very close friends who have betrayed us or hurt us, and it affects us. Otani is Superman on the diamond, but in real life, he’s a human. So, we’ll see at the end what Baseball fans only care about is what he’s going to do on the diamond.”

You’re in Southern California. Tell us about Otani’s impact where you are.

“He is considered a God because he is the best baseball player since Babe Ruth. Everyone has been anticipating the opening of the baseball season to see Otani. People have just been confused. Otani’s press conference, hopefully for him, adds some clarity. As he said in the press conference, he’s looking forward to the season and looking forward to concentrate on the sport, but that’s going to be easier said than done.”

Gustavo, some bombshell reporting there. Appreciate you joining us tonight on this story.

The Toronto Post on Google News

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