Pete Rose makes eye-popping comment about Shohei Ohtani amid gambling scandal with ex-translator

Pete Rose makes eye-popping comment about Shohei Ohtani amid gambling scandal with ex-translator

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The gambling scandal surrounding Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani, where his ex-translator allegedly stole $4.5 million from him to cover his debts, has many in the baseball world speculating as to how involved Ohtani really was. 

Ohtani publicly addressed the situation for the first time on Monday, when he said he never placed sports bets, nor did he go through somebody else to do so. He detailed his side of the story, saying Ippei Mizuhara, his English-Japanese interpreter since breaking into MLB, stole money from him rather than his story of Ohtani knowingly paying off his gambling debts to help his close friend. 

As the story unfolds on both sides, and MLB and the IRS open investigations on the situation, Major League Baseball’s hit king Pete Rose had an interesting comment about it all.

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Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose is honored, along with his teammates from the 1976 World Series Championship team, prior to the start of the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park on June 24, 2016 in Cincinnati. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

“Well, back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I wish I’d have had an interpreter. I’d be scot-free,” he said in a video posted to social media on Monday night. 

Of course, “Charlie Hustle” is not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame today because he was deemed permanently ineligible from baseball amid accusations that he gambled on baseball games. He vehemently denied the accusations up until 2004, when he admitted he placed wagers on games only in which he managed. 

In 2015, an ESPN investigation suggested Rose also gambled on games he played in. 

SHOHEI OHTANI SAYS HE HAS ‘NEVER’ BET ON SPORTS, CALLS EX-INTERPRETER’S STORY ‘COMPLETE LIE’

Rose’s 4,256 career hits passed Ty Cobb’s 4,189 for the most in MLB history.

Rose is clearly speculating that Ohtani’s involvement in this gambling matter goes further than what he is saying it is. MLB’s investigation into the matter will ultimately prove right from wrong, but there have been theories floating over social media that Mizuhara was placing bets for Ohtani, and he ended up being the fall guy. In the end, they are all opinions. 

Ohtani said he was “beyond shocked” to learn Mizuhara had a gambling addiction while in South Korea for the Seoul Series against the San Diego Padres. He chronicled how he found out, starting with the media inquiry to a “representative in my camp” who asked about potential involvement in the sports betting scandal. 

Ohtani and interpreter at conference

Shohei Ohtani, left, and Ippei Mizuhara of the Los Angeles Dodgers look on during the Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Dodgers Press Conference at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023 in Los Angeles. (Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Ohtani said Mizuhara never let him know about the media inquiry, and the now-fired Dodgers translator sat down with ESPN to share his side of the story, which was later redacted by Ohtani’s attorneys. Instead of the story saying Ohtani is helping his friend, his attorneys called it a “massive theft.”

“All of this has been a complete lie,” Ohtani said of Mizuhara’s story. 

Mizuhara and Dodgers representatives had a team meeting, where he spoke in English while Ohtani was present. Mizuhara later told Ohtani the situation.

SHOHEI OHTANI’S EX-INTERPRETER’S PAST COMES INTO QUESTION AS RED SOX, UNIVERSITY REFUTE CONNECTION: REPORTS 

“When we went back to the hotel one to one, that was when I found out he had a massive debt,” Ohtani said in a statement where no reporters were able to ask questions after. “It was revealed to me during that meeting that Ippei admitted he was sending money using my account to the bookmaker. At that moment, obviously it was an absurd thing that was happening, and I contacted my representatives at that point.”

In concluding his statement, Ohtani reiterated that he has never bet on sports or “willfully sent money to the bookmaker.” 

Ohtani’s focus is on the Dodgers this season, as they open their season against the St. Louis Cardinals at home on Thursday. However, until the investigations are complete, this black cloud over Ohtani is not how he or the Dodgers wished to start this new chapter. 

Shohei Ohtani and Pete Rose side by side

Pete Rose, inset, weighed in on the gambling scandal involving Shohei Ohtani, left, and his ex-translator Ippei Mizuhara. (Getty Images)

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Ohtani became the richest man in baseball after signing a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Los Angeles this offseason. 

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