Shohei Ohtani was the undisputed biggest name in MLB free agency this offseason, but has since become the face of an out-of-the-blue gambling scandal that’s prompted a federal investigation.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed Ohtani to a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract in December, fired Ohtani’s Japanese interpreter Ippei Mizuhara on Wednesday. Mizuhara went from Ohtani’s right-hand dugout man to the face of MLB’s biggest scandal after allegedly partaking in an illegal gambling scheme that included the wire transfer of $4.5 million directly from Ohtani’s bank account.

Initially, the story was that Ohtani extended a helping hand to cover Mizuhara’s gambling debt. However, that quickly changed after a statement from Berk Brettler LLP, the law firm representing Ohtani. They claimed that the 29-year-old was the victim of a multi-million-dollar theft. So with a major lack of clarity regarding the entire situation, Ohanti intends to clear some air by addressing the scandal and speaking with the media Monday.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, per the Associated Press. “I’m happy he’s going to speak and speak to what he knows and give his thoughts on the whole situation. I think it will give us all a little bit more clarity.”

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Roberts also noted that Ohtani decided to speak with the media and the Dodgers didn’t encourage last season’s American League MVP.

Roberts has only managed Ohtani through a brief two-game series against the San Diego Padres to open up the 2024 season in Seoul, South Korea. But instead of talks surrounding the next, great Dodgers superteam, Ohtani’s arrival has instead become the biggest distraction in any MLB locker room.

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The first wave of uncoverings regarding Mizuhara’s now-questionable past has revealed that the ex-Los Angeles Angels staffer, who worked with Ohtani from 2018-2023, didn’t graduate from the University of California-Riverside in 2007, according to NBC Los Angeles.

“Our university records do not show a student by the name of Ippei Mizuhara having attended UC Riverside,” a spokesperson said, per Sam Blum of The Athletic.

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Considering Ohtani is the biggest name in baseball with a near-spotless track record since playing professionally in Japan, the scandal is jaw-dropping. Ohtani’s never been at the forefront of trouble off or on the field and the Dodgers acquired the two-way phenom to help lead Los Angeles to a non-COVID-restricted World Series title.

As of Sunday night, Mizuhara has not been charged with any crime.

Featured image via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images