Rob Manfred hopes for ‘short’ Shohei Ohtani probe, but ‘I just don’t know’

Rob Manfred knows his hopes for a quick investigation into Shohei Ohtani may be unreasonable.

Since last week, Ohtani has been embroiled in a complicated scandal. In that scandal, his longtime interpreter and friend Ippei Mizuhara was accused of siphoning $4.5 million from the Dodgers slugger to pay off gambling debts to an alleged illegal bookmaker. There is.

As Mizuhara has changed his position, the story has become murky, leaving observers wondering how this could have happened for such a large amount of money without Otani’s knowledge, as he claims. ing.

Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, is accused of stealing $4.5 million from the player to pay off illegal gambling debts. AP

MLB announced the investigation last Friday.

Manfred appeared on MLB Network on Thursday to discuss the current situation.

“Given the way the story unfolds, it’s important to verify Mr. Ohtani’s statements in terms of ensuring the integrity of the game to fans, and that’s a no-brainer,” the MLB commissioner said of the investigation.

Otani denied knowledge of Mizuhara’s embezzlement allegations, and Mizuhara admitted to betting on sports such as basketball and soccer, but denied betting on baseball.

With the IRS investigating Mizuhara and suspected bookmaker Matthew Bowyer, Manfred wasn’t sure when federal authorities would brief MLB on their findings.

“It’s very difficult for federal authorities to fully cooperate with us when they’re conducting their own investigation. So I think this is an issue that we have to proceed on our own,” he said.

“While we will never have the authority that a law enforcement agency would have, we have been able to investigate and find the facts, and I am confident that we will do our best in this case.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks with the media at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa in February 2024.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks with the media at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa in February 2024. USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

Asked about the league’s investigation timeline, Manfred said, “I hope it’s done soon, but I don’t know.”