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Shohei Ohtani’s former Angels teammate accused of making illegal sports bets: report

MLB infielder David Fletcher, who currently plays for the Atlanta Braves, reportedly used the same bookmaker to bet on sports as Shohei Ohtani’s former trainer, Ippei Mizuhara.

Fletcher played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2018 to 2023, during which time he was a teammate of Ohtani. Ohtani and Fletcher will leave the Angels after the 2023 season. Ohtani signed a big contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason, while Fletcher joined the Braves and later received an option to the Triple-A affiliate.

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Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) and second baseman David Fletcher (22) celebrated a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. (Aaron Labinsky, Star Tribune, via Getty Images)

Fletcher placed bets through bookmaker Matthew Bowyer, but never on baseball. ESPN reported Friday night. Fletcher’s friend Colby Schultz, who played for the Kansas City Royals from 2018 to 2020, reportedly bet on baseball games, including Angels games, during Fletcher’s tenure. There is.

MLB, the Braves, Fletcher and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California declined to comment on the matter, ESPN reported. Schultz did not immediately respond to a message from Fox News Digital.

Fletcher previously said on March 18 that he and Ohtani were “good friends.”

The report said MLB players and employees can bet on sports other than baseball, but those who place bets through illegal bookmakers could be punished by the commissioner’s office. A player who bet on a baseball game he did not play in would be subject to a one-year penalty, and a player who bet on a game he did play in could be permanently banned from the sport.

Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in the dugout

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels talks with No. 17 David Fletcher in the dugout during a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 4, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images))

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Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in 2021

Los Angeles Angels No. 22 David Fletcher and No. 17 Shohei Ohtani react after Fletcher’s home run in the bottom of the third inning against the Seattle Mariners on July 11, 2021 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Ohtani was embroiled in a gambling scandal earlier this season when his former interpreter was accused of stealing money from the star baseball player’s bank account to pay off debts.

Mizuhara appeared in federal court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty in the case.

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With player Otani and interpreter

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani (right) speaks to the media with the help of interpreter Ippei Mizuhara during DodgerFest, which celebrates the upcoming season with live entertainment, behind-the-scenes experiences, food, drinks, and meet-and-greets with the latest players. speak to Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Saturday, February 3, 2024. (Keith Birmingham/Media News Group/Pasadena Star News via Getty Images)

He is accused of stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani. He signed a plea agreement detailing the charges on May 5, and prosecutors announced it a few days later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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