Shohei Ohtani is facing some serious questions about gambling thanks to his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, being fired by the Dodgers after a payment was made to a bookie.

At the heart of the investigation is what is reported to be a $4.5 million payment from Ohtani's bank account to a California bookie. Early reports were that Ohtani was paying off a debt accrued by his translator in effort to turn the man's life around.

That story quickly fell apart, and now lawyers for Ohtani claim that he is the victim of theft, and that Ohtani never gave anyone payment or approved payment from his accounts to anyone.

Ohtani — baseball's biggest and most marketable star — could be putting MLB into a tough position.

Going back to the Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series, where Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other members of the team were accused of losing the World Series against the Reds. Major League Baseball has historically been absurdly strict against gambling.

The most obvious example is Pete Rose who was blackballed from baseball by former commissioner Bart Giamatti after the hit king faced gambling allegations as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

Right now, Ohtani and his lawyers are claiming that he did nothing wrong and that he is a victim in this story. But if something is found, what steps will MLB take against the world's biggest baseball star?

An MLB official told The Athletic that Ohtani is not currently facing discipline. "MLB is monitoring the situation and plans to gather facts," the official said. "The league was not notified about the investigation before the news broke publicly."

Many have raised the question of how an interpreter could access a bank account of a superstar baseball player. Former MLB pitcher Dallas Braden took to X (formerly twitter) with some questions:

In an interview with ESPN, Mizuhara said that he had previously placed bets through DraftKings and assumed bets through the bookmaker —named by the L.A. Times as Mathew Bowyer of Orange County — were legal. Sports betting is not legal in California, and the MLB has rules against illegal gambling on any sport.

"I want everyone to know Shohei had zero involvement in betting," Mizuhara told the outlet. "I want people to know I did not know this was illegal. I learned my lesson the hard way. I will never do sports betting ever again."

As the lines between legalized gambling and professional sports continue to blur (it seems as if every single commercial break during a game features at least two different gambling apps), it will get harder and harder to keep these two worlds apart.

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