Red Sox squash misinformation surrounding connection to Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter

Whoa, leave Boston out of this mess.

Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani
Los Angeles Dodgers player Shohei Ohtani / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's fake news in baseball? Who knew? This week, false reports reached the public suggesting that Shohei Ohtani's longtime interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, at one point, worked for the Boston Red Sox.

The AP published an article earlier this week, that has since been corrected, naming the Red Sox as a former employer of Mizuhara. The Red Sox then issued a statement saying that Mizuhara was not an interpreter for Hideki Okajima during the pitcher’s time with the team.

Mizuhara is currently embroiled in a scandalous gambling controversy that has dragged Ohtani's name into the mud. Mizuhara has been fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers after allegations of "massive theft." According to ESPN, at least $4.5 million in wire transfers were sent from Ohtani's banking account to an illegal bookmaking operation.

Red Sox squash misinformation surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter’s connection to Boston

This scandal has rocked the baseball world, as news of this broke shortly after the first game of the Seoul Series in South Korea on Wednesday. As Major League Baseball was opening the regular season overseas, reports began to emerge of the alleged wrongdoing.

There are more questions than answers at this point, and the story itself appears to have taken on a life of its own. But at least the Red Sox aren't involved in any way, shape, or form, as some suggested when it was said Mizuhara was a former employee from 2007-2011.

The player in question who was tied to Ohtani's interpreter in the original article from the AP was an All-Star pitcher for the Red Sox in 2007. Okajima, who signed with the Red Sox after a career in Nippon Professional Baseball, spent five years in Boston from 2007-2011 and posted a 17-8 record with a 3.11 ERA.

The Red Sox have enough problems heading into the 2024 season without reporters trying to make stuff up about a phony relationship between Mizuhara and Okajima. While the Red Sox buried the non-story before it had time to gain legs, the story surrounding Ohtani's relationship with Mizuhara and the possible fallout from ESPN's reporting isn't going away anytime soon. So it's best the Red Sox are as far away from this as they can possibly be.

At the moment, things are pretty tight-lipped with Ohtani's lawyers now involved. The Red Sox were linked to Ohtani earlier in the offseason, but with the circus that's sure to unfold, perhaps it's better that Boston ultimately failed in their pursuit.

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