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Friday newsletter time: Shohei Ohtani interpreter story has some holes

(AP photo/Lee Jin-man)

 

SURPRISE, Ariz. — The biggest news in baseball isn’t the Rangers’ addition of Michael Lorenzen, perhaps even locally.

The Shohei Ohtani situation is dominating the landscape.

Here’s the current story: Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, was fired Wednesday for “massive theft” to help cover his gambling debt to an illegal book-making operation in Southern California.

How massive? Well, he allegedly stole $4.5 million from Ohtani.

Massive.

Mizuhara initially said that Ohtani made payments to a bookie for him, but Ohtani’s lawyers said that the money was stolen and that they will turn matters over to the authorities.

Mizuhara and the attorney for the bookie, Mathew Bowyer, said that no bets were ever placed on baseball, and the attorney said that Bowyer never had any contact with Ohtani.

OK.

A few questions:

Would a bookie ever allow allow someone to dig a $4.5 million hole? Yes, a bookie who knew who was backing his client.

How did Mizuhara get access to Ohtani’s bank accounts? They are very good friends, and maybe Ohtani trusted Mizuhara with the account info. Or maybe Ohtani gave him the account info and said to make the payments, and maybe Team Ohtani is changing its tune now that ESPN has uncovered the story.

Ohtani had to know, right? He and Mizuhara were yukking it up Wednesday in the dugout. I wouldn’t want to talk to someone who has stolen $4.5 million from me.

Is MLB going to investigate? Apparently. Investigators are reportedly gathering information. They need to investigate Ohtani as they did Pete Rose, and if there’s evidence of betting on baseball or influencing bets on baseball, Ohtani’s got to go.

News today?

The Rangers were off Thursday. Wyatt Langford took time to hop on the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast, and the new episode should be ready today.

Maybe today is when he finds out if he’ll be on the Opening Day roster. He said on the show that he hasn’t heard anything just yet.

Camp resumes this morning, and the Rangers have two games this afternoon. Josh Jung could get some at-bats at designated hitter.

More news on the Michael Lorenzen agreement should be available. The big question is when will he be available to pitch in big-league games. It won’t be by next week. The next question is what happens when he is available.

His addition shouldn’t drastically alter the Opening Day roster planning the Rangers had done. The Rangers still have three bullpen spots open and two on the position player side to determine.

One of those is going to Langford.

 

Card of the Week

The Langford craze isn’t just relegated to Rangers Twitter and the team’s fanbase. The baseball card market it out of damn control.

take, for instance, the Card of the Week.

It’s the 2023 Bowman Draft 1st Bowman Red Wave Autograph 2/5.

Why is it the Card of the Week? It’s listed on eBay for $45,000.

Rangers Today needs a lot more subscribers (subscribe here).

The card is a PSA 10, so it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s the only one of the five currently populated.

There’s another Langford card for $40,000-plus, a 2023 Bowman Draft 1st Bowman Chrome Auto Red Refractor 4/5.

It’s listed on eBay for $41,600!

It’s only a BGS 9, so the other four might grade better. They might go for more.

If Langford is the next Mike Trout, watch out.

I’m going to wait out the market, though I probably ought to get a few base cards just to say I have them.

Doggy video!

No different than the Wilson kids. Enjoy.

 

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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3 Comments

  1. ward4807@gmail.com March 22, 2024

    Agree with your Ohtani comment that he must get the Pete Rose treatment if he is in any way connected to the gambling.

    Reply
  2. deGrom Texas Ranger March 23, 2024

    I also agree on the Ohtani comment. Speaking of Wyatt Langford cards, I sent him a picture of him I requested him to sign, along with a letter. I hope he sigsn and that alone is worth 45k. Unlikely, but I’d really love to hear back from this potential HoF guy.

    Reply
    1. Jeff Wilson March 28, 2024

      He seems like the kind of guy who would respond to fan mail. I assume there will be lots for him to sign.

      Reply

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