Shohei Ohtani is facing significant changes in his life following the dismissal of his interpreter and longtime companion, Ippei Mizuhara, amidst accusations of gambling and theft. Mizuhara had been by Ohtani’s side since he moved from Japan to Major League Baseball, helping him communicate with coaches and teammates, among other things. However, the Dodgers are hopeful that this change will have a positive impact on Ohtani’s relationships with his teammates and his overall experience with baseball. Manager Dave Roberts believes that removing Mizuhara will allow Ohtani to engage more with his teammates, which can only be beneficial.

Ohtani returned to Angel Stadium for a preseason game without Mizuhara, who was fired by the Angels last week after admitting to gambling issues and being accused of stealing millions from Ohtani. The Angels welcomed Ohtani back with a video tribute before he batted for the Dodgers in the game, receiving a warm ovation from the crowd. Despite the support, Ohtani struck out against his former teammate Chase Silseth. Will Ireton will now serve as Ohtani’s interpreter, with the Dodgers employee expected to be as close to the star as Mizuhara was.

Mizuhara was constantly by Ohtani’s side, whether in the training room, on the field, or during off-field activities, and the two spent a significant amount of time together. Ohtani has also recently undergone another major change in his life by getting married, further adding to the transition period he is currently facing without Mizuhara. Although Ohtani understands English to a certain extent, he may not always feel comfortable speaking it, which is why having an interpreter is important for him. However, Roberts has noticed Ohtani making an effort to step out of his comfort zone and communicate more in English.

The Dodgers are optimistic that Ohtani’s separation from Mizuhara will ultimately benefit his relationships with his teammates and his overall experience with the team. Without Mizuhara acting as a barrier, Ohtani has been able to connect more with his teammates in recent days, which Roberts views as a positive development. By embracing this change and making an effort to communicate more in English, Ohtani is likely to further integrate himself into the team and improve his overall experience in Major League Baseball. Despite the challenges he may face, Ohtani is determined to adapt to the new circumstances and continue to excel in his career.

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