Who is Ippei Mizuhara, Shohei Ohtani's interpreter fired amid gambling accusations?


During his first year or two in Anaheim, Mizuhara talked softly and didn’t carry a big schtick. He seemed shy, almost timid, as he mumbled his way through some interviews. Reporters begged him to speak into the microphone at times.

But Mizuhara seemed to gain confidence as he grew more comfortable with his role, and his profile grew as Ohtani’s career took off with his breakout 2021 season, when Ohtani first emerged as a two-way force.

Mizuhara was thrust into the spotlight at that summer’s All-Star Game when Ohtani tapped him to be his catcher for the home run derby. Mizuhara gained more acclaim when he temporarily quit his job during the 2021-2022 lockout, when MLB employees were barred from contacting players, so he could continue to work alongside Ohtani.

Mizuhara became such a fan favorite in Anaheim that when players and staff were introduced before the 2023 home opener, Mizuhara received the second-loudest ovation from the crowd, behind only Ohtani.

Mizuhara’s Instagram account now has 419,000 followers, and though he rarely posts on the social media platform, he did thank Angel fans after Ohtani signed with the Dodgers.

“Cannot thank you guys enough for all the support for the last six years,” Mizuhara wrote on Dec. 13. “Really, really gonna miss you guys, and I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. It has been a great pleasure being part of the Angels family. Wishing you all the best.”



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