Bill Plaschke half-heartedly apologizes for calling out Shohei Ohtani

Nice try.
Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

After Thursday's stunning developments in the Shohei Ohtani-Ippei Mizuhara gambling debacle, which confirmed Ohtani's claim that he had been stolen from by his former translator in order for Mizuhara to pay for an enormous amount of gambling debt, a lot of people have had to eat their words.

The story was undoubtedly fishy from the jump, but we saw some fans and baseball personalities alike immediately latch onto the idea that the gambling debts were all Ohtani's, and he and his camp were setting up Mizuhara to be the fall guy. Some are even still convinced that Ohtani and the Dodgers have somehow manipulated the US Department of Justice into bringing charges against Mizuhara, but we'll just write them off as Giants fans.

Doubt was widespread, yes, but some calls were also coming from inside the house. The LA Times seemed to be at the vanguard of things, with both Dylan Hernández and Bill Plaschke writing their own takes that ranged from sentiments like "Ohtani is a child who needs to grow up" and "We're actually buying into the idea that Ohtani has been participating in an illegal gambling ring for years."

And then Thursday's revelations came down, and Plaschke published a mea culpa, but only partially. He wrote that he didn't believe Ohtani then, but he believes him now (though 'belief' seems too mild a word, given all of the evidence against Mizuhara). Needless to say, he also doubled down on Hernández's take that Ohtani needed to grow up.

Longtime Dodgers columnist sort of apologizes for doubting Shohei Ohtani's role in Ippei Mizuhara gambling scandal

Hernández's weird, infantilizing, ad hominem take on the situation was unnecessary from the get-go, and Plaschke reinforcing it while also arguing that "Ohtani's legend is intact" is even more so. Is he a child or is he a legend? Please make up your minds, LA Times baseball writers.

Putting aside the fact that even former Japanese MLB players weighed in to say how difficult it was to get by when coming over to the States and reinforced the necessity of translators to help even with their daily lives, continuing to cast aspersions on Ohtani's character after he's been cleared of wrongdoing just feels like a way to keep digging your heels in instead of admitting fault.

The discourse is destined to continue, and the naysayers will remain naysayers for as long as Ohtani is in MLB. It sounds like a pretty miserable way to live, but to each their own.