MLB insiders already calling out Shohei Ohtani is bush league behavior

The Shohei Ohtani gambling scandal is a mess and some in the media aren't making things any better.
2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Chung Sung-Jun/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a real pickle when it comes to Shohei Ohtani at the moment. According to reports, Ohtani's translator, Ippei Mizuhara, was gambling illegally, Ohtani's money was used to pay his gambling debts, and the Dodgers promptly fired Mizuhara once word got out. That ends the portion that we know for sure, but there is a lot of conflicting narratives that branch out from here about who transferred the money and how it ended up aiding Mizuhara.

Some are suggesting that Ohtani knew where the money was going, but was just trying to help a friend with a gambling problem in need. Some (including Ohtani's camp) are saying that Ohtani had no idea what was going and that Mizuhara stole the money from Ohtani. Of course, there are those that are going full tinfoil hat and saying that Mizuhara is the fall guy here and that Ohtani was the one gambling illegally. None of these outcomes are good, but we aren't anywhere close to knowing what is actually true given the amount of conflicting information out there.

There are real concerns here, but what has been particularly embarrassing is how a few journalists have decided to take not-so-thinly veiled personal shots at Ohtani that reek of opportunism and bitterness.

Concerns over Ohtani scandal are real, but the ad hominen attacks need to stop

Take, for example, the Ohtani column posted by Dylan Hernandez in the Los Angeles Times. Opinion-based analysis about the potential downstream impacts that the scandal could have or Ohtani's poor judgment of character are all fair game. However, Hernandez decided, for some reason, to condescendingly bring up that Ohtani didn't spend money over in Japan or even move out of his team's dorm as collective evidence that Ohtani is basically a child. He then insulted him over and over again, couched in the same language while interspersing grievances about Ohtani's lack of openness with the media.

How any of this is helpful discourse in this situation is beyond us. It certainly feels as if the criticism is rooted in the fact that some journalists are irked by Ohtani not being a media darling and won't spill on his personal life regularly to help guys like Hernandez fill column space.

This was not the only example, either. Jon Heyman had a piece in the New York Post where he at least laid out the inconsistencies in the story from Ohtani's camp thus far, but then decided to call him a "dimwit" both in the title at in his closing sentence. Again, the details of this story do matter and Heyman did well to lay much of what we know out, but the infantile name-calling -- even if he just thinks that it was dicier than Ohtani's handlers are implying -- is beneath all of us.

All of this feels like the culmination of frustration that has been building for a long time with the lack of communication from Ohtani with the media over the course of his career. His silence is being twisted into an excuse to belittle his intelligence and cast aspersions towards him when we know almost nothing about what actually happened. Tough questions are going to need answers soon, and asking those questions is exactly what needs to happen, but taking this opportunity to make fun of a guy that could very well be the victim of a serious crime because he doesn't hold media scrums multiple times a week is just not it.

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