Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani Says Ippei Mizuhara Incident Cost Him Sleep

After weeks of dealing with controversy in his professional and personal life, Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is finally sleeping better.

His former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud on May 15, a formality ahead of a plea deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. Later that night, Ohtani blasted a 446-foot drive that almost splashed down in San Francisco’s McCovey Cove. It was the longest home run hit in almost two years at Oracle Park.

The Dodgers won the game 10-2 against the Giants and Ohtani admitted postgame to the media that he had struggled to get proper rest amid his former interpreter’s gambling scandal.

“Initially I really didn’t have much sleep obviously with the things that were happening but now I’ve been able to really have a pretty consistent routine, been able to sleep well, so I think those are leading to good results,” Ohtani said through Will Ireton, his new interpreter.

“I think really as the incidents progressed and I was basically doing what I can to show that I’m fine, and as the incidents were progressing and the investigation was going on and I was starting to not be involved anymore, that’s when I was able to really focus on my sleep and being able to sleep better.”

Despite his lack of restful sleep, Ohtani is off to the best start in his career offensively. He is slashing .356/.425/.655 with 13 homers, 17 doubles, 13 steals, and 34 RBIs in his first 49 games.

What about that homer that didn’t splash down?

“I thought I hit one,” he said, “but I was disappointed it didn’t go over.”

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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