Craig Carton Shohei Ohtani Screen grab: The Craig Carton Show

It’s not a surprise that Craig Carton has had plenty to say about the controversy involving Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

And after reading the complaint that was filed charging Mizuhara with federal bank fraud in connection to allegations that he stole more than $16 million from the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar to cover gambling bets and debts, the Fox Sports 1 host weighed in, drawing from his own experiences with gambling addiction.

“Don’t be surprised that Ohtani might not have known that Mizuhara was gambling at the levels he was,” Carton wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “Compulsive gamblers are world class liars and hiders – When you read the transcript it is text book Gambling addiction – asking/begging for more credit….. self deprecation about previous losses or bad beats, making promises to make regular payments that are far beyond your means, betting on fringe sports like college soccer (I once bet on Tijuana Dog Racing), making 19,000 wagers upwards of 25 bets a day of varying amounts and to… further illustrate the desperation imagine betting over $100k on a game and then $10 dollars on a game – its probably all he had left.”

“Amazingly there is still no proof of a single wager on baseball which does surprise me as does the notion that Ohtani had no idea that his bank account had been drained of more than $16M – also I didnt read where the other $24M that Ippei lost came from in regards to paying the bookie – It’s an insidious addiction and someone should keep an eye on Ippei – the rate of suicide amongst gambling addicts is sadly very high.”

From Carton’s view, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that Mizuhara was capable of hiding his gambling addiction from Ohtani, despite the two being so close. He also states that much of the evidence presented in the complaint exhibits “textbook gambling addiction,” some of which mirrored the same experiences that ultimately landed Carton in prison following a conviction for fraud in 2018.

But as the former WFAN host notes, plenty of questions remain, including how did Ohtani not notice that so much money was missing from his accounts and how was a compulsive gambler like Mizuhara able to resist betting on the sport he presumably knew the most about.

For now, there is no reason to believe that Ohtani has any connection to this case beyond being a victim. It will be interesting to see Carton’s perspective as more information in the case is made available.

[Craig Carton on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.