Adnan Virk on Shohei Ohtani Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

MLB Network host Adnan Virk is intimately familiar with the restrictions around media access to two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

Because of the extraordinary level of scrutiny and attention on Ohtani across multiple cities and countries, MLB reporters accept that Ohtani will only be made available selectively. That could (and likely has to) change amid Ohtani’s involvement in a gambling scandal connected with his former translator Ippei Mizuhara.

In an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Thursday, Virk recalled hosting the Baseball Writers of America awards last year and watching Ohtani gift the crowd with 45 seconds of an acceptance speech in English. Afterward, MLB Network was granted two questions to the AL MVP before he went away for the night. These are the “Ohtani Rules” according to Virk, and they may be a thing of the past.

“Every single facet of his life is focused on,” Virk said. “Its not even that he keeps his private life private, it’s that you’re not even allowed to ask about his private life. Everyone is just like, ‘Hey, it’s the Ohtani Rules, we accept whatever we can get.'”

Virk said the level of freedom Ohtani has been given by his teams and Major League Baseball could make it difficult for baseball journalists to properly cover the scandal.

“He’s been given such latitude by everybody involved in the sport, it’s going to be really curious now if people want to really go at him and get their money’s worth,” Virk said.

Others, including fellow baseball broadcaster Howie Rose, have put pressure on Los Angeles media in recent days. Prior to the season, even Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged the difficulties of Ohtani avoiding media interactions.

Mizuhara was fired by the Dodgers this week after an ESPN report indicated his involvement with an illegal gambling operation in California, and wire transfers made in Ohtani’s name that were used to pay off a gambling debt to the operation. MLB said Ohtani himself is not under investigation, and he continues to be active for the Dodgers. But details continue to emerge.

After the second game of MLB’s Seoul Series featuring Ohtani and the Dodgers on Thursday, reporters tried to corner Ohtani but were not able to get a comment from him. It’s up to the Dodgers to be transparent and the media to press harder in order to keep Ohtani from answering questions.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.