Craig Carton reverses course on Shohei Ohtani suspension talk. Screen Grab: FS1’s The Carton Show

Craig Carton’s past experiences could give him a rare perspective on the Shohei Ohtani gambling allegations.

Carton, who has admitted to battling a gambling addiction himself and was convicted of using deceptive practices in a ticket scheme, resulting in a one-year prison sentence, offers unique insights into the situation.

The Los Angeles Dodgers recently fired Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, following accusations of substantial gambling losses by the baseball star.

Prior to Thursday’s The Carton Show, Carton took to Twitter/X to express some thoughts on the scandal. Carton said that Ohtani’s scandal was a real problem, writing that money being wired to a bookie warrants immediate suspension because it violates the CBA. The Athletic has since reported that Major League Baseball is not currently disciplining Ohtani. Additionally, an MLB official stated that Ohtani is not believed to be under active investigation by the league.

However, Carton points out that if Ohtani’s theft claims are true, it could have severe consequences for his former interpreter, potentially leading to jail time. Carton suggests that a compulsive gambler facing significant losses might resort to betting on sports they’re familiar with, like baseball in Mizuhara’s case, in a desperate attempt to recoup their finances.

“From a legal perspective, the Ohtani camp changing its tune from Ohtani helping a friend to Ohtani being the victim of theft-fraud changes the game completely for the interpreter,” wrote Carton, “because he is now subject to criminal charges for wire fraud and embezzlement. And is looking at a prison sentence.”

“Being a team guy and taking the fall, which results in losing your job, is one thing. Taking the fall and losing your freedom is something else entirely, and this story is not going away any time soon.”

Carton suspects this new story is a desperate attempt to shield Ohtani from a potential suspension for violating MLB gambling regulations. With conflicting narratives and potential consequences for both Ohtani and Mizuhara, Carton anticipates a messy unfolding of events in the coming days.

And he continued that narrative on Thursday’s show, quickly but not so quietly establishing that Ohtani had to be suspended regardless of his level of involvement.

The Carton Show curiously deleted a tweet in which Carton said, “The most prominent athlete in baseball on Day 2 of the Major League Baseball season is now facing a legitimate and indefinite suspension.”

Here’s the context from that clip, which has since been removed from Twitter/X.

Whether it was directly related or not, it saw Carton later post on his personal Twitter/X account an update regarding the CBA language:

And he seemingly has backed off his hard-line stance that Ohtani should be suspended.

Carton notably tweeted that during Thursday’s edition of The Carton Show after these comments:

“I cannot figure out now — and we’ll get into the details of it — how Shohei Ohtani, the most marketable athlete in Major League Baseball, the most recognizable athlete on the planet, next to maybe a Ronaldo or a Messi, LeBron up there as well — like that level out of athlete and notoriety must be suspended now by Major League Baseball,” said Carton. “Because there are two wires that come from his bank account…wired to an admitted bookie in Orange Couty, California.

“And the CBA is very, very clear in Major League Baseball: you cannot associate with known bookies, and you cannot gamble illegally. And there are two wires from Shohei Ohtani’s personal bank account; this has been verified by reporters who’ve seen it into the hands of a bookie. By default, Shohei Ohtani must be suspended by Major League Baseball. And I’m not naive enough to tell you he will be. But the way the letter of the law works, the most prominent athlete in baseball on Day 2 of the Major League Baseball season is now facing a legitimate and indefinite suspension.”

It’s quite notable that Carton would change his tune nearly an hour and a half after expressing that Ohtani “must” be suspended on live television. He thought he knew how “the latter of the law” — the CBA — worked, when in actuality, it’s not an auto-suspension, and that it’s unlikely Ohtani is suspended if the story is as presented.

The problem is that the story has inconsistencies, but whether that directly impacts Ohtani remains to be seen.

[Craig Carton on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.