Report: Braves’ David Fletcher used same bookie as Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter

David Fletcher

In a report totally out of left field, David Fletcher, who was acquired by the Braves this offseason and is currently with the Gwinnett Stripers, apparently has been caught using the same illegal bookmaker as Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

“David Fletcher, a former Los Angeles Angels infielder currently playing for the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, and his friend, who also played in the minor leagues, both bet on sports with the Southern California bookmaker who took wagers from Shohei Ohtani’s longtime interpreter, according to multiple sources detailing the activities,” reports Trisha Thompson for ESPN. 

As Thompson also notes, David Fletcher and Shohei Ohtani were close friends while on the Angels together.

“Fletcher, who was Ohtani’s teammate from 2018 to 2023 and has been described as one of his closest friends in baseball, placed bets with the bookmaking operation of Mathew Bowyer, according to the sources. Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, also bet with Bowyer and eventually stole nearly $17 million from the Japanese superstar to feed his addiction, according to prosecutors.”

According to the report, Fletcher did not bet on baseball, which may end up saving his career. However, if these findings are indeed true, he’ll surely receive a significant suspension, probably for the remainder of the season.

David Fletcher has appeared in five games for the Braves this season, all of which occurred when Ozzie Albies was on the IL. He’s spent the rest of the year in Gwinnett, so while this wouldn’t be a huge loss, he’s quality organizational depth that can play multiple positions in a pinch if another injury were to occur. If he does receive a lengthy suspension, the Braves will certainly need to find a replacement in case of emergency.

What will be interesting is if anything more comes from this story. From its onset, it always smelled fishy. Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter betting millions of dollars without Ohtani having any knowledge of it happening. That’s about as unbelievable as unbelievable gets, but Ohtani was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing.

Now, a player is involved, and it’s another one of Ohtani’s closest friends. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this story.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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