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Monday, April 15, 2024

Social Media Explodes With Reaction to Shohei Ohtani/Interpreter Gambling Story

1. In Wednesday’s Traina Thoughts, I took shots at Major League Baseball for making Opening Day as unspecial (if that’s even a word) as possible. I went after MLB even harder about starting the 2024 season with two teams whose game aired at 3 a.m. local time and being horrible at marketing the sport on this week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast

Well, a miracle has happened. Baseball has stolen the spotlight from the first day of the NCAA tournament. Of course, this happened because Shohei Ohtani, who just signed a $700 million contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, is tied up in some sort of gambling scandal.

The details of the story are still changing and a lot is still unknown and Ohtani hasn’t been accused of anything and he may very well be guilty of absolutely nothing, but he is involved.

So just be being attached to the story, that makes Ohtani open to social media mocking.

Especially when one of the things we do know is that $4.5 million in wire transfers were sent from Ohtani’s bank account to a bookmaking operation. Why exactly that was done is TBD. Ippei Mizuhara, the longtime interpreter for Ohtani, incurred the gambling debts to a Southern California bookmaking operation that is under federal investigation, multiple sources told ESPN. Naturally, not everyone believes Mizuhara was making those bets for himself.

So while most people were focused on making Pete Rose jokes, there was much more amusing and creative takes on the Ohtani scandal. What made this entire saga even more surreal is that the story was just picking up steam across the internet as the Dodgers were in the middle of their game against the San Diego Padres, which San Diego won, 16–11, as Yoshinobu Yamamoto got lit up in his debut, allowing five runs in one inning.

Here is a roundup.

2. A brand-new episode of SI Media with Jimmy Traina dropped today and it features a conversation with The Ringer‘s editor-at-large, and host of The Press Box Podcast, Bryan Curtis about all the latest sports media news.

Among the topics covered with Curtis: Is Stephen A. Smith a $25-million man? How is Pat McAfee factoring into Smith’s desire for a massive pay day? The ESPN-Aaron Rodgers headache. Excitement for Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery to call the Final Four for CBS/Turner. LeBron James getting into the podcast game. The networks reliance on live sports growing more and more. The backlash against AppleTV+’s series on the New England Patriots dynasty and much more.

Following Curtis, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week’s topics include Major League Baseball botching Opening Day in a massive way, whether I’m justified in muting certain people on X (formerly Twitter), NCAA tournament snubs, the latest episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated’s YouTube channel.

3. Just watch what James Harden did here after passing the ball to Kawhi Leonard in the third quarter of last night’s Los Angeles Clippers game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Here’s Harden’s explanation for guarding his own teammate.

4. Long Beach State coach Dan Monson was fired two weeks ago. The school let him close out the season, though. Long Beach State, which finished the regular season 18–14, won the Big West tournament, giving them an automatic berth in to the NCAA tournament.

Monson addressed this awkward situation at a press conference Wednesday by using a wonderful Seinfeld reference.

And now I’ll be rooting for Long Beach State in the tourney.

5. Click in and enjoy this tremendous thread on what NCAA coaches actually look like they do for work.

6. Here are the price points for ESPN’s upcoming move to go Direct To Consumer.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: On this week’s SI Media Podcast with guest Bryan Curtis, we talked about the 1987 incident in which CBS News anchor Dan Rather walked off the set when a U.S. Open tennis match ran long and cut into the evening news, leaving the newscast dark for six full minutes. Curtis and I discussed how this is a top “Imagine If Twitter Was Around For This Moment.” Here is Rather discussing the incident.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.



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