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Shohei Ohtani’s former Angels teammate accused of making illegal sports bets: report

David Fletcher, an MLB infielder who currently plays in the Atlanta Braves organization, reportedly bet on sports using the same bookmaker as Shohei Ohtani’s former trainer, Ippei Mizuhara.

Fletcher played for the Los Angeles Angels from 2018 to 2023 and was a teammate of Ohtani’s during that span. Ohtani and Fletcher both left the Angels following the 2023 season. Ohtani signed a massive contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason, and Fletcher joined the Braves, later being optioned to their Triple-A affiliate.

Fletcher made bets through bookie Matthew Bowyer but never bet on baseball, ESPN reported Friday night. Colby Schultz, a friend of Fletcher’s who played in the Kansas City Royals’ organization from 2018 to 2020, reportedly placed bets on baseball games, including Angels games when Fletcher was on the team.

MLB, the Braves, Fletcher and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California declined to comment on the matter, ESPN reported. Schultz didn’t immediately respond to a message from Fox News Digital.

Fletcher previously noted that he and Ohtani were “good friends,” back on March 18.

According to the report, MLB players and employees can bet on sports other than baseball, but those who place wagers through illegal bookmakers could be punished by the commissioner’s office. Players who bet on baseball games they didn’t play in could be punished for a year, and those who bet on games they did play in could be permanently banned from the sport.

Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in the dugout


Shohei Ohtani and David Fletcher in 2021

Ohtani was caught up in a betting scandal earlier this season as his former interpreter was accused of stealing money from the star baseball player’s bank account to pay off debts.

Mizuhara appeared in federal court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the charges as a formality in the case. 

Ohtani with interpreter

He’s accused of stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani. He signed a plea agreement that detailed the allegations on May 5, and prosecutors announced it days later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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