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Who is Shohei Ohtani's new interpreter? A look at "Will the Thrill"

A look into Shohei Ohtani's new Dodgers team interpreter | The Brief
A look into Shohei Ohtani's new Dodgers team interpreter | The Brief 03:58

Japanese baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani has a new interpreter and it's longtime Dodgers staffer, trusted employee, "Will the Thrill."

Ohtani's former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was recently fired by the Dodgers for allegedly stealing money from Ohtani to cover massive gambling debts. Mizuhara is said to have engaged in "massive theft," stealing millions to make bets with a bookmaker.

Mizuhara had been Ohtani's interpreter since he made his MLB debut in 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels.

Jack Harris with the Los Angeles Times, reported on Ohtani's new interpreter and shared with KCAL News what he learned about the tight bond between Ohtani and Mizuhara, and the team's choice for a replacement.

"Ippei, before all this scandal broke, was one of Ohtani's closest friends. He was his training partner in a lot of ways. He tracked a lot of Ohtani's daily routine, he was really more like a manager in some ways taking care of all these little things in his life," Harris said.

Will Ireton, known as "Will the Thrill," is taking over, at least temporarily, and this isn't the first interpreter role Ireton has taken on for the organization.

He had previously been the team's interpreter for Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda from 2016 to 2019, and also currently works as the in-game interpreter for Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

"Will Ireton was somebody the team trusted immensely, not only from his days when he was Kenta Maeda's interpreter, not only because of some of the work he was doing on the analytics side and the game prep side the last couple years for the team, but also cause of just the energy he brings, and enthusiasm," Harris said.

The energy and enthusiasm is what earned Ireton the "Will the Thrill" moniker.

"There's been a lot of viral videos going back to his time when he was Kenta's interpreter, of him dancing in the dugout, doing a deadlift in the clubhouse for the team wearing a wrestling singlet," Harris said.

Ireton is not only well-liked but has a lot of trust and a high approval rating among the club, according to Harris. Most recently, Ireton has worked as the Dodgers' performance operations manager since 2020.

"… Right now (he) is helping bridge this gap as somebody who they trust and as somebody who can actually serve the role as someone who was born in Japan and knows the language and culture really well," Harris said.

Major League Baseball does have a gambling policy for its players and employees that gets refreshed every spring. Harris said there are signs posted in the clubhouse regarding the policy.

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