Who is Shohei Ohtani’s new interpreter? Meet Will Ireton, Ohtani’s translator after Ippei Mizuhara dismissal

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Standing on the lectern at the Dodgers’ practice facility on Monday was a pair of men, one of whom is a household name, the other who has made nary a dent in the public consciousness.

Shohei Ohtani faced the media for the first time since Los Angeles fired his longtime interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, amid accusations that Mizuhara stole money from the global superstar to pay off his gambling debts.

In his presser, he was accompanied by Los Angeles employee Will Ireton, a man who has lurked in the shadows in the Dodgers organization for much of the past five seasons or so.

Here’s what you need to know about Ireton’s background, as well as how he came to prominence and became fluent in both Japanese and English.

MORE: Shohei Ohtani strongly denies any involvement in interpreter gambling controversy

Who is Shohei Ohtani’s new interpreter?

The man tasked with translating Ohtani’s answers into English going forward is Will Ireton, a long-standing member of the Dodgers organization.

Born in Tokyo, Ireton grew up speaking his native language. He moved to Hawaii as a teenager, eventually setting off on a successful baseball career that saw him play for Occidental College and Menlo College (both in California). In 2012 β€” shortly after graduating from Menlo as valedictorian β€” Ireton represented the Philippines in the World Baseball Classic.

Ireton interned for the Rangers and Yankees before his Dodgers days. He joined the storied organization back in 2016, first as a friendly face to interpret for Kenta Maeda. Throughout his eight seasons in Dodger Blue, he’s been all over, even offering his services as one of the team’s managers for performance operations before Mizuahara’s dismissal.

He’s affably known as “Will the Thrill” across organizational circles, having developed a penchant for dancing across the dugout to motivate players.

Now, Ireton will be much busier, serving as the de facto spokesman for the biggest star in baseball during his most trying times.

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