It was just revealed that Shohei Ohtani's translator, Ippei Mizuhara, was just re-hired by the LA Angels. Yes, you read that correctly. 'Re-hired.' While many outsiders didn't know, Mizuhara actually had resigned from being Ohtani's translator during the lockout so that he could keep in communication with the two-way superstar.
Mizuhara was employed by the team as a staff member in his role as Ohtani's translator. Therefore, he wouldn't be allowed to be in contact with Ohtani during the lockout if he kept his job. The Angels made the right move by re-hiring Mizuhara as soon as they got the chance.
ShoTime and Mizuhara had always appeared to have a strong player-interpreter relationship, and that was clearly proven through Mizuhara literally resigning from his job so he could continue staying close with Ohtani.
Ippei Mizuhara made the MLB lockout easier on LA Angels' superstar Shohei Ohtani.
Consistency was going to be key for any LA Angels player during the lockout, and not just Shohei Ohtani. The lockout already naturally brought about many changes to players' typical offseason plans and routines. To have Mizuhara by Ohtani's side as he prepares for the 2022 MLB season is huge.
It also helps keep the chemistry between the two strong. That's as important as it gets, as Mizuhara being on the same page as Ohtani is crucial to how Ohtani communicates with coaching, his teammates, and the media. Mizuhara is part of Ohtani's story.
Ohtani should do exactly what he did last year to make himself comfortable and at his best, as he had the greatest season in sports history last year. The 2021 unanimous AL MVP reportedly looks great, and ready to try to replicate that type of success in 2022.