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Shohei Ohtani given hero’s welcome on his return to the Angels: $700m Dodgers star treated to tribute video and standing ovation as he comes up to bat… a day after breaking his silence on MLB gambling probe

The Los Angeles Angels rolled out the red carpet for Shohei Ohtani on his return to Angel Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Japanese star recently moved across town on a record $700 million contract after half a decade with the Angels, where he was twice named AL MVP.

In recent days, Ohtani has been in the news due to an MLB investigation, after his friend and interpreter Ippei Mizuhara was fired during a gambling investigation.

Earlier this week, the two-time star broke his silence, insisting he had never bet on sports and accusing Mizuhara of lying and stealing money.

On Tuesday, Ohtani got the chance to let his baseball speak for itself again.

The Japanese player bows to the supporters

Shohei Ohtani received a hero’s welcome on his return to Angel Stadium on Tuesday evening

Highlights from Ohtani's MVP season were shown on the screen when he came to bat

Highlights from Ohtani’s MVP season were shown on the screen when he came to bat

He spent half a decade with the Angels before joining the Dodgers in a $700 million deal

He spent half a decade with the Angels before joining the Dodgers in a $700 million deal

Ohtani was greeted with a standing ovation from the fans upon his return to the Dodgers

Ohtani was greeted with a standing ovation from the fans upon his return to the Dodgers

However, when the Japanese star came to bat in the top of the first inning, a video started playing on the stadium’s jumbotron. It showed highlights from Ohtani’s 2023 MVP season.

Supporters began cheering and clapping as the video paid tribute to the two-way star, while announcers’ commentary blared through the stadium’s loudspeakers.

Ohtani stepped into the batter’s box and made the stand while the video was still playing. But he was soon forced to step away – with an almost ashamed look on his face.

“I think Shohei has forgotten that he plays a big role here,” the announcer said. “We gotta get some love out here for Shohei Ohtani (given) what he did in that uniform.”

Ohtani even apologized to the Angels pitcher for the delay before smiling and acknowledging the crowd.

The $700 million star took off his helmet and greeted the Angels fans who stood to pay tribute to baseball’s richest star. Ohtani responded with a bow.

Ohtani greets former teammate Brandon Drury during Tuesday's exhibition game

Ohtani greets former teammate Brandon Drury during Tuesday’s exhibition game

The Japanese two-time star greets the fans, who stood up to welcome him back to the Angel Stadium

The Japanese two-time star greets the fans, who stood up to welcome him back to the Angel Stadium

It came a day after Ohtani broke his silence on the MLB gambling investigation

It came a day after Ohtani broke his silence on the MLB gambling investigation

The Angels won Tuesday’s exhibition game 4-3, with Ohtani 0 for 2 at the plate.

Ohtani’s lawyers say their client was the victim of a “massive theft” by Mizuhara after $4.5 million in wire transfers was withdrawn from the Japanese slugger’s account to pay off alleged gambling debts.

The star said he was “very saddened and shocked” that Mizuhara did this, adding (through an interpreter): “I never bet on baseball or any other sport and have never asked anyone to do it on my behalf and am never went through a bookmaker. .’

“In short, Ippei stole money from my account and told lies,” Ohtani said.

‘I have never bet on baseball or other sports, and I have never asked anyone to do so on my behalf, and I have never bet on sports through a bookmaker.

‘I didn’t even know this was happening until a few days ago. To briefly discuss the result: Ippei stole money from my account and told lies.