[9/28/2016] Mitsutaka Goto and Takashi Kawai not in Eagles plans for 2017

Thirty-eight-year-old Mitsutaka Goto and forty-year-old Takashi Kawai are reportedly not a part of the Rakuten Eagles plans for the 2017 season and will most likely be released. It is not known if the two players want to continue playing or retire.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/28/2016

[UPDATE 9/29 @ 11:46pm]

The media learned on September 28 that Kawaii is planning to retire. He apparently made the decision after he starting the last Ni-gun game of the season and pitching an inning.

Goto would like to continue playing.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/29/2016, Sponichi 9/29/2016

[UPDATE 9/30 @ 2:21am]

The Eagles announced on September 29 that Kawaii was retiring. A press conference will be held on October 2.

Source: Rakuten announcement

[UPDATE 10/3 @ 6:21am]

Notes from Kawaii’s press conference.

  • He took a gamble on this season after he failed to win a game last year. He decided to retire because he was unable to help the team.
  • He turned it up a notch after the Eagles decided to keep him even though he was unproductive in 2007 and 2008. He feels no regrets because he was able to play eight more seasons after that.
  • Senichi Hoshino probably coined the phrase, “When in trouble, call on Bob (Kawaii).” It could not have been about consistency, since he never pitched through full seasons, but he took the mound every time he was called and happened to be in good condition each time.
  • He thought his career was over after the 2007 and 2008 seasons. At that time, he never even considered pitching until he was forty. It was not until a few years ago that he started thinking about it. He never thought about it when he first turned pro and is very satisfied with how things turned out.
  • He was never a consistently good pitcher, but his ability to move on, after good starts and bad starts, kept him moving forward.
  • He started his career with Lotte and was traded to Rakuten in 2006. When his career with Rakuten started, he noticed how young everyone. He wanted to grow with the team and was fortunate to experience a championship in 2013 with the same players he saw when he first joined the team.

Source: Rakuten announcement

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