Forty-three-year-old Hitoki Iwase held a press conference at Nagoya Dome on October 2 to formally announce his decision to retire after the season.
Notes from the interview:
- He decided to retire because his numbers dropped from last year and he did not want to burden the team. He talked about retiring if his performance dipped during contract discussions last year.
- He told Shigekazu Mori he wanted to retire when the manager asked him what he wanted to do last month (September).
- He waited to make the announcement because he wanted to make it to 1000 games first.
- He thought about retiring two years ago. But he played last year and this year. He has no regrets.
- More than any title, he felt the most pride in pitching fifty or more games in fifteen consecutive seasons, beginning with his first year.
- As a veteran member of the pitching staff, he does feel responsible for the team’s poor performance this year.
Source: Chunichi 10/2/2018, Sanspo 10/2/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/2/2018, Sponichi 10/2/2018, Sponichi 10/2/2018, Daily Sports 10/2/2018