Tag Archive: Retirement

[12/9/2016] Updates on Satoshi Komatsu, Takanori Sato, Masaru Takeda

Satoshi Komatsu decided to retire because he was unable to help the Orix Buffaloes. He recorded fifteen wins in his first full season, but struggled after that. He suffered a stress fracture in his right rib in 2010 and needed surgery to remove loose cartilage in his right elbow in 2014. Every year, he took the mound thinking it might be his last. He decided it was time to quit this year. He accepted a job as a Ni-gun pitching coach for the Buffaloes.

Takanori Sato spent the last two years playing in the BC League with hopes for another shot at the NPB. He decided to retire and registered as a baseball instructor for Otonano Katekyoshi Try (adult tutoring service).

Masaru Takeda retired and accepted a job with the Nippon Ham Fighters. The team announced on December 9 that he will be assigned to the BC League’s Ishikawa Million Stars.

Source: Sponichi 12/9/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/9/2016, Sponichi 12/9/2016, Ishikawa announcement


[12/8/2016] Updates on Toshiyuki Yanuki, Jun Hirose

Yomiuri senryokugai Toshiyuki Yanuki has decided to retire. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November. He faced three hitters, allowed one hit, and topped out at 146km/h. He waited for offers, but did not receive any. He was disappointed, but decided he was going to take it as a sign that he should find a new job while he was still physically strong.

Jun Hirose considered retirement last year because the injuries were starting to take a toll. He decided to give it another try after talking to his old college manager. But then he hurt his right shoulder during a Ni-gun game against Chunichi on August 20 (he was attempting to make a throw from left to home plate and felt pain from his shoulder to his finger tips) and he knew his career was over for sure. He took a lot of pride in his throwing ability. He led the league in assists with ten in 2010. Without his arm, he knew he would never make it back to the active roster.

Source: Nikkan Sports 12/7/2016, Sponichi 12/7/2016Sponichi 12/7/2016, Sponichi 12/8/2016


[12/6/2016] Updates on Akihisa Makida, Ryoji Katsuki, Yoshihiro Ito, Hiroki Sanada

Akihisa Makida thought about checking to see if other teams might be interested in his services, but he decided to retire because he wanted to be closer to his kids. Makida has two girls, seven and nine.

Lotte senryokugai Ryoji Katsuki decided to continue his playing career by returning to the Sendo Ichiba Golden Larks (Industrial League). He will be a player/coach. He had offers from Independent League teams, but he decided to return to the Golden Larks because of the team’s connection to Kumamoto.

Lotte senryokugai Yoshihiro Ito decided to retire after he failed to pass his tryout with the Yomiuri Giants in November. He is interested in becoming a physical education teacher.

Former Yomiuri Giant Hiroki Sanada has decided to retire. He spent the last couple of years playing in the Independent Leagues (Fukushima in 2015 and Fukui in 2016). He is slated to return to the Giants as a batting practice pitcher.

Source: Sponichi 12/5/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016, Nikkan Sports 12/6/2016Sponichi 12/6/2016


[12/4/2016] Kazuya Tsutsui, Travis Mikihisa Samura updates

Kazuya Tsutsui retired this year. He will remain with the Hanshin Tigers as an amateur scout.

Hanshin senryokugai Travis Mikihisa Samura has decided to continue his playing career with Okinawa Denryoku (Industrial League). He attended the twelve team tryouts in November, but did not receive any offers from NPB teams.

Source: Sponichi 12/4/2016, Sponichi 12/4/2016


[12/3/2016] Updates on Shotaro Ide, Toshio Saito, Shinta Hifumi

Former Yokohama Bay Stars Shotaro Ide has decided to retire. He attended the twelve team tryouts in November and went 1-for-5. He was waiting for an offer, but did not receive one.

Toshio Saito was let go by the Orix Buffaloes after the season. He was also offered a job as advance scout by the Buffaloes. He would have to retire, but he is open to the idea.

Hanshin Tigers’ senryokugai Shinta Hifumi did not attend the twelve team tryouts in November because he already has plans to join the BC League’s Ishikawa Million Stars.

Source: Sports Hochi 12/3/2016, Sponichi 12/3/2016, Sponichi 12/3/2016


[12/2/2016] Kaneko and Arakaki planning to retire

Softbank senryokugai Keisuke Kaneko (31) and Yakult senryokugai Nagisa Arakaki (36) are planning to retire because they have not received any offers to play in 2017. Both players attended the twelve team tryouts at Koshien Stadium last month in hopes of drumming up interest. Kaneko went 1-for-5. Arakaki topped out at 140km/h and retired the three batters he faced.

Source: Daily Sports 11/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 11/30/2016


[10/18/2016] Hiroki Kuroda to retire after this season

Hiroki Kuroda held a press conference at a hotel in Hiroshima on October 18 to announce his plans to retire after the season.

Kuroda was selected by the Hiroshima Carp in the second round of the 1996 draft. He pitched in 321 NPB games and went 124-105 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 2,021.2 innings. He also pitched in 212 MLB games and went 79-79 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 1,319.0 innings. He made the Best Nine in 2005 and won a Golden Glove in the same year. He won MVP of the Month Awards in May 2005, July 2006, and August 2006. He made the All-Star team five times (2001, 2005-2007, 2015).

Notes from various sources:

  • One big reason why he decided to retire was the Carp winning the pennant and making it to the Nippon Series. He is not sure if he would have made the same decision if the team failed to win the pennant.
  • Another reason for retirement: no longer being able to pitch deep into games.
  • He first started thinking about retirement every years about two to three years ago. He seriously started thinking about it after the team clinched first place.
  • He told Takahiro Arai about his decision after the Carp clinched the pennant. Arai asked him to play another season, but he told him his body was a mess.
  • If he had it his way, he would have waited to make an announcement until after the Nippon Series. However, he felt he owed it to his teammates and fans to speak up sooner since his next Nippon Series start might be his last.
  • He has no regrets, especially after this season.
  • He gathered teammates and staff on the field at Mazda Stadium around 5:00pm on October 18 and told them he was going to retire. His press conference starts at 7:00pm.

Source: Hiroshima announcement, Daily Sports 10/18/2016, Sports Hochi 10/18/2016, Sports Hochi 10/18/2016, Sponichi 10/18/2016, Sponichi 10/18/2016

[UPDATE 10/19 @ 4:22pm]

TV ratings for Kuroda’s press conference averaged 19.2% and peaked at 23.6%.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2016


[10/13/2016] Takahiro Suzuki announces retirement

The media learned on October 13 that thirty-eight-year-old Takahiro Suzuki is planning to retire. He played in his twentieth season this year and appeared in forty-four games. He stole ten bases this year and extended his streak of ten o more stolen bases in a season to twelve. He was picked off first base in the ninth inning of the third game of the First Stage of the Climax Series on October 10. An official announcement could be made today.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/13/2016

[UPDATE 10/14 @ 6:07am]

The Giants held a press conference for Suzuki at Tokyo Dome Hotel on October 13. Some notes from various sources:

  • He felt good about his physical and technical game, but felt a dip in his mental game. He decided to retire because he feels a dip in any area will lead to less than satisfactory results.
  • He told Yoshinobu Takahashi about his decision the day after the Giants lost the First Stage of the Climax Series.
  • He does not want to think about the first five years of his pro career because he struggled so much. However, he also thinks those very five years may have helped prepare him for the rest of his pro career.
  • He appreciates the opportunity Tatsunori Hara gave him when he started using him as a pinch-runner in 2002.
  • He approached every game the same way: since he was never certain when he was going to be used, he made it a point to make sure he was always prepared. It was the times in between his appearances that he remembers the most about his career.
  • He felt a lot of pressure from the cheering fans. But he also attributes his success to their cheers.

Suzuki was selected by the Yomiuri Giants in the fourth round of the 1996 draft. He won a Golden Glove in 2008 and a Nippon Series Outstanding Player Award in 2008. He made the All-Star series in 2015 and holds the NPB record for most pinch-run stolen bases (132).

Source: Yomiuri 10/13/2016, Tokyo Sports 10/13/2016, Nikkan Sports 10/13/2016

[UPDATE 11/23 @ 11:28pm]

The Giants held a retirement ceremony for Suzuki during their FanFesta on November 23. Players tossed him into the air twelve times.

Source: Yomiuri 11/23/2016, Sponichi 11/23/2016


[9/29/2016] Kazunari Tsuruoka to retire

Thirty-nine-year-old Kazunari Tsuruoka is planning to retire. He will announce his decision during a press conference later today.

Tsuruoka was selected by Yokohama in the fifth round of the 1995 draft. He was traded to Yomiuri in 2008, exercised his domestic free agent option and returned to Yokohama in 2012, and was sent to Hanshin in 2014 as player compensation for Yasutomo Kubo.

Tsuruoka played in a Ni-gun practice game against Orix at Naruohama on September 28. He made the starting line-up at catcher batting eighth. He went 0-for-2.

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

[UPDATE 9/30 @ 5:20am]

The Tigers held a press conference for Tsuruoka at their team office in Nishinomiya on September 29.

Notes from his press conference:

  • He feels relieved and realizes that he still loves baseball.
  • He feels relieved because there is no more pressure to worry about.
  • He still does not feel any sadness, but thinks it will hit him later.
  • He started thinking about retirement after he was demoted in September. He decided to retire after the last Ni-gun game of the season.
  • When he told his wife he was going to quit this year, she first said she thought he could play longer, but then congratulated him for his twenty-one year professional career.
  • He stands by his decision because he feels players should retire when they can no longer contribute at the Ichi-gun level.
  • He strongly remembers winning the Nippon Series as a member of the Yomiuri Giants in 2009.
  • He enjoyed being a part of the Hanshin-Yomiuri rivalry from both sides.
  • He is glad he can retire in a Hanshin uniform. His believes his parents are happy about it as well. He is from Hyogo.
  • His hand got swollen when he caught Shintaro Fujinami last year. There were times he was in a lot of pain.
  • He wishes he could have won a Nippon Series with the Tigers.

Source: Hanshin announcementDaily Sports 9/29/2016


[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