Your reasons for retirement?
I've been a regular for quite some time now, and my ideal condition includes being able to run, hit, and take the field. My fielding and running skills have dropped off a bit and I thought it was about time to call it quits. I couldn't put up solid numbers last season and I was feeling mentally drained so I thought it was time.
On doing well this season...
I don't really think I'm hitting all that well. In any case, I decided that I would play my hardest the whole season and regardless of the results, good or bad, my decision won't change.
On looking back over a 22-year career...
If there's one thing I can say, I've never once lost the desire to win. I'm surprised I've been able to play this long with this body.
Your most treasured memory?
I got hurt during my second year and then hit a home run in the first game of the year in my third season. I didn't realize just how great Ichi-gun was until that moment. I worked hard to rehab my injury and then came back with a home run... I almost teared up while I was rounding the bases.
Your plans for after retirement?
I haven't made any decisions yet. I want to look around and get better idea of what my options are. I'm really grateful to the fans for their support over my 22-year career that I want to work on figuring out a way to give back to them.