With Keiji Obiki (Orix) on second and two out in the top of the 4th inning on Saturday, Toshio Saito (Orix) hit a single to right. Matt Murton fielded the ball and fired a throw back to home that was high and on the third base side.
After the game, reporters asked Murton if he really did his best to keep the runner from scoring. He apparently snapped back and said, "Please, take two bases. I don't like Nomi-san. Do you understand?"
It was a sarcastic reply to a rather silly question.
And while the team interpreter was quick to tell reporters it was a joke, it was too late as the quote made its way into the news reports this morning.
Come on do u really think if someone didn't like someone they would say it in the media!?!?! Logically speaking
The question was "Did u try to keep that run from scoring?" What do u think the answer is? I luv my teammates & the Tiger family!
That's quite honestly all that needs to be said! If people write that stuff I would question their journalistic integrity & or common sense!
Murton was left out of the starting line-up today after a meeting with manager Yutaka Wada (he did take part in pre-game practices). Team president Nobuo Minami also reportedly instructed Murton not to make any more statements to the media that might be misunderstood.
UPDATE 6/11 @ 8:35pm - Some minor updates...
When Kyuji Fujikawa was asked about Murton's comments, he said, "Who cares about that stuff. None of the players care. We read the papers and laughed. We are not going to take the things he said seriously." He also jokingly told reporters that he hated Nomi as well. Source: Sponichi 6/11/2012, Daily Sports 6/10/2012
Team president Nobuo Minami would rather the press just leave Murton alone for a little while. Source: Daily Sports 6/10/2012
Atsushi Nomi's comment on the situation, via Sanspo: "The newspaper reporters are being evil."
Murton did not speak to the press on Sunday. Source: Sponichi 6/11/2012
UPDATE 6/12 @ 3:06pm - Murton did not talk to the press again on Monday. Source: Nikkan Sports 6/12/2012