The media is reporting that Tomoaki Kanemoto is planning to retire after the current season and will make an announcement of his decision later today.
Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012, Sports Hochi 9/12/2012, Nikkan Sports 9/12/2012, Sponichi 9/12/2012, Sanspo 9/12/2012, Mainichi Shimbun 9/12/2012, Yomiuri Shimbun 9/12/2012, Asahi Shimbun 9/12/2012, Jiji 9/12/2012, Chugoku Shimbun 9/12/2012
UPDATE @ 6:33pm - Some quick notes:
- Kanemoto starting thinking about retirement about ten days ago but only finalized the decision a couple days ago. Source: Sponichi 9/12/2012
- His mother was the first person he informed. He also said his kid cried when he told her about his decision (I think he has one daughter). Source: Sponichi 9/12/2012
- About two hundred members of the media showed up for his press conference. Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
- He felt the first three years of his pro career and the final three years of his career were the most difficult. Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
- The record he is most proud of his string of 1,002 consecutive trips to the plate (May 12, 2000 - September 28, 2001) without hitting into a double play. Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
- He currently has 474 home runs and is in a tenth place tie on the All-time home run list with Koichi Tabuchi. He would to hit one more home run before the end of the year for sole possession of tenth. Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
UPDATE @ 8:28pm - More notes:
- Tigers' GM Katsuhiro Nakamura was thinking of making Kanemoto a player / coach next season. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/12/2012
- Chunichi manager Morimichi Takagi wonders if getting dropped from the starting line-up played into Kanemoto's decision. Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2012
Nikkan Sports has posted a portion of the Q&A from the press conference:
What are your thoughts right now?
Part of me feels as ease. I also feel regret and sadness. But I largely feel at ease.
When did you decide?
I started thinking about it ten days ago. The real decision came the day before yesterday. I told my mother first. My kid cried when I told her.
On looking back at your career...
I feel that if I did more, I could have put up better numbers. I also feel I did my best, like in making the very difficult every inning of every game streak. Especially these last three years, or rather the first three years and last three years of my career have been the most difficult times in my life.
What do you remember the most?
One is that I it was too bad that I could not win a championship with the Carp. But I am a very lucky baseball player to have had a chance to play on the Tigers during their best and most popular years.
What does baseball mean to you?
Life itself. I started when I was ten. Only twenty to thirty percent of it was happy and satisfying. And I chased after it, the seventy to eighty percent of it was difficult.