Takeshi Yamasaki held a press conference in Nagoya today and formally announced that he planned to retire at the end of the season.
"A number of reports have been published. I have decided to retire at the end of the season," said Yamasaki.
Source: Nikkan Sports 7/29/2013
UPDATE 7/30 @ 5:02am -
Sports Hochi has posted a portion of the Q&A session with media.
Your reason for retiring.
Since about Inter-league, I started thinking that I needed to make some sort of decision if I were demoted to Ni-gun. I put everything on the line for my career, that was the line. And that is when I was demoted to Ni-gun. I told [Morimichi] Takagi and the organization I wanted to take the uniform off.
What are your thoughts now?
I feel great, I feel no pain. I still feel like I can play, like I can play a few more years. I cannot say I feel great about things, but I do want to give the young Dragons a dream to strive for. I do feel a little disappointed about having to retire before one of the guys I look up to, Masahiro Yamamoto.
On looking back over your career.
I think I was always one or two things away from being a complete man. I could not reach the 2,000-hit milestone. I had set my sights on passing [Shigeo] Nagashima's 444 home runs and the 2,000-hit milestone, but I could not do it. If I was disobedient and argued with managers. I think if I had acted more like an adult, I would have made the 2,000-hit milestone. I do feel pride in having a twenty-seven year career.
Do you have any desire to coach?
That is not something I can decide, but I do have aspirations to coach younger players. I just want to give back to baseball.
Do you have anything you want to tell you Tohoku fans?
I started hating baseball during my time with Orix. To the point where I thought I may never touch another ball or swing another bat. But I was able to play for a new team. I was even encouraged during my visits [to areas that were hit by the earthquake]. I only have feelings of appreciation.
Source: Sports Hochi 7/29/2013
UPDATE 7/30 @ 7:29am -
Yamasaki has reportedly been added to the Dragons' list of manager candidates for the 2014 season.
Source: Sports Hochi 7/30/2013
UPDATE 7/30 @ 7:46am -
Sports Hochi has posted a few more bits from Monday's Q&A with the media:
How did your family react when you told them you were going to retire?
I told my mom over the phone. It felt a little heavy when she said, "You had a nice career." I feel a bad that she loses something to look forward to. My son was the most disappointed. My daughter made fun of me, called me an unemployed person. But when I first told her about it, she would not talk to me. Perhaps it made her get a little emotional.
Any memories of your career that stand out?
I was the happiest when I got another chance to wear a Dragons uniform after playing for Rakuten. It was something I was not expecting. It was a miracle.
Your are close to Masahiro Yamamoto, both on and off the field. Did you discuss the decision with him?
He said, "No need to quit, you've still got some years left in you!" I did not want to quit with Yamamoto-san. I am a bigger star, but more people like to talk about him. If we were to quit at the same time, he would get all the coverage (laughter). I think he can play until he is fifty. I will leave it to Yamamoto-san.