Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

[7/29/2013] Softbank Hawks: Kazumi Saito to step down as rehab coach

by on Jul.29, 2013 @ 3:20 pm, under NPB

The Softbank Hawks announced today that Kazumi Saito will give up on his comeback and step down as rehab coach.

You can find footage of the press conference at the Softbank Hawks' Ustream channelPart 1Part 2

Source: official announcement, Nikkan Sports 7/29/2013

===

Some notes taken from various news sources:

  • Saito turned down the organization's suggestion for a retirement game.
  • He threw forty to fifty pitches in the bullpen on Sunday.
  • He got back to the point where he was able to toss 100 pitches during bullpen sessions, but failed to make it up to the next step -- he could not throw more than two bullpens a week.
  • The Hawks were reportedly prepared to allow him to continue with his rehab next season while working as a rehab coach.  They did inform him that they had no plans to place him on the seventy-man roster this year.
  • He decided during the off-season that if he did not make the seventy-man roster before the end of the July 31 deadline this year, he would call it quits.

"I am really grateful for the organization's support.  There are no teams that would give a pitcher that has not thrown a pitch in six years an opportunity to try for a comeback.  That is also the reason why I do not want to drag this out any longer," said Saito.

Source: Sponichi 7/29/2013Sports Hochi 7/29/2013Daily Sports 7/29/2013

===

UPDATE 7/30 @ 5:15am -

Sponichi posted a portion of Saito's Q&A session with the media:

Your are taking the uniform off.

I do have some regrets.

How did you break the news to [Sadaharu] Oh and [Koji] Akiyama?

I spoke to them directly a few days back.  I do not feel so much like I have come a long way in my attempt to make a comeback.  I feel more strongly about being fortunate enough to have an opportunity to try.  I told them I really appreciated [what they did for me].

Your last day of practice was on the 28th.  You also tossed a bullpen session.

I felt some sadness, but I also felt happy about being a pitcher.

Any games that have left an impression?

The game I won [in 2000].  [Hiroki] Kokubo helped me with a home run.  We both stood on the post-game interview box.  Things went all according to the image I had in my head for that game and something inside woke up.

Your family, your wife, how important have they been?

I think there were times, without me knowing, when things got rough for her or she felt sad.  It was my desire to get back on the mound for people, including my friends, [that kept me going].

Do you have any desire to return as a coach?

At this point, all I have is baseball.  I really have no thoughts about what my futures holds right now, so I want to take some time to think about what it is I can do.  I want to be the type of person that people always need.

Source: Sponichi 7/29/2013

===

Career Stats

Year Team G W L Sv CG ShO   BF IP H HR BB HBP SO WP BK R ER ERA WHIP
1997 Daiei 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0.2 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 2 27.00 4.50
1998 Daiei 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 3.2 6 0 3 1 1 0 0 3 3 7.36 4.45
1999 Daiei 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1.0 1 0 0 1 3 1 1 2 2 18.00 1.00
2000 Daiei 22 5 2 0 0 0 0 399 89.1 92 9 46 1 77 10 1 44 41 4.13 1.54
2001 Daiei 7 0 1 0 1 0 0 104 22.1 28 4 11 1 16 1 0 11 11 4.43 1.75
2002 Daiei 10 4 1 0 0 0 0 282 70.1 53 4 21 3 63 3 0 24 23 2.94 1.05
2003 Daiei 26 20 3 0 5 1 1 801 194.0 174 19 66 8 160 4 0 62 61 2.83 1.24
2004 Daiei 22 10 7 0 3 1 0 612 138.0 139 22 59 6 120 6 0 100 96 6.26 1.43
2005 Softbank 22 16 1 0 4 1 1 636 157.0 135 14 41 10 129 5 0 54 51 2.92 1.12
2006 Softbank 26 18 5 0 8 5 3 790 201.0 147 10 46 8 205 2 0 50 39 1.75 0.96
2007 Softbank 12 6 3 0 0 0 0 297 72.1 64 3 25 3 71 2 0 22 22 2.74 1.23
  150 79 23 0 21 8 5 3952 949.2 841 85 319 43 846 34 2 374 351 3.33 1.22