Team official Masayuki Okumura returned to Japan with Wladimir Balentien on Tuesday. The Swallows did not disclose details of Balentien's flight until the morning of his arrival. There were still about fifty members of the media on hand.
Source: Daily Sports 1/29/2014
Balentien held a press conference at the team offices in Tokyo today and apologized to fans and teammates. Twelve television cameras and about eighty reporters covered the event.
Source: Nikkan Sports 1/29/2014
Team President Tsuyoshi Kinugasa and Okumura sat with Balentien during the press conference.
Source: Tokyo Sports 1/29/2014
Sports Hochi has posted portions of the press conference.
How do you feel right now?
I want to apologize to the fans and to my teammates. I am glad I made it back in time [for the start of spring camp].
What is your condition?
I am not as prepared as I usually am, but I will try hard to be at my best by the time spring camp ends.
Your thoughts on spring camp?
I want to become a better hitter. I want to make my swing more compact and I also want to become a better fielder.
What about the plans to move you to first.
I have never played the position, but I will do whatever they need me to do, I am prepared for that.
How do you feel mentally?
Once the season starts, I will leave what happened in the past behind me and will try to focus on baseball without pressure.
What are your goals for the season?
For the team to win. I always do my best on the field. That is how I have always played the game and I want to continue showing that to everyone.
Source: Sports Hochi 1/29/2014
Kinugasa: With regards to this issue, we are very sorry for the concerns and distractions we created.
Balentien: I'm here today in front of you guys because first of all, I just wanna apologize to, uh, my fans, I wanna apologize to the, to the Yakult Swallow fans, I wanna apologize to the organization of the Yakult Swallows, and I wanna apologize to, to my teammates, uh, for all the stuff that's going on. Uh, I'm glad I'm here today. Um, I'm in time for start of spring training.
Balentien: Well I'll, I'll try to be the same player I am, I mean uh, they get used to, they get used to me, they, they like what they see so I'll just try to the be same guy, try to play hard. And I'll try to do, do my best. Uh, give everything I have on the field.