Thirty-eight-year-old catcher Tomoya Satozaki held a press conference at QVC Marines today to formally announce his plans to retire at the end of the season. The Marines have posted footage of the press conference.
Lotte posted the following comment from Satozaki:
After a sixteen-year professional career and thirty years in baseball, I wanted to publicly announce that I am retiring after the season. A part of me feels relieved after making this decision. Things have been really difficult for me the last few years. I feel relieved that I no longer have to work hard. But another part of me gets sad when I think about how I can no longer work hard.
The cheering at QVC Marine and the cheering on the road. My greatest take-away from all of this was being able to enjoy many things with the Marines fans. We are the Chiba Lotte Marines because of the fans. They really did a lot for me. I just want to say thank you.
Source: official announcement
A few notes:
- The Marines currently have no plans to offer Satozaki a job as a coach. This does not include future possibilities. Source: Sponichi 9/12/2014
- Satozaki stopped by Lotte Urawa Stadium and QVC Marine on Thursday. At Lotte Urawa, he spoke to the Ni-gun players and wished them luck. The players struggled to toss Satozaki into the air and even dropped him on their first try. The second attempt was successful. Source: Nikkan Sports 9/12/2014
- Satozaki's retirement ceremony is currently scheduled for September 28 (against Orix at QVC Marine). Source: Daily Sports 9/12/2014
Sponichi posted portions of Satozaki's interaction with the media on Thursday:
When did you decide to retire?
Yesterday. I met with the front office and we discussed it.
What was the deciding factor?
Health was the issue. I had a hard time walking because of my left knee and it was affecting my daily life. I had it cleaned out in May. I think I could have kept playing had it gotten better, but it didn't. I didn't want to cling to this career. I had meniscal surgery on my left knee ten years ago. I think it did a good job holding up this long.
You decided to retire, but you still practiced today...
I don't want to look bad if they are planning to hold a retirement game for me.
I just decided yesterday. I haven't made any decisions yet. I'll have time to think about it.
Source: Sponichi 9/12/2014
[UPDATE 9/14 @ 2:06am]
Sports Hochi has posted portions of the press conference.
Is there someone you owe your career to?
Bobby Valentine taught me about the spirit and difficulties of baseball. And there were a lot of things I learned from [Kazuya] Fukuura.
[Tatsuhiro] Tamura and [Yuta] Yoshida are coming along nicely.
They still might be baby chicks, but we have new people coming up. There may have still been things for me to teach, but I think my job is done.
You made the 2006 WBC Best Nine team.
Pitchers like Daisuke Matsuzaka and Koji Uehara were on the staff. Triple Crown winner Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Ichiro were on the roster. I didn't want to get in the way, I didn't want to hold the team back. I never even dreamed about being able to play under manager [Sadaharu] Oh. I'm glad we were able to win it for him.
Source: Sports Hochi 9/13/2014