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[10/9/2015] Tokyo Sports posts an interview with Matt Murton

by on Oct.09, 2015 @ 1:32 pm, under NPB

Tokyo Sports posted the following interview with Matt Murton on October 7.

Did this season leave you feeling unsatisfied?

No, not really. I think I had a good season. People around me might think I had a better year last year, when I won the batting title, but for me, this was a good season.

If you look at the numbers, you finished the season with the second lowest batting average of your Hanshin career.

But I played through issues and I think I grew, I feel I grew stronger. I think working hard and hitting .270 is better than coasting and hitting .300. It's about pushing myself to the limit. I think I was able to do that more this year, than last.

So in that sense, this was a good season.

Yeah. I struggled for a bit at the beginning and I did a lot of thinking this season about what I needed to do. I may have finished with a .276 average, but personally, I'm good with that.

But even if you're satisfied, the organization is not.

I know. No, maybe it's more like I knew. I knew even before the start of the season that there would be no contract for next year. They couldn't tell me what they expected from me.

Does that mean you were prepared for this to be your last season with Hanshin?

Yes. [Kentaro] Sekimoto had his retirement game on the 4th and I went in thinking that that game might also be my last with Hanshin.

What now?

I'm not sure. It might be Japan, it might be the United States. But if Hanshin isn't going to sign me to a contract, then I need to find another option. I've been with Hanshin for six years, so I feel sad, but this is about moving on to the next stage of my life.

The fans will be sad too.

I know. That makes me sad too. I lived in Kobe for six years and I met a lot of people. It's not just about teammates and fans, it's also about the friends I made and the people I met just by living here, like the people at the restaurants I go to... My kids grew up in Kobe. A part of me feels like this is home. That what makes it really difficult to leave.

Is this a turning point in your life?

Yeah. I just turned thirty-four and I'm not sure how long I'll be able to play the game. If there's no interest in me, then my only choice is to retire. Maybe it's time for me to retire, maybe it's not. Who knows. Right now, I'm only thinking about doing my best on the stage God has given me.

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/7/2015

4 comments on “[10/9/2015] Tokyo Sports posts an interview with Matt Murton

  1. muratafan

    Murton’s situation is perhaps the biggest head-scratcher that I have about NPB. The guy was NINTH in the league in hitting. The corner outfield position in NPB is not exactly flourishing with players better than Murton. Granted he is 34 years old, but he has been consistent and extremely durable. There is a grand total of THREE corner outfielders hitting better than Murton last year: Hirata, Fukudome (who was extremely average last year and is 38) and Tsutsugo (who is a legitimate stud).

    I also recognize that there is a foreign player limit. However, I cannot believe that the Tigers have anyone REMOTELY close to Murton’s production in the wings. Furthermore, my team (the Eagles) have virtually no pop whatsoever, poor OBP and an anemic offense. Why the Eagles wouldn’t sign Murton is a mystery, nor how teams like the Carp couldn’t use someone like Murton OR the Fighters for that matter. Yet, somehow, I get the feeling that Murton will be retiring or taking a minor league contract in the states.

    I would dearly love to see the Eagles actually go get Murton. Murton in the 3-hole, followed by Pena batting clean-up and there is a semblance of an offense in Sendai. Otherwise, it’s a parade of slap-hitters hoping for single, a sacrifice and another single. The story of the Eagles’ championship is just as much a function of Casey McGehee and Andruw Jones as it was Tanaka. Wheeler had 14 home runs in limited action, so maybe he can contribute. But an outfield of Kaz Matsui (40 years old and he hit 10 homeruns this season) and some sort of combination of Okajima,Shimauchi, Makida and Masuda is just plain depressing.

    1. IM

      I think he’s trying to be humble.
      He’s a proven NPB player, he’s already played in the Majors a few years so I don’t think he’s necessarily still chasing that dream.
      Some NPB team will make him a good offer (better than he’d get from a Minor League deal) and he’ll take it, at least that’s what I think.

    1. anon

      While I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, my prediction is that it will all boil down to money. I think the Tigers will still make an offer, but it will definitely not be the same as last season’s 450M given his (let’s face it) mediocre performance. That being said, it will be up to him to either take the offer, or walk away.

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