Tomohiro Nioka held a press conference at Fighters Town Kamagaya today.
Quotes taken from various sources:
"I spent ten years with Kyojin and five years with Nippon Ham. I was able to play for fulfilling fifteen years with support from many people. I feel I have done everything I can."
"I was able to lead a fulfilling baseball career with support from a lot of people."
"The last few years, it was only about hitting. Running, hitting, fielding, if I can not do all of it, then it means nothing [to me]."
"I have not made any decisions [about what to do next]. I would like to study more."
"I am interested in hitting. I want to study more."
The Yomiuri Giants could reach out to Nioka about possible coaching opportunities in the future. He could also be shipped off to the United States to gain some coaching experience in the minors.
[UPDATE 1/10 @ 4:20am]
Sponichi posted portions of Nioka's interaction with the media during his press conference:
What's going through your head right now?
I thought maybe I might want to play baseball more, but that did not really happen. I no longer have to worry about my body when I wake up in the morning.
What was your reason for retiring?
I considered my performance from last season, but the last few years it was only about hitting, I did not play any defense and they sent in pinch-runners whenever I got a hit. I started wondering if this was good enough for me.
You felt strongly about running, hitting, and fielding?
I had problems with the my legs, but it means nothing if there is no running, hitting, and fielding. If I was going to play the game, I wanted to play it right.
What event during your career left the biggest mark on you?
My first trip to the plate after turning pro. My first trip to the plate after joining a new team also left a lasting mark. I had a hard time facing Hanshin's Shinobu Fukuhara because we had played baseball together when we were younger. But I also wanted to do well against him.
Source: Sponichi 1/9/2014