Usually, Tsuyoshi Nishioka leaves his Facebook page up to someone else, but tonight he posted a message to the fans. Here is the English translation of it:
Thank you for cheering all year!
I’m so sorry I was not able to return the favor at the very end.
The year started with an injury, but thanks to everyone’s support I was able to come back. I’m so thankful that I am able to don my uniform and play baseball!
But I am filled with regret as I think about how I lacked strength at the very end and was unable to please you all.
I wanted to win!
I wanted Hanshin to win!
I wanted to taste victory with all of you!
I take full responsibility for us not being able to win!
You do not have to sympathize with me.
You can chew me out if you want!
We play for a living, and it is because of all of you coming to the stadium to watch us, buying tickets and goods, that we are able to earn money and live!
So I will accept anything you have to say about me.
It’s my responsibility.
I just want to explain the last play of yesterday’s game from my perspective!
From the moment I hit the ball, I knew it was a double play ball.
I was fully aware of the rule that if the throw were to hit me while I was running inside the baseline, I would be called for interference!
Even when there is no runner on base, even when I am batting lefty, I run from inside the baseline towards the outer area. So knowing the rules and fearing that the ball I put in play was going to be a double play, I gambled on the slight possibility that if I ran from the inside of the line towards the outside area, right on the base line… “Come on, hit me!” I thought to myself as I was running!
I ran thinking that as long as my foot was outside the baseline when the ball hit me, that it was marginally a safe play. That’s why I did it!
That was the play from my perspective!
I know there will be some backlash from my way of thinking, but I wanted to be upfront with everyone so here I am posting on Facebook.
There are a lot of opinions about the play, and I accept them all!
But above all else, forget the running to first part, the fact that I did not get a hit on that play is my bad.
I just wanted to please the Hanshin fans, and I ended up doing the exact opposite of that!
I am terribly sorry for putting you all in a bad mood!!