Controversial slugger Nakata transferred to Yomiuri Giants

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Tokyo, Aug. 20 (Jiji Press) – The Yomiuri Giants professional baseball team on Friday took over the bat and infielder Sho Nakata from Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, who had been banned from all games for violating a Fighters teammate.

“I think it was a stupid act and I feel very guilty and regretful,” Nakata said at a press conference in Tokyo that day. “For the first time in my life I saw the hardship not being able to play baseball,” he added.

It was his first public appearance since his August 11th suspension. Speaking to the members of Fighters, a club in the Pacific League, Nakata said: “I will never forget the 14 years that I have spent with my teammates. I have nothing but gratitude.” He also thanked Hideki Kuriyama, the manager of the Fighters based in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture, for always looking after me.

His suspension was lifted in line with the transfer, which was carried out free of charge. The Tokyo Giants, who are part of the Central League, gave Nakata jersey number 10. “I must never disappoint people who trust me,” said Nakata. “I’ll start over and look deeply at myself,” he added.

Atsuhiro Otsuka, assistant director of the company that runs the Giants, said, “I heard that (Nakata) was willing to quit baseball as he deeply regrets what he has done.”

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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