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Tomohiro Kuroki Retires

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Tomohiro Kuroki Retires
Tomohiro "Johnny" Kuroki, the erstwhile ace of the Chiba Lotte Marines, announced his decision to retire yesterday. He had an outstanding career with the Chiba Lotte Marines, but through most of this decade was unable to overcome the effects of a major shoulder injury and reconstructive surgery; pitching in only 16 games after the debilitating injury in 2001.

I always admired Kuroki's work ethic, but I was also amazed to see how long the Marines kept him around and kept paying him huge salaries, years after it was obvious that he could no longer pitch effectively. Some baseball observers had wanted him to continue his career, or, more strangely, attempt to go to the U.S. His retirement has been long overdue.

Thanks for the memories, Tomohiro Kuroki, and good luck!
Comments
Re: Tomohiro Kuroki Retires
[ Author: BigManZam | Posted: Dec 13, 2007 1:42 PM | CLM Fan ]

It's easy to say he should have retired years ago when you're not a Marines fan. His constant injuries just broke the hearts of Marines fans who simply wanted to see him come back and be usable. You could see female fans in the stands crying after he got his first win in over 1,500 days. He meant a lot to them. You don't just throw away a player like that.

Him, Hatsushiba, Kosaka, Morozumi, and Hori really represented what Chiba Lotte was all about before Bobby came along and turned them into a winning team. His retirement signifies the end of an era with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Even though he didn't get to play much in recent years, he'll always be the ace to Marines fans. In my opinion, more so than Irabu, Komiyama, or Shimizu ever were. I think Marines fans understood. As hard as it was for them to see him fall so much, it was the hardest on him.

I didn't get to watch many games this year, but I did get to see his final outing against the Lions. He pitched pretty well and I thought it was going to be the start of something. Perhaps it was a courtesy appearance, because his velocity was really down there. His fastball was slower than a lot of players' breaking balls.
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