Hiroki Kuroda pitched for the Dodgers and the Yankees for several years, and pitched pretty darn well for a lot of those years. But upon his return to Japan, he is not remembering those years as particularly wonderful:
A simple question about how he viewed his time in the major leagues prompted him to drop a verbal bomb in his response.
“To sum it up in one word, it was ‘tough,'” Kuroda said in the news conference. “In a situation in which I didn’t understand the language and battled to make it through the season, the seven years were — including physically — tougher than they were enjoyable.”
Kuroda, 40, will pitch for the Hiroshima Carp this season. Here’s hoping he enjoys himself a bit more now that he’s back home.
Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that before starter Hiroki Kuroda decided to return to Japan, the Padres made a serious push to sign the right-hander. A source for Sanders suggested that a report of a one-year deal worth $18 million was “a little high”, but it nevertheless showed the Padres’ commitment towards competing in the 2015 season.
Kuroda, 39, finished his final season in the major leagues with a 3.71 ERA and a 146/35 K/BB ratio in 199 innings for the Yankees. In seven seasons in the bigs (four with the Dodgers, three with the Yankees), Kuroda never finished with an ERA higher than 3.76. The veteran will play what is likely his last professional season with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in Japan’s Central League.
I can’t translate this, but those who can say it means that Hiroki Kuroda is heading back to NPB:
Kuroda turns 40 in February. He was 11-9 with a 3.71 ERA in 2014. He pitched seven years in the majors with the Dodgers and then the Yankees. He’s 79-79 with a 3.45 ERA over that time, good for an ERA+ of 115. He was always reliable and, if he wanted to stay in the U.S., probably could’ve had another one-year deal with the Yankees. But now it’s back home.