Police on Friday sent papers to public prosecutors on Seibu Lions pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, accusing him of driving a car without a valid license last month in Tokyo and of other traffic offenses, they said.
Matsuzaka, 20, the 1999 Pacific League rookie of the year, allegedly drove a car owned by the Pacific League club although his license has been suspended since August. He is further accused of parking it illegally on a street in Tokyo at 10 a.m. on Sept. 13 and failing to report to the police after being issued a parking ticket.
The hugely popular professional baseball player, looking somber, told a news conference Friday in Kobe: “I regret that I have caused tremendous inconvenience to people around me. I have a lot to learn yet, and I was immature as a human.”
With one game left in the season for Seibu, Matsuzaka has a 14-7 record and is assured of the title for most wins for a second straight year.
He was one of eight Japanese pro ball players who took part in the Sydney Olympics last month.
Prosecutors were also sent papers on Matsuzaka’s spokesman Akira Kuroiwa, 39. Kuroiwa, who usually drives the car, is suspected of reporting to police about the parking offense on behalf of the pitcher, who left for Sydney the day after.
Kuroiwa is a former speed skater who won a bronze medal at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics and currently doubles as information chief for the Lions.
The ballclub is based in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.
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