Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Japan Series champion Hawks part company with Daisuke Matsuzaka

Kyodo

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka thanked his fans for their support on Sunday, as the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks announced that the Pacific League team will part ways with the former major leaguer.

Matsuzaka, who joined the Hawks in 2015 from the majors, has suffered from injury in his right shoulder which limited him to playing in the top team only once.

“I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to meet everyone’s expectations during the three years (with SoftBank),” Matsuzaka said in a statement released by the Hawks, a day after they won their franchise’s eighth Japan Series championship. “I wanted to celebrate with my teammates proudly if that were possible.”

The 37-year-old Matsuzaka, who also played for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets, will train individually in Japan and look for a new club.

“I have no words to express how thankful I am. I think the top-team mound is where I can express my appreciation,” Matsuzaka said. “I believe that I will join my fans and my teammates on the field one day and continue to look forward.”

Matsuzaka, who won 164 games combined in Japan and the big leagues, was in his final year of the three-year contract with the Fukuoka-based team.