More motivation to win this Nippon Series...

Good morning everyone,

They are still calling for a chance of rain on Saturday, but they are now saying that it's going to stay warm all week. We should expect highs of at least 25C every day till the rain rolls in and it'll drop down to the low 20s after that.

Hiroki Kuroda has announced that he will hang up his spikes at the end of this season.

kuroda retirement announcement

The 41-year-old Kuroda has a 124-105 record in Nippon Professional Baseball and went 79-79 in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. In 2015, he turned down major league offers, leaving millions of dollars on the table to fulfill a promise and return to the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Central League, where he started his career in 1997.

Kuroda broke the news to his teammates before they began their first practice ahead of the Japan Series.

"The Japan Series will be the end. I've decided to hang it up," Kuroda said. "I've had a dream season with an excellent team. And now I want to go out with a smile on my face, all of us celebrating a championship pouring beer on each other."

After going 11-8 with a 2.55 earned run average in 2015, Kuroda stuck it out for another season, but was less effective this season.

He finished the year with a 3.09 ERA, but managed to go 10-8 and win his 200th game between MLB and NPB. Those numbers are nothing to be ashamed of. And he's always been a consummate professional-in keeping his promise to come back, dealing with the demanding media and taking a backseat role on this year's team.

So, I thought he might come back for one last year next season, but no one knows our bodies better than ourselves and I guess Kuroda knew that this was it for him.

The timing of the announcement is pretty good for the team too-if they didn't have enough reason to go out and win the whole thing this year, they certainly do now! They can say, "Let's win this one for Kuroda!"

And I hope they do!

Have a great day!

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