“You don’t live in the same world, you’re looked down upon” Closer apologizes for fan slur in response to bench-clearing criticism

Yakult Swallows closer Kazuto Taguchi, 28, has apologized to fans after expressing his thoughts on bench-clearing for balls hit to the body. 스포츠토토

“Yakult closer Taguchi apologized for his remarks on Instagram Live on the 21st,” Japanese media outlet J-Cast News reported on the 22nd.

The incident stemmed from a bench-clearing incident that occurred during a game between Yakult and Yokohama on March 20. In that game, Yokohama’s frustration exploded late in the game when a series of key players were hit by balls. Shugo Maki was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, followed by Keita Sano in the seventh, and then Toshiro Miyazaki was hit by a pitch in the side. Miyazaki complained to the Yakult side, and Taiki Sekine also ran out to protest the pitcher. Yakult third baseman Munetaka Murakami stopped Sekine, but eventually all the players came out onto the field and a bench-clearing took place.

The bench-clearing itself didn’t lead to any major fights and was quickly cleared up, but the aftermath of the game was quite dramatic. Taguchi did not appear in the game, but tweeted, “There is no such thing as intentional hits. I didn’t want to hit anybody, but I was trying to win the game and ended up hitting the batter. I’m sure the pitchers are sorry. It’s a world of competition, so both batters and pitchers are sincere,” and “It’s natural that there are different opinions. I know what the fans are thinking. You can say whatever you want, but we’re playing under a lot more pressure than you think. I hope they realize that.”

It was pointed out that this was not something that should be said by the side that batted, and Taguchi deleted his Twitter post. “I don’t think we’re on the same playing field, and I don’t think we live in the same world. I’m sorry, but I look down on people like that,” he retorted on Instagram Live.

As his Instagram Live comments became more controversial, Taguchi responded, “I apologize for offending my fans with my words. I was talking about how I feel about the haters, and I ended up saying the same thing to the fans who usually support me. I became emotional and spoke strongly. I am truly sorry and would like to retract my comments.” He apologized.

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