Features: An Apology
by Hideki Irabu
LOS ANGELES - Here is the speech that Hideki Irabu gave to his teammates upon rejoining the Yankees on Sunday morning at Dodger Stadium:
On the last day of spring training, I caused a lot of trouble for the team, and I want to say I'm sorry for that. I caused a lot of people to sacrifice their valuable time, and there's no excuse for that. A lot of things happened with me during this spring training. I became very worried about whether I would be able to enter the upcoming season, which is a very important one to me, as well. And I don't think that all of my spring training preparation was completed.
I may have lost the trust of my teammates and coaches due to many recent events. I know that it is natural that there is a lot of unease in the locker room, too. Due to these recent events, there are a lot of winds blowing around me. By that, I mean that even once the season begins, I'm not sure what will happen, and I don't know what type of winds will blow my way. Bearing all this in mind, I asked to be left behind from the team for two days, to think about many things.
I have come to a conclusion: I needed to think about my responsibility, and about how I could improve from here on out. If I don't take responsibility and try to improve, whatever I do, and wherever I go, there will be trouble. In addition, I think that when I get on the mound, many winds will blow. I have to stand up to that and move forward.
All I can do is do my best, and I think I must do that. I'm not sure if I can regain your trust as teammates, but I know I have to make my best efforts to try. I also know, myself, that I will have to face many winds. These are the things I thought about for the last two days. Lastly, I would like to apologize again to the team and to all of you for the great trouble and problems I have caused as we enter the season.