“What’s scarier than failure…” ML re-challenge despite being released 3 times, why did he refuse to return to Japan?

 Tsutsugo Yoshitomo (32), the giant with 205 home runs in Japan, has failed in the major leagues so far. He signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and hit the major leagues of his dreams in 2020, but was released three times in three years. 

In May 2021, Tampa Bay designated Yang Yang (DFA) and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers while waiting for release, but was released again in July due to overlapping injuries. After signing a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he made a surprise appearance in the big leagues in the second half with a batting average of .268, 8 homers, 25 RBIs, and .883 OPS in 43 games, winning a one-year, $4 million major contract. 

However, last year, in the aftermath of a back injury, his batting average plummeted to .478 with an OPS of . He was eventually released by Pittsburgh in August, and ended the season at Triple-A after signing a minor contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. His three-year big league performance was 182 games with a batting average of 1.19, 7 runs, 110 hits, 18 homers, and 75 RBIs for an OPS of .630. 

After the season, there were love calls from several Nippon Professional Baseball teams, but Tsutsugo’s choice was to try again in the major leagues. On the 16th of last month, he signed a minor contract with the Texas Rangers, and in the middle of this month, as an invited player to spring camp, he will enter a fierce competition for survival. 

A road where nothing is guaranteed. Rather, even in the state of being labeled a failure, Tsutsugi does not stop his challenge. In an interview with the Japanese baseball media ‘Full Count’ on the 12th, Tsutsugo revealed the reason for the challenge.  토토사이트

Tsutsugo said, “Thankfully, I received an offer from a Japanese club, but in my heart I decided to challenge the United States. I did not think of playing in Japan,” he said. “I have dreamed of playing in the United States since I was young. I don’t want to give up easily. People around me said that I could get a better contract when I returned to Japan, but continuing to challenge the United States is the best option for me.” 

Tsutsugo continued, “Compared to Japan, there are environmental difficulties, but it is not difficult or depressing. There are technically and mentally changed parts after coming to the United States, and I discovered many new things,” he said. The task of becoming a hitter who can compete with major league pitchers is a big task, but the effort to grow is not difficult.” 

Regarding the gaze that sees him as a ‘failure’, Tsutsugo smiles and says, “There can’t always be only good things in life. There is no definition of success in life. It’s good to fail a lot, learn and create something new. There are many types of failure, but I think it would be okay to fail, except for causing trouble to someone. The fear of not trying and not failing is much greater.” 

Tsutsugo, who had suffered throughout the season due to a back injury during the opening game last year, returned to Japan throughout the winter and received special care under a therapist he met in middle school. He did customized workouts without weight training that would strain his back. “Now I have no pain in my back at all. It feels very good. Attention is focusing on whether Tsutsugo’s challenge of “being able to swing with confidence at bat” will see the light of day this year.

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