I just turned on the TV and there was a special interview with Katsuya Nomura being aired on S-1 J Spo (channel 6 in Tokyo - TBS). I missed out on the first half, but did manage to catch the second half. And as with most of his interviews, it was quite entertaining.
Here are a few things I managed to jot down:
- Nomura doesn't appear to know how to praise his players. He said that he wished he could, but that he always ended up picking them apart. Nomura added that it might have something to do with how he was raised as a ball player.
- The interview then touched upon how Nomura basically kept putting Hisashi Iwakuma down for not tossing complete games and what kind of effect it might have had on him. Iwakuma recently did toss a complete game and Nomura smirked and said that perhaps his complaints to the media finally got to Iwakuma.* (In his "Hero Interview" after the game, Iwakuma sarcastically said that while he really wasn't all that interested in complete games, he thought he might give it a try because it appeared to be the "in" thing to do right now.)
- Nomura also said that he felt his ace should be a complete reflection of the team.
- There was a brief mention of Masahiro Tanaka's last start and how he couldn't finish out his game. Nomura gave Tanaka a light "slap" on the back of his head after the game for not completing it. Nomura said that Tanaka might be "slacking off a bit" and that he hopes it's only temporary. He then jokingly said that Tanaka may have caught Iwakuma's "disease."
- The interviewer went on to ask Nomura about his thoughts on playing the Giants in inter-league play and he replied by saying that the team was filled with number 4 type hitters and that the team didn't need manager (perhaps a shot at Hara?).
- When asked about winning the season, Nomura said that the Eagles have maybe a 10% shot. He then added that the Eagles chances would improve to 60% if they could get to (or passed) the Climax series.
- The final question was about his status for 2010. Nomura said that he hasn't really thought about it. The interviewer poked a bit more and asked if Nomura would consider returning if the team won it all and management asked him back for another season. Nomura replied by saying that he wasn't some sort of "freebie," or "booby prize" that came with a winning season.
Incidentally, it seems as though Atsuya Furuta was at the Rakuten Eagles game last night. The game was rained out, but the team still held a practice session. Furuta visited Nomura during this practice session and the two started exchanging friendly barbs in front of the media about how Furuta is scoping out his new place of employment in 2010.
* In Japan, people usually don't confront one another. Instead, they complain to people around them in the hopes that word will finally end up reaching the person in question, in an indirect manner. It's supposedly a "friendlier" way of letting people know about their problems.