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Suguru Egawa’s interview with Hiromitsu Ochiai on Nippon TV’s Going!

by on Jan.03, 2012 @ 5:26 pm, under NPB

Suguru Egawa interviewed Hiromitsu Ochiai on Nippon TV's Going! (12/18/2011 and 12/19/2011).

  • The Dragons called Ochiai and asked him to change the team and win within two years.  He replied that he could not change the team in two years and that he would need at least three years.  Three minutes later, they called back and agreed to a three-year deal.
  • Ochiai did not think being a manager was stressful or fun -- he did, however, enjoy watching players develop in front of his eyes.
  • When the Dragons were in third place this season, he firmly believed the team would still manage a first place finish.  Why?  He knew Yokohama was more or less out of the race.  He thought the Carp pitchers were going to run out of gas, especially since they were counting so heavily on Bryan Bullington and Giancarlo Alvarado.  The media was placing a lot of pressure on Yomiuri and Hanshin and that was making them more prone to mistakes.  And Yakult was too inexperienced and the Dragons still had nine games against them.  The team he feared playing the most was Yokohama because those were games his team had to win; likewise, other teams were dropping their games against Yokohama.
  • Ochiai was really careful about not wearing his emotions on his sleeve -- so long as the manager remains calm, he felt he could keep the players calm regardless of how crazy things might be.
  • Ochiai felt his team had a chance to win the Nippon Series, but he also felt that if the series went seven games, they would lose.  If the team was going to win the Nippon Series, he thought it would have to happen within the first six games.
  • He felt the last games of the Climax Series against the Swallows was one games too many.  Specifically, Kazuki Yoshimi started the game on three days of rest, effectively taking him out of the running to start game one of the Nippon Series.
  • Ochiai said he thought Yoshimi was chosen to start game five of the Climax Series against the Swallows because he had the best chance to win.  When Egawa questioned what he meant by "thought," Ochiai said he relied entirely on head coach Shigekazu Mori to handle decisions on the pitching staff.  He then said it was not his job to decide on the starting rotation or the order of pitchers out of the bullpen.  That was why he never knew who was going to start next.
  • Ochiai had no faith in the offense, so much so that he basically hoped that out of the five or six times the team managed to get runners in scoring position, they would score once or twice during the course of the game.
  • Ochiai describes himself as a circle -- he is a peaceful person and does not want to cause trouble, BUT people around him try to change that.  When asked if he was a strong circle, he said he thought he was a very strong circle.  He then said that enemies would often try to invade the circle, to which Egawa asked, "Enemies?  Who are your enemies."  Ochiai replied, while chuckling, "I have many."  He then said that the circle engulfs the enemies, making the circle bigger.
  • Ochiai says a lot of people say he is strange, but he feels that he is the only person that is honest with himself.He then added that he does not like to use people and does not like to be used.  Ochiai just wanted to peacefully live out his life freely.  Ultimately, he just wants people to leave him alone.
  • When asked what kind of team (his "ideal team") he would you like to build if he were to manage again, Ochiai said it would be a team could win without the manager having to say anything.  That aside, he said he would like to have three to four well-rounded players that could hit for power (like 40 homers) and also do the little things like advance the runners and run the base paths well.  He then said it would be great if he could just sleep in the dugout.

The video has also been uploaded to Youtube (not by me), but I have no idea how long they will last (part 1 and part 2).