1. o

    The thing with Ochiai – I don't think he was actually trying to be helpful. I felt like he was more trying to subtly sabotage the team. All his advice came off as, "If he does what I say, and it works, I look like a genius. If he does what I say and it fails, then I blame the kid for not being good enough. If he doesn't do what I say, I blame the kid for not taking my advice. It's a win for me no matter what." And since nobody seems to know he's giving "secret" advice to half the team, the rest of the staff can't see the trap he's trying to lay. I think him teaching Eijun the changeup was very much an attempt to destroy him as a pitcher.

    My question – has he ever given Furuya actual advice, beyond some version of, "You're the real star and should be the only one ever pitching."?

  2. I disagree with you here, though it may be a matter of interpretation more than substance.

    I do think Ochiai looked at this as a no-lose situation – he's written Eijun off anyway, so for him there's no downside. But there are a couple of things that must be noted. First, the advice he gave Eijuin actually worked – it was sound from a baseball standpoint. He gave mechanically solid advice, and he correctly analyzed Eijun's psyche to figure out what would get through to him. Why do that if he wanted him to fail?

    That's how I take it. How does it help him to destroy Eijun as a pitcher? He was simply taking a flyer – as you say, he looks like a genius now, but even if it had been a disaster he's lost very little because he doesn't believe EIjun can be a stud anyway (or didn't., at least). It was calculated and cavalier, but not expressly sabotage by any means IMO.

  3. o

    I didn't mean he intended to destroy Eijun as a pitcher, specifically. With Eijun, I felt it was more like "I think he's reached the height of his potential. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But if I can make everyone else see that this is all he's got, they'll stop making a fuss over him and focus on my guy (Furuya) like I want them to."

    He's said a few times he intends to cut the team down to only 20 players overall, which I'd take to mean cutting anyone who isn't his ideal or who he can push to that ideal. I get that's because he wants to focus on a few rockstar players, but it just feels like a short-sighted philosophy..

    What I meant about the sabotage was on a team level. Coach K. isn't great, and I don't quite get why they're all so loyal to him, but the team trusts him and is working pretty well as a unit. Ochiai going behind his back with his "I'd do things THIS way".. it may be helpful advice here and there, but then just serves to make the players wonder why it isn't coming from Kataoka. I've wondered that myself, but trying to get a winning team to second guess their head coach, especially mid-season, is a bit slimy.

    Maybe I'm giving him too much credit? His whole role puzzles me. He does seem to know his stuff, but was wrong about Eijun and Haruchi. Aside from Furuya, who Ochiai is building up, and Eijun, who's just dense, the players seem to be confused by his intrusion. (Or am I misreading that too?) He does highlight Kataoka's weaknesses, but if he's the replacement, why make him so hard to like? And they succeed in convincing Kataoka to stay, or replace him with a newcomer, why spend so much time on him – just to help Eijun's evolution?

    I don't know – he just sits wrong with me. Guess I'll have to wait and see what happens. =s

  4. N

    Ochiai doesn't seem to care if the team wins until he becomes the head coach. When you start to view his actions from that perspective, what he's done makes complete sense. Eijun either flounders and the team fails, which doesn't matter to Ochiai, or he turns a "useless" (his perspective) player into a serviceable one for his new team.

  5. m

    I think Ochiai still has the professionalism and experience to coach the team well. He is just a little too annoying and singular-minded. He should not just try to fit the team to his standards, but also look at the team as a cohesive whole.
    Other than that, he does offer some nice and much needed input. Kataoka doesn't seem to be very good at teaching technique (what's with all the grinding actually)

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