Wasabi Stories vol.169: “Expressing Yourself is Important”


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Today’s story-teller is baseball commentator Kazuhisa Kawaguchi.

The story is about ‘soshokukei’ which means a plant-eating or herbivorous in Japanese, but here, it means men who are very interested in their appearance and increasingly passive with girls.

Kawaguchi’s story begins with when he was an active professional baseball player. As a pitcher, he didn’t play the game the day after he was badly knocked out in a game.



When the manager saw him getting ready to go home without going into the dugout, he said, “Hey, are you going home? I am jealous.”

The manager meant to encourage him by saying those words, but Kawaguchi got furious with him. Without thinking, he was grabbing the manager by the collar.

He was going to be in a fist fight with his manager if his colleagues hadn’t stopped him.

Kawaguchi says that pitchers have a lot of pride and you hardly can imagine how awful they are feeling after they got knocked out in a game unless you are a pitcher.

Unlike fielders, starting pitchers get a few day of breaks between games and they spend those days suffering mental anguish.

Knowing their anguish, managers think hard to fire up the players.

Kawaguchi thinks that managers have to play the bad guys and provide tension among the team even if the tension brings skirmishes like what kawaguchi did.


So, there were players who had audacity to lash out at their managers and it provided a tense feeling. However, Kawaguchi thinks the word, ‘soshokukei’, can be applied to the baseball world these days.

To put it simply, he thinks there are more players with less spirit now than ever before and few players have courage to lash out at a manager.

Kawaguchi says that players today do what they are told. However, they do not express their opinions. He wishes if they would express themselves even by emails if they are too shy to speak out.


The NIKKEI 12/22/2009 by Kazuhisa Kawaguchi (baseball commentator)



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