Bob’s Bullets - Dave Okubo and Dentsu
TOKYO — And how has your offseason been?
The end of the baseball season in North America means generally means that players can go home and relax until late February when spring training starts.
The end of the baseball season in Japan means players must head for autumn training which usually lasts for the month of November. They have December off, but “voluntary training” begins shortly after the New Year holiday and camp starts Feb. 1.
The Yomiuri Giants had a bad year, finishing in the second division, out of the playoffs, with a won-loss record under .500. So the Giants manager Tatsunori Hara did what many Japanese skippers in his situation will do, get tough. He hired a new batting coach, Hiromoto “Dave” Okubo, to supervise the hitters during the month-long autumn camp during which each batter was required to swing the bat 2,000 times a day, several times more than the normal amount.