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Say It Ain't So, Hoshino -- Say No to the Giants!

Seriously, people. What's this nonsense in the tabloids? I've pretended not to hear it as long as I could. But really, what's with this talk of Senichi Hoshino, the celebrated Chunichi Dragons pitcher and manager, considering an offer to become the Yomiuri Giants manager? I mean, the Yomiuri Giants, his career-long nemesis?

In this world of uncertainty, you're lucky if you have just one thing you want to hold on to, something that keeps you going despite any hardship you might encounter. Something that you can always count on, when you may no longer trust your colleagues, your once-supposedly-lifetime-employers, your best friends, or even your own family.

To me, the brief that Senichi Hoshino, my hero since childhood, will maintain his heated revulsion against the Yomiuri Giants, was it. The Giants, the oldest and by far the wealthiest pro baseball team in Japan, that had dominated the Japanese professional baseball forever.

It's a famous story. More than three decades ago, Hoshino, then the college baseball star, longed to join the Giants. But when Yomiuri picked somebody else, he cried, and swore he will devote his career to beat the Giants. And he has! He wasn't mad just because he was rejected; he resented everything the Giants represented - the arrogance, the money-rules-everything attitude. "Yield to the power." Hoshino didn't.

Now that Yomiuri Giants no longer dominate the league, they want Hoshino--that's a laugh, right? They think they can get away with it, because they've got money. What arrogance! The Giants and their sponsors are worried about dropping viewing rates, and thus trying to woo Hoshino, who is enormously popular. That's funny, right?

But what I hear is.... Hoshino isn't laughing. He's smiling. Of course, who wouldn't? Now the arrogant Giants are all over him, praising him as a great manager. Must be music to his ears. It must be tempting. The Giants, which snubbed him 30-some years ago, are now begging him! But I'm talking principle here. Values. Conviction. Something that will -- should -- stay the way it is forever because it is right. If he accepts, then, that's it for me. I will know there's nothing I can trust in this world. Say it ain't so, Hoshino -- that's all I can say.
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