Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s True Emotions Emerge as He Expresses Fury Towards Magazine in Playback ‘04 | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s True Emotions Emerge as He Expresses Fury Towards Magazine in Playback ‘04

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When he seemed to be coming toward us unexpectedly, he shouted at the reporter who was sitting in the driver’s seat. It was a terrifying moment (March 12, 2004 issue).

What did “FRIDAY” report 10, 20, or 30 years ago? In “Playback Friday,” we take a look back at the topics that were hot at the time. This time, we bring you “Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s fiercely reported ‘conflict with manager Horiuchi and retirement'” from the March 12, 2004 issue, which was published 20 years ago.

At the time, Kazuhiro Kiyohara (then 36) was the one and only “leader of the baseball world” for the Giants. This is an article about the interview with Kiyohara at the Miyazaki camp. It all started when Kiyohara shouted at our reporter and cameraman who were waiting in our car to ask him about his aspirations for the coming season.

He glared at the frightened reporters and photographers. ……

What? I’m off today!

What the heck! The Giants’ leader, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, stood in front of the car in front of our reporter’s car and yelled out in a loud voice.

It was past 10:00 a.m. on February 23, the day the Giants’ Miyazaki training camp was closed for the day. A little after 10:00 a.m. on the morning of February 23, Kiyohara emerged from his lodgings, got into a Mercedes Benz that picked him up, and drove to a nearby hotel. After arriving at the hotel, Kiyohara turned on his heel and strode to a reporter at ……. He yelled at the reporter, who was completely freaked out, as he did at the beginning of this article.

However, Kiyohara, who had once walked away from the reporter, said something unexpected to the reporter, who was frozen in fear.

Please let me take it easy on my rest day. I’m under a lot of pressure, too. I mean, I don’t feel good about it. Besides, it’s private.

His face was scary, but his tone was much gentler than before. When this magazine asked him a few questions, he gradually smiled and agreed to be interviewed.

What are your plans for today?

I want to go to a convenience store on my day off and buy books I like. I want to go to the convenience store, buy books I like, buy videos I want to watch, you know? Otherwise, if I stay in that (dormitory) all the time, I’ll be suffocating.

–Is it still different from the second army?

Yes, the dormitories are as different as heaven and earth. There is a draft coming in from the rooms in the second army. But that kind of experience was good for me.

Kiyohara was demoted to the second team at the start of camp by manager Tsuneo Horiuchi (56 at the time), who took over after that season. While the first team was camping in warm Guam in the first half of February, Kiyohara was training in cold, windswept Miyazaki. It was reported that Kiyohara was warned by manager Horiuchi even after he joined the first team. Kiyohara was reported to have been warned by manager Horiuchi even after joining the first team.

I didn’t even call it a warning. I was just told, ‘You have to speak up a little more (to the younger players). (Nothing will change for me (even if Horiuchi becomes manager), and I don’t think I should be a player who changes just because there is a new manager.

Kiyohara also talked about his own retirement at this time.

I’ll be 37 this year, but I don’t see myself staying on until 40. I’m 37 this year, and I don’t see myself going to 40 yet. But if you are a baseball player, don’t you want your children to remember your plays?

You didn’t sleep much last night, did you? Well, you guys get some rest, too. Well, you get some rest, too.

With these final words, Kiyohara smiled and waved as he left.

However, even after the season started, Kiyohara was often on the bench, and although he reached 2,000 hits in June, he played only 40 games in the 2004 season due to a long-term injury from a broken bone. In the off-season, Kiyohara was excluded from manager Horiuchi’s plans, and when he was about to be traded, there was an uproar when he went directly to owner Takuo Takibana.

When it was decided that Kiyohara would remain with the team, he said, “I want to play with the determination to drink water from the mud,” and worked on strengthening his lower body, but the 2005 season ultimately ended without success. The team finished in fifth place, manager Horiuchi resigned, and Kiyohara was transferred to the Orix after being informed that he was out of the lineup.

At first, there were times when he shouted, “Don’t take pictures!” and “Don’t take pictures!” at first (March 12, 2004 issue).
However, as we talked to him about various topics, his facial expression relaxed a little and he started to …… (March 12, ’04 issue).
At the end, he said some words of concern for this magazine and left with a smile (March 12, ’04 issue).
  • PHOTO Takehiko Kohiyama (1st and 2nd photos), Shuntaro Abe (3rd and 4th photos)

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