Gurazeni – Episode 10
In all the different employment fields you can find very diverse stories of how people joined a workplace. Sometimes how and when you get to a job can strongly impact how your abilities are perceived and what kind of results are expected of you and Gurazeni touches a bit on that this week.
Episode 10 is titled ‘High school recruit, college recruit’ and tells the tale of 2 different players who came under the limelight for the first time for the very same reason: they were recognized as valuable infielders who played amazingly during a summer Koshien high school tournament. Bonda’s team is at Koshien about to play against the Osaka Tempters, the team that ended up drafting the 2 players mentioned before.
One thing though, although both players ended up joining the Tempters, they had very different pathways for doing so. One of them, Atsuo Ishimoto, joined the Tempters fresh out of high school and he got a 80 million bonus for signing up and a yearly contract of 8 million. As a golden rookie he got a lot of press so he was able to play games in the major leagues right away and in his second year his contract went up to 15 million, but after that, each year he estagnated, so after 5 years of joining the team, his contract currently was 12 million and there was nothing new expected of him.
Makoto Ezure, on the other hand, went to college after high school. He joined the Osaka Tempters after graduating and he had a signing bonus of 100 million and a contract of 15 million. He had now become the golden rookie while his previous rival was sort of fallen into oblivion. There’s things being expected of him so he got the number 7 to reflect this. Now the two players are on the same team and although their abilities are more or less on par, the fact that they took different paths does influence how they are perceived.
I really enjoyed the part where these two players are talking while eating, the fact that both of them amicably first encouraged each other but eventually kept on arguing because both thought the other had it easier than them was pretty eye-opening and representative of what usually happens in a workplace with similar colleages.
These two aren’t allowed to slack off though as they’re both going to be tested in the game against the Spiders in Koushien. Bonda ends up being the pitcher for a few innings because the opening pitcher was ready to give up by the second inning. No wonder why though, as the Tempters got a huge lead really quickly. One of Bonda’s coaches worries over the fact that Bonda’s weakness might betray him during the game and that it definitely does.
Another charming part was when ‘Robo Bonda’ started listing each player in the at-bat order and remembering his contract numbers like a self-sabotaging mantra. It was a warning of how doom he was, but also pretty cute. I do wonder if it’ll ever be obvious to other teams that he has this weakness though because I must say that after the way this game went down while he pitched, I’d think it’d be pretty obvious. The fans yelling and the mound rumbling are definitely added pressure, too.
What ends up happening is that Bonda has to face up against a line up of batters with bigger contracts than his, so he hesitates and gets hit or advances them to base, but then, when things become dangerous, Ishimoto and Ezure have their turn at bat and Bonda can effectively strike them out because he looks down on them. Either way, the game is lost because they cannot recover from the 8 runs lead the Tempters have, but the two players that had been facing off against each other for a spot in the majors end up both disgraced for losing miserably against Bonda. Such is the nature of professional sports!