Outfielder Yang Dai-kang, or Yo Dai-kang as he’s known using the popular Japanese reading of the Chinese character of his family name, said Friday that new Giant Yoshihiro Maru is not welcome to have Yomiuri’s center field job without a fight, the Nikkan Sports reports.
In December 2016, Yang joined the Giants on a five-year deal worth 1.5 billion yen ($13.8 million), has played in only 87 games in each of his two years in Tokyo. Yang, who turns 32 on Jan. 17, marveled at the efficiency of his new teammate’s swing.
“There’s no wasted motion from the start to the finish,” Yang said. “Since I also employ a leg kick, I can learn from him. It doesn’t matter if you are more senior or junior, it’s all about being better.”
“Still, I’m not going to just let him get the better of me.”
Maru’s arrival sparked Yang’s own memories of joining the Giants with their polished public image. Coming to the Giants, with their myriad of rules, can be a hassle. One former Giant said, “They take all the fun out of this.”
“I never thought I’d look at coming to the ballpark as work until I came here.”
The Giants demand a certain kind of demeanor, and punctuality, emplyoing “Giants time” to mean showing up for everything 30 minutes early.
Former Hanshin Tigers reliever Jeff Williams once spoke of Hanshin’s requirement that everyone be 15 minutes early for everything, known “Tigers time.” Unfortunately, players had to decipher which time was being spoken about when being told what time to assemble.
“I’d hear 8:30 and have to ask, is that real time or Tigers time,” he said.
Yang said all the right things about what new Giants face.
“The Giants are team of history. When you put on that uniform, everyone looks up to you and you feel a sense of responsibility. When you move it can seem overwhelming.”