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Hara: Our work is not done

by Jim Allen (Nov 11, 2008)

Although Giants manager Tatsunori Hara was less than pleased with the final outcome of the 2008 Japan Series, he was hardly downcast on Sunday.

"Ours is a win-or-lose existence, and this pain is part of that," Hara said.

"It was a long season. The players fought all the way, to come back in the pennant race, but in the end we were caught."

His club took a 3-2 advantage in the Series and blew it at home. Yomiuri last Game 6, then blew a 2-0 lead to lose Game 7 and the Series to the Saitama Seibu Lions.

"We have one more issue to deal with for next season. We don't know the exact composition of next year's team, but those who wear Giants uniforms next year will be more determined and even stronger," he said.

Hara said that despite the disappointing finish, he was anything but disappointed with his players' efforts.

"It was a great experience, battling it out in a great Japan Series," Hara said. "You always want to win everything, but I think this will only add to our energy next year."

The skipper found one area of his own performance that was lacking.

"Looking back, I feel the other team was better conditioned," Hara said. "I feel I may have erred in the way I prepared the team, that some players were not in the best condition and that I stuck with players who were not in top form."

Chief among those was first baseman Lee Seung Yeop. Lee, who was completely out of form in the first half, was a force in the final months but had two singles in 18 at-bats with 12 strikeouts in the Series.

"He's an extremely big player and places high expectations on himself," Hara said. "The team, too, has equally high expectations for him, but he wasn't at his best."


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