It came down to earning a playoff berth, and the Hiroshima Carp didn't make the grade. Because of that, manager Marty Brown will not be back next year.
"I knew that was the situation at the beginning of the season. It's not a surprise," Brown told The Daily Yomiuri by telephone on Monday, a day after his team was eliminated from playoff contention.
Brown, who played for Hiroshima from 1992-94, came back to manage his old club in 2006, but only got the club as high as fourth-place last season. He said his biggest disappointment was simply leaving the country.
"I think the situation with the Carp was a great opportunity for me," Brown said. "I feel good about a lot of the things we accomplished here. I think we made a lot of headway, especially the first two years."
Former Carp shortstop Kenjiro Nomura is expected to be announced as the club's next manager.
"I wish Nomura the best," Brown said. "He's a good baseball man and obviously knows a lot about the game and about the team."
Meanwhile, outgoing Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine was linked in a story on ESPN.com to the Florida Marlins, who are evaluating their managing options for next season.
Valentine, who was informed last December he would not be back for 2010, has a deal to work as an analyst for ESPN but is available to pursue managing jobs.
"My agent has been talking to teams," he said Monday.