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War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @ Lotte, April 29)

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War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @ Lotte, April 29)
I've said it many times, but if there's one thing that can be counted on to be true among Chiba Lotte Marines fans, it's that they are 1) completely insane and 2) totally dedicated to their cause.

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Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @ Lotte, April 29)
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 5, 2009 8:45 PM | YBS Fan ]

This is a topic I've been wanting to write about for the past week or two, but haven't had the time. If you haven't done so already, please read Deanna's take on the issue above before continuing.

. . .

Back? OK.

First was the bomb in Chiba that Valentine-kantoku would not be back next season no matter what. That's just asking for trouble. I figured it was some sort of internal power struggle between Setoyama-president and Valentine-kantoku, Setoyama trying to establish his relevance. The fans made it clear what they thought of the idea, and Setoyama went to hide under a desk or something, sending out occasional memos which seem geared toward making Valentine-kantoku give up and quit before the season is over.

At the forefront now is the owner's son and club representative, Shigemitsu Akio. While his father has slowly been relinquishing power over the club the past several years, allowing Valentine-kantoku and his staff to take responsibility for everything from stadium renovations to scouting to fan service, Akio seems to think that it's been his "leadership" that has been responsible for so many of the positive things happening in Chiba. It now seems to me that Akio has, over the past couple of weeks, shown that he's really behind the foolishness that Setoyama-president has been stamping his hanko to.

There was something in Nikkan Sports about Lotte fans being against "女性球団幹部" ("Female Ballclub Executives"). What is this about? Did Lotte hire a female GM some time without me noticing?

No, that's not it. Googling for it came up with the Love Bobby 2010 YouTube user and a few videos. The one specifically about the "female executives" requires being able to read Japanese. The gist of it (based on the video and other reading) is that some female fans have been given VIP privileges at Chiba Marine Stadium and don't really like it that fans are permitted to be in the VIP section wearing player jerseys and jeans or that the players don't speak with enough respect (formal teineigo). They just sit in their VIP box and play Wii during the games while snubbing their noses at the fans and the team. And these female "fans" are decidedly anti-Bobby.

The other two videos currently at Love Bobby 2010 are full of powerful imagery regarding how the Lotte fans feel about what's going on with the upper management, and I think the sentiment will transcend any language barrier (although being able to read Japanese will help). Shigemitsu Akio calling the Lotte fans "carp in a pond who will eat what ever [they] feed them" did not go over too well.

There is a lot going on in Chiba this season in this regard. I'm expecting the amount of information to decrease in Nikkan Sports similar to what happened in 1996 with regard to mentioning Bobby. (For those of you where weren't here, newspapers faced losing press pass privileges if they even mentioned Bobby in an article - but many writers found ways of expressing themselves "between the lines.") I'm guessing that Shigemitsu Jr. has never heard of The Streisand Effect and will repeat Hirooka-GM's failures of more than a decade ago with regard to public relations.

I really wish they could focus more on baseball over in Chiba this season. But it looks like this side show is going to get bigger as the season goes on.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @ Lotte, April 29)
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: May 6, 2009 8:01 PM ]

I wrote some random thoughts on the other thread about this issue. The selfish arrogant front office is a disgrace, that I can agree to. I also am a huge fan of Bobby V. I want him to stay in Chiba for good. I want him to emigrate to Chiba.

However. Why is it that Bobby always seems to get in trouble with the management? The last time he was in Japan there was controversy, there was some drama when he was in New York, and now. Is not part of being a manager to work with the front office? Is there not a golden rule in any kind of work that you try not to pi** off your boss too much? Like it or not. Bobby V. is the manager and not the owner of the team.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: May 7, 2009 12:34 AM | YOK Fan ]

Is it just me or did those pics in Deanna's blog show the right field stands looking a little bit emptier than usual? I guess I will find out when I go to Chiba in 2 weeks.

But in my opinion, if Chiba's fans really truly wanted their voices to be heard, they would be boycotting the stadium. Going there and holding big banners demanding an apology from the front office is a waste of time as I'm sure the front office knows exactly how the fans feel but could care less (as they've shown).

Hit them where it hurts (their pocketbooks) and make them turn their heads and their ears towards you.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @
[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: May 9, 2009 2:18 AM | LOT Fan ]

A fan boycott would be largely ineffective at this point, I think. Most of the hardcore Team 26 members have ticket packages bought already, or at least a bunch of tickets bought for the next few months. What would be illustrative, though not at all beneficial towards keeping Bobby, would be a sharp drop in ticket sales and merchandise next year. Personally, I think that's what will happen should this situation escalate.

I'm a proud Team 26 member, Marines blogger (We Love Marines), and one of the 1000-yen fans in the Chiba Marine bleachers, and quite frankly I find it very satisfying to make my voice heard, along with all the other Team 26 members. Suffering in silence will do us no good; being loudly confrontational may not win any points with management but at least it makes us feel better. And I've talked with a lot of the Bobby 2010 crowd; they're not going away.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: May 9, 2009 8:56 PM | NIP Fan ]

Matt, the photos of those banners were actually taken something like 5-10 minutes after the game ended. That's why the stands were empty.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @
[ Author: Christopher | Posted: May 14, 2009 7:52 AM | HAN Fan ]

Returning to the 'female executives' issue the gossip is that it's one in particular who has her eyes on the Lotte presidents role. She is currently driving the machinations. For this she has decided she needs Valentine out of the way.
Re: War Escalates Between Chiba Front Office And Rightfield Stands (Orix @ Lotte, April 29)
[ Author: Guest: Taiga | Posted: May 31, 2009 8:22 AM ]

Just to clarify a few things ... there are no "female fans in the VIP" area. The articles are referring to one person - namely Yoko Yoneda (米田容子) . She is in her 50's and a Korean-Japanese originally from Osaka. Yoneda has no professional qualifications whatsoever unless you consider her previous role as a self-employed fortune-teller (!) as relevant to running the front office of a baseball. At some point, she worked for Otsuka (Pocari Sweat) which explains some of the signs in the right field stands.

She has some very strange strong connection with the Acting Owner of the team, Akio Shigemitsu aka Shin Dong Bin, and given that he personally placed her in charge as the defacto #3 executive in charge at the front office, the allegation that she is or was his mistress makes a lot of sense. (If you see her photo with her moon-face looks however, it either makes you wonder or assume the billionaire just has very poor taste in women).

Among other things, she is in charge of the VIP area at the stadium where she grants "favors" to the families of certain players in an effort to disrupt loyalty to the field manager, Valentine. The one incident that got the fans riled up was when she confronted a happy father and son wearing Chiba Marines team jerseys and haughtily told them they were inappropriately dressed for a place like the VIP area. Her actions ruined an otherwise pleasant father-son outing. Somewhat ironic as the tabloids (and photos) have indicated her own atrocious dress sense complete with loud zebra-striped polyester shirts like an "aging snack bar mama". During games, she has been seen happily lounging in the Owner's VIP box playing Nintendo Wii.

Additionally, she got the backs of the beat reporters up when she unilaterally announced that henceforth they were all to use honorific Japanese when addressing the athletes and that she was introducing a new "dress code" - namely "no jeans". After she "ordered" one reporter to write an article that Valentine picked the wrong pitcher for a particular game, the reporters decided they had enough and printed all the b.s. that had been festering.

The derogatory comments about the fans being "worthless" (kudaranai) came from the Club President Ryuzo Setoyama (瀬戸山 隆三 ) (also another Zainichi Korean) and not from Acting Owner Akio Shigemitsu (Shin Dong Bin). In fact, those comments and others including comments that he would destroy Valentine etc were included in an internal memorandum which Setoyama had distributed within the front office. One of the front office staff leaked it to all the papers and it was published online and in print. Initially. Setoyama claimed it was a forgery but no one was fooled. The parent company conducted an investigation, and as reported in the newspapers, it was confirmed the memo (and unprofessional comments) were the real thing.

The only thing left to do would be to fire Setoyama but it would not come as any surprise as he has already been fired twice - once for a tax evasion scandal. Fans have also been digging up dirt and reporting it on 2ch indicating he narrowly escaped a rape/sexual assault charge back in Kyushu and has been linked to under the table kickback payments from players while at Daei/Softbank Hawks.


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