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Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season

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Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
On 2009-6-2 Bob Klapisch wrote:
Bobby Valentine is too smart to come out and say he covets another shot at the big leagues Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, whatever but given the friction with his current Japanese bosses, you can make book on this: The man is heading home in 2010.

[Full Article:]
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: Jun 4, 2009 10:48 AM | LOT Fan ]

Interesting. I don't doubt for a minute that it's highly unlikely he'll be the Marines' kantoku in 2010 (as much as we may wish otherwise) but I don't know how that extrapolates into him putting on a Mets uni next year, Mets fans' nostalgia aside.

Late last year all the speculation in the American press was that he was seeking out a position in MLB, that he coveted the open Mariners seat, and nothing came of that.

Of course I hope most that he's still firing up the troops in Makuhari next year, but barring that I sure hope he stays in Japan. He's too valuable to NPB.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Jun 13, 2009 12:58 AM ]

I was sad to read that no outsider can win games of words. I am sad because I like to believe this is not a Japanese vs Outsider/ American dispute.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: PACOBATES | Posted: Jun 18, 2009 9:39 PM ]

I Hope Bobby goes home. Anyway he is a gajin and we need a Japanese manager. We don't want a person that is trying to change Japanese baseball, because there is Japanese baseball in Japan and there is American baseball in America. There is no American baseball in Japan. He only cares about himself and he has all the fans fooled, making fans think he really cares about Japanese fans and Japanese people in general, but this man just cares about his pocket and how much money, he can get from all Japanese.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jun 19, 2009 1:00 AM | YOK Fan ]

Are you serious? Please get over yourself and open your eyes. I don't really think that over 100,000 people would sign a petition to KEEP Bobby in Chiba if people didn't like him. And plus, if the Chiba fans hated Bobby, don't you think they'd be doing the opposite of what they're doing now to keep him in Chiba? I sure think they would be.

I used to think along the lines of PACOBATES here about Bobby caring only for himself, but then I did my homework and research on Bobby (plus having friends on the board here that know a heck of a lot more than me helped a ton) and realized that he is the real deal. You can't really argue about this because not only has he brought a championship to Chiba, he's made them TONS of money by the looks of it and I believe he also had a say in the redesign of Chiba Marine Stadium too. You can't argue with success bottom line.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: PACOBATES | Posted: Jun 19, 2009 11:07 PM ]

To No.1BayFan,

I don't disagree with what you said. Yes the Japanese fans do love Bobby. And yes, he has brought a lot of money to this team, which was last in the league before he came in. He changed the face of the Marines. Now, it is all about Bobby, not the players.

What other manager forbids his players from doing endorsements and does all the endorsements himself? Bobby Burger. Bobby Beer. Bobby jerseys. Japanese fans that love the team are being sold on Bobby, not the players.

And he is trying to change the game to make it is like America. So you didn't address what I said. Which is that Bobby doesn't care about the fans and players. He just cares about making money in Japan. And the fans are fooled. They think Bobby loves them and so they love him back. But Bobby doesn't care about them at all. They are just yen signs to him.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Jun 20, 2009 11:31 AM | YOK Fan ]

Ok, if Bobby didn't care about the fans (in Chiba) and the team, why would he turn down a potential (rumored?) ownership stake in another team to proclaim his loyalty to the Marines, saying that he couldn't picture himself with any other team? Again, having over 100,000 people sign a petition to KEEP Bobby in Chiba speaks volume. And from what I hear from other people who've met and know Bobby a little bit, he's quite the Japanese speaker and is a master at learning Kanji. If Bobby really didn't care about this country or it's people, why would he bother to integrate himself into the society by learning the language?

It's that same "do not change" mentality that you're preaching that hurts Japanese baseball to begin with. Just take a look at the dinosaurs who run the Central League and their refusal to come into the 21st century. I rest my case, and let's move on shall we?

Honestly though, who do you have to blame for the promotion of Bobby? You really ought to be pointing the finger at the Lotte Company itself for promoting Bobby above the team rather than pointing the finger at Bobby himself. This is the same company that proclaimed Bobby to be "manager for life" a while ago. And also, this is the same company (Setoyama-shacho in particular I believe) who basically created this whole soap opera in Chiba this season to begin with. Last time I checked, Bobby had a zero ownership stake in the team and someone had to have given him the power to be who he is and do what he does. You have no one to blame but the incompetent Lotte ownership for creating this.

And finally, even though I'm a Saitama Seibu Lions fan in the Pacific League, I happen to know of many of the great players on Chiba's roster, and in particular my favorite pitcher Yuki Karakawa who, just recently, is being very heavily promoted. By who you might ask? The same people that promoted Bobby Valentine to what he is.

And also, I would ask you to refrain from bad mouthing Bobby Burgers in the future as they are quite tasty and well worth the 25 minute wait you have to put up with to get one at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: PACOBATES | Posted: Jun 20, 2009 10:16 PM ]

Consider for a second the implication of what you've said. Consider for a second that maybe you think this way because you are a fan. And the fans believe what the media tells them. All of the stories and the rumors and the drama exist because the media creates them, to keep the fans buying their papers. But it is not the truth of what really happens. And the media image of a person is not who they really are. They are what you and the media have created them to be. I am just telling you the way it really is. And you are telling me what I already know -- that Bobby has the Japanese fooled. That he really doesn't love the Japanese but the fans think he does. And so they love him back. And buy his products. All the while, acting like sheep.

All the things you said I won't go through and individually refute because it is all an act. It is money that motivates Bobby, not passion for one team or another. He is a con-artist. And he has a lot of Japanese fooled. Including you.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jun 21, 2009 12:56 AM | YBS Fan ]

We've got two very different beliefs here, and I hold a kind of combination of the two. It strikes me that both of you are right and wrong. Let me explain.

First of all, Bobby is a show unto himself. When I first started writing about Bobby back in 1995 (at the request of fans from Norfolk, Virginia), the title for the series I used was "The Bobby Valentine Show." It was a hugely popular series, and even got mentioned in some on-line ranking sites. (The site was criticized in the same piece for use of HTML tables for layout, as only Netscape 2.0 supported them back then.) I will not argue against the fact that Valentine-kantoku is a showman. But I will argue against the idea that this is a bad thing.

Who was perhaps the most popular manager in all of NPB in the 1990s? I'm going with Nagashima Shigeo. He overshadowed all of his players, Matsui included. He kept the spotlight (intense as it is for the Giants) off the players so that they could go about doing their job. There were many people who went to the ballpark to see Nagashima-kantoku, not the Giants. No matter how poorly the Giants were doing, Nagashima-kantoku was a crowd pleaser. A showman.

Baseball fans are often broken down into two camps: (1) the purists and (2) the entertainment seeker. The baseball purist thinks that the results are the only thing that matters. It's all about what happens on the field. Those who watch baseball for entertainment (often rather than going to the movies or sitting at home and texting their circle of friends) are often every bit as dedicated to a given team as any purist. But many of the side shows hold their interests - like the oendan or even a favorite player turned manager.

Second, Bobby is passionate about baseball. No, he doesn't fool anybody about his passion - it is real. Sure, he's got a healthy list of other hobbies that he enjoys pursuing (a restaurant, ballroom dancing, etc.), but baseball has been his number one passion since he was a teen.

Is he putting on an act? Watch his promotional videos for the blood pressure check drive, or what ever the next upcoming event at Chiba Marine Stadium is. He's had years to prefect his acting ability, yet I can't really say that he's mastered acting as an art. Then talk baseball with him. The passion comes out of every pour in his body. He'll say brilliant things. He'll say stupid things. He'll be complementary and insulting. But above all, he'll be passionate.

The one word that I would use to describe Valentine-kantoku is "Passion." Passion for baseball. There are those that claim that the cost of Bobby is tied to the foreign staff that he's brought along. But the number one attribute of all of those staff members is the same passion for the game that Bobby has. Passion like that can't be bought, it has to come from within.

If Bobby could pull out that same passion for every PR video he does, he'd be an Oscar winning actor. But the times that passion comes out are when he's planning for the game, or in the midst of the game. It's when he's talking about a game, his players, or Team 26.

It's not the love of money that keeps Bobby going. It's the love of the game. He wants to make things better. But at the same time, he's learned that he can't just go through and make everything American. (He learned that after his first stint.) He does get frustrated that things aren't progressing at a faster pace, and again, the frustration has nothing to do with money and everything to do with making the product that the Marines (and NPB as a whole) better for the fans.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: Jun 22, 2009 12:15 AM | LOT Fan ]

No offense, Pacobates, but that's a fairly ridiculous argument you got going on, and with nothing solid to back it up with. You say "Bobby only cares about money and everyone is fooled." What evidence do you offer to support this character assassination?

Have you actually met Bobby? He's one of the nicest guys you'll meet, passionate about Japan, passionate about the Marines. When I met him last year, one of the first things he asked me was "How's your Japanese?" He takes the details about living in Japan seriously and wants other foreigners to take them seriously too.

Have you been to a Lotte game? All the posters are of the players - this month's is Saburo, last month's was Satozaki. The posters in the buses in Makuhari are of the players. Yes, they sell Bobby Burgers, but they also sell Ohmatsu Udon. During open-sen the promotions featured Iguchi-senshu and his "Return From USA!" They're starting to promote local boy-turned budding NPB star Karakawa. There's a new line of Watanabe Shunsuke t-shirts on sale.

Last year after the final game with Rakuten, Bobby gave a speech to all the fans at Chiba Marine. At that time is was totally uncertain whether or not he would even return for this year. He talked about the rumors on him leaving for the Mariners' open position and said (more or less) "Don't listen to everything you hear, if they will have me for 2009 I don't want to be anywhere other than with the best fans in the world," his voice breaking. If you don't see the strength and the depth of the relationship between Bobby and the fans then you will never understand.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: NipponHam11 | Posted: Jun 19, 2009 5:54 AM | SFT Fan ]

Unfortunately, this story came from the Boston press. Whether it's the Herald or the Globe, we here in Boston have a bad habit of spinning stories to make them sound more serious than they really are.

I believe it was former Detroit Tigers closer Todd Jones who called the Boston press, "the wildest spin doctors I've ever seen." Take this with a grain of salt until Bobby himself says he wants to come home.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: N26 | Posted: Jun 19, 2009 5:20 PM ]

I was just thinking the issue is not because Bobby is American but because of two people's opinions clashing. I don't see why it has to be turned into a Japanese vs Outsider issue.
Re: Look for Bobby Valentine to be back in the U.S. next season
[ Author: Guest: muratafan | Posted: Jun 23, 2009 6:16 PM ]

I think Bobby is all about Bobby. He says outrageous things about Japanese baseball just to get some attention. For example, in his last year with Chiba, Bobby V. called Masa Kobayashi "one of the best relievers in the world." Please.

The problem I have with Bobby is that it is very obvious that his promotion of NPB is self-serving - i.e. it serves him VERY well to talk up NPB (almost to the point of being silly like the Kobayashi comparison). He reminds me a great deal of John Calipari who had incredibly loyal, fanatically devout fans, but were crushed when Calipari left for the bigger money.

Bobby does have some good ideas: he made Lotte a fun team to watch, he made some changes to the stadium and wants desperately to have a better ni-gun system. However, Bobby has a history of making it all about himself and he was ridden out of MLB for it. Not too many former MLBers or MLB GMs have many positive things to say about him. NPB players are pretty much conditioned that it is about the kantoku/manager, but not in MLB. I rather doubt that MLB would be happy to have Bobby V. in a managerial post. He would've been an awful fit for the Mariners since his ego would've clashed big-time with Ichiro's ego.

My only wish for Lotte fans is to remember that it is about Lotte, and not Bobby. So - if Bobby leaves/is pushed out, just be happy for the good times. Bobby has been known to shake things up a bit - so maybe he would be a good fit for the BayStars. Bobby is a good fit for a "generic" NPB club in need of a personality - that is why he was such a great fit for Lotte.

Interestingly, the guy Bobby reminds me the most of is Nomura-kantoku in that they want the spotlight and want to be the larger-than-life "face" of their franchises. I think Bobby has helped the Pa-league with its identity and as long as people realize that Bobby has never done anything out of love for anything other than himself, they'll be fine. If they think that Bobby was a true martyr for NPB, then they are sadly mistaken.

The only other places for Bobby V. are Yokohama (explained above) or Orix - a faceless, nameless generic NPB team desperately in search of a face.

All the other NPB teams are on solid footing attendance and/or face wise. The "power 3" of Chunichi/Giants/Hanshin are bigger than Bobby and don't need him. Hiroshima has a brand new stadium and is playing to great attendance. Yakult is playing great right now and have a very historic stadium to boot. That leaves Yokohama. In the Pa-League, Nippon Ham have Darvish (bigger than Bobby and Bobby doesn't like that), Rakuten has Nomura-san (who fills the same role that Bobby does already), SoftBank (great fans, filled stadium, progressive owner in Son) and Seibu (recently renovated stadium and lots of current success).

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

It is my sincere hope that once you learn a bit about what we're about here that you will join the community of contributors.

Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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