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NPB: The Chiba Lotte Marine Mess

by on Apr.28, 2009 @ 7:07 am, under NPB

A recent leak of meeting minutes from a meeting on the 7th is generating a lot of bad press for team management. Just a day after team owner Akio Shigemitsu denied that management had any internal discussions about moving the team, club president Ryozo Setoyama admitted that a top brass member mentioned something about moving the team at the meeting. Setoyama wouldn't provide any further information on the matter, saying that the issue was sent to company headquarters and that it was being looked into.

Now, how did the leak happen?

A document containing meeting minutes was apparently faxed to a number of media outlets. The fax was on company letterhead and the personnel listed as being in attendance was also correct. There seems to be a good chance that the document was faxed by someone from within the organization.

Here are the two quotes that are said to belong to Setoyama from the faxed meeting minutes document:

Regarding the fans in the right field stands that are pro-Valentine:
Ownership said we should think about changing locations if they're going to damage our image. It's just a bunch of stupid Chiba fans anyway.

Regarding Bobby Valentine:
We need to think about when he let go Bobby Valentine. ... He hasn't given us any good results this season.

Setoyama continues to deny that he said any of the comments attributed to him in the meeting minutes. Said Setoyama, "You've got to be kidding. It's the first time I've seen it today. This is a fake. Besides, there's no such thing is making meeting minutes publicly available."

And he continued, "Questionable documents like this have come out before. I've even received death threats at home and have had to move because of it. Am I making accusations? I have no comment until headquarters conducts it's internal investigation."

Perhaps the Marines are now regretting how they decided to handle Bobby Valentine's last season as manager.


12 comments on “NPB: The Chiba Lotte Marine Mess

  1. Unregistered

    I see nobody comments, I just want to say I enjoy the blog, it’s got a wealth of info unavailable elsewhere. Keep it up, Japanese baseball fans can learn lots here!


    But that string does make it hard to post…

  2. Gwynar

    Thanks for the comment. It’s kind of hard to keep posting stuff when no one comments, but I’m hoping that’ll change if I keep at it.

    BTW: when you say string, are you taking about the image that shows up where you have to read the letters and numbers in order to post?

  3. knucklehead7

    That this has turned into an even bigger mess isn’t too much of a surprise. When the Times ran that piece on Valentine and the WBC, they mentioned that his salary is $3.9M. Do you know if that’s accurate?

  4. Gwynar

    This article mention US$5.19M. But the figure I’ve seen quoted most at various Japanese message boards was US$4.67M.

    That’s quite a bit for a manager. But if you’ll remember, Bobby also said that he was willing to give that money back this season. And I’m willing to bet that he would have taken a pay cut if it meant he could stick around with the team a few more years. Although in seeing how the upper management has been handling things, it’s probably best that he’s getting out of there now.

  5. knucklehead7

    Yeah, I think it might not be such a bad thing to get away from the mess at this point. I’m sure Valentine will end up managing again, but it’s a bit sad that it ended up like this. Thanks for the information about his salary.

  6. Gwynar

    I wonder if he’d be interested in a job with the Eagles.

    I don’t think it would ever happen, but I think he could actually do some interesting things up there for the team.

  7. knucklehead7

    It seems like he would be an interesting replacement for Nomura. I think Chris wouldn’t mind seeing Valentine back with the Mets, but that doesn’t seem very likely to happen either.

  8. Unregistered

    Yes, by string I mean the image verification, must have run through about ten of them…

  9. Gwynar
    Originally Posted by Unregistered;bt3432

    Yes, by string I mean the image verification, must have run through about ten of them…

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ll definitely take a look into it.

  10. Unregistered

    I have been reading many of the Japanese blogs and 2ch posts:

    No one seems fooled by the claim by Ryuzo Setoyama that the leaked internal memorandum was a "fake". It is pretty clear that it was most certainly the real thing and that he was the person making the comments regarding the worthless (kudaranai) fans etc.

    One of the strongest theories regarding the leakee is that it is none other than the controversial #3 executive at Chiba Lotte Marines personally appointed by the owner … Yoko Yoneda. Apparently, the 50-something year old woman is a former fortune-teller lacking any professional credentials or management experience in baseball except for her mysterious "personal relationship" with the team’s Korean-Japanese owner, Akio Shigemitsu (aka Shin Dong Bin). Quite a few articles have cited a few outrageous moments on her part. They include ordering the Japanese press corp to interview players using honorific language only and adhere to a dress code sans jeans. Also, she allegedly destroyed a father-son outing at the stadium by yelling at them for the apparent "fashion crime" of wearing team jerseys in the VIP area of the stadium – ironic as the same articles describe her own fashion(less) sense … loud-zebra striped shirts and black spats like a cheap Korean snack hostess.

    The Japanese … err, I mean Koreans , are crazy!

  11. Gwynar

    I haven’t really dug too deeply into the 2ch posts yet, so the info your provide is certainly appreciated.

  12. SoCalLotteFan

    Found your blog through Pro Yakyu/Westbay. Thanks for the update on the fiasco with the executive management. I’ve been an avid reader of Bobby V’s Blog, but since he discontinued the blog, I have to search for other sources. Keep up the excellent work Gwynar.

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