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Japanese Fans Mobilize to Keep Valentine as Their Manager

by on May.21, 2009 @ 2:59 am, under NPB

There's an article over on the NY Times about Marine fans joining together in an attempt to keep Bobby as manager of the team.

Quote:

With more than 50,000 signatures on a petition to keep Valentine, this is a struggle, the fans believe, that goes to the heart of Japanese baseball. They see Valentine as a positive influence who is leading the team and the sport toward a more viable future by promoting more access to players and more fan-friendly marketing concepts.

To be honest, I'm really not sure if submitting a petition will do much of anything, but it's certainly nice to see the fans providing Bobby with so much support. And I have to agree that Bobby's been nothing but a positive influence to Japanese baseball... and most of all, to the Marines.

Quote:

During his six seasons in Chiba (Valentine also managed here for one season in 1995 before returning to the United States to manage the Mets), membership in the team's fan club has grown by 600 percent to 140,000 card-carrying members, and team revenue has increased by 400 percent. The street where he lives in Chiba has been renamed Valentine's Way.

Unless there are some sweeping changes in the Marines' front office, I'm not really sure if it'll make much sense for Bobby to stick around. After being put through so much, would he really feel comfortable enough to continue working with the very same people that were trying to punt him off the team?

Perhaps it's time for Bobby to move and take on another challenge, like the Yokohama Bay Stars, or maybe even the Rakuten Eagles (assuming Nomura doesn't return and Furuta isn't hired). Maybe it's time for him to spread the wealth and show other Japanese fans just how great a manager he is.

0 comments on “Japanese Fans Mobilize to Keep Valentine as Their Manager

  1. knucklehead7

    With everything you’ve described about the Marines’ management, I think you’re right that it might be in his best interest to move on at the end of the season. I would think he would have some suitors in Japan as well as possibly back in the States. Still, it seems like he’s given a lot to the organization, so I’m sure he has some mixed feelings about the situation.

  2. Gwynar

    No doubt. I would take a guess that he’d still love to return to the team, but with all early back-stabbing in the media by the front office… I would have a hard time believing that he could simply return to the team in 2010 with the same personnel and not feel at least a little awkward.

    In the end though, if the Marines really are planning to stick around in Chiba, it would probably make a ton more sense for them to gut the current front office and keep Valentine to show the fans that they are determined to make things right by them.

    Any other move would, in some ways, indicate that the team really isn’t interested in staying in Chiba.

  3. knucklehead7

    Conspiracy theorists would probably be quick to think that management orchestrated the feud with Valentine as a way out of Chiba.