Bobby Valentine announced earlier today that he will be leaving the Lotte organization at the end of the season, removing any doubt about his potential return to Chiba next year.
Valentine was in Chiba today overseeing a Lotte practice session at an indoor training facility located in Inage Kaihin Park. It was at this time that the handed out an announcement detailing his current thoughts.
I thought that it would be best for both the team and for the Shigemitsu Family if I leave the club at the end of the season. I also felt that it would be best for me to make this announcement as soon as possible.
...I want to make this season a lasting memory and so I will continue to work hard until the end of the season.
This, coupled with the announcement of the team looking at Norifumi Nishimura as the next manager should pretty much squash any hopes for a Bobby return.
IMHO, as I've been saying from the start, I just couldn't see him returning next season after all the crap that was shoveled in his direction. Hopefully Bobby will be able to latch on with another NPB club. I think the NPB will lose someone very important if he decides to return to the States.