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Robert Whiting: History, tradition helped to undermine Valentine

by on Feb.07, 2010 @ 9:59 pm, under NPB

The fourth and final part of Mr. Whiting's series on Bobby Valentine has been posted at Japan Times.

A short excerpt:

Trying to pinpoint blame for what happened at Lotte is like trying to solve Rubik's Cube, especially since so many of the people interviewed for this story wish to remain anonymous. But it is clear that some of it lies with Akio Shigemitsu, who set the stage for trouble when he agreed to give Valentine such a huge contract, one which angered Lotte and one which he himself began to feel uncomfortable about as time wore on, given the increased pressure to cut costs.


However, Valentine also bears some responsibility, as well. Although Setoyama may not have had Valentine's talents in creating and running a modern razzle-dazzle MLB-type organization, there is a tradition in Japan that employees carry a weak or unqualified boss and let him share in the glory — like festival workers carrying a mikoshi to the local shrine.