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Monday, January 18, 2010

Clandestine campaign led to Valentine’s demise

More than any other team in the NPB, the Marines during the Valentine era had been identified by their manager.

At the entrance to the park, a flat-screen TV showed continuous loops of Bobby greeting fans. The concourse walkways inside the park were lined with 3-meter high Bobby murals, inscribed with his aphorisms — e.g. “The team is a family. A happy family makes the team stronger.”

Even the food there had his image on it, including the Bobby box lunch, a brand of sake with his picture on the label, a beer named after him and Bobby bubble gum.

Near the main entrance to the stadium there was a small shrine in his honor, featuring his papier mache image, and not far away there was a street named after him, Bobby Valentine Way.

But now, Setoyama began dismantling every reminder of Valentine’s influence. Down came the shrine, the main gate video presentation, the murals and posters on the walls. The beer, the hamburgers and other Bobby V. products also gradually disappeared.

Valentine’s many supporters wondered what the hell had happened.

Nice piece (part one of a four-part series) by Robert Whiting, of “You Gotta Have Wa” fame. Read the whole thing.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2010 at 04:18 PM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, mets

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   1. Tripon Posted: January 18, 2010 at 06:15 PM (#3440296)
Awesome read. Can't believe the Japanese management was that incompetent though.
   2. Sheer Tim Foli Posted: January 18, 2010 at 06:52 PM (#3440324)
Yes, a great read.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:03 PM (#3440333)
That reminds me, I need to renew my subscription to "Weekly Spa."

The firing of Bobby Valentine reminds me a bit of all these college coaches getting fired for "abusing players." My guess is if we weren't in a recession with colleges and ADs in cost-cutting mode, none of those coaches - Mark Mangino, Mike Leach and Jim Leavitt - would be unemployed.

Anyone else find it amusing that the woman involved in the conspiracy to split Bobby from the Marines was named Yoko?
   4. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3440337)
The firing of Bobby Valentine reminds me a bit of all these college coaches getting fired for "abusing players."

Whatever the reason, I'm glad it's happening. I love seeing martinet coaches with an inflated view of themselves and what they're doing getting their comeuppance.
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3440338)
Did the Marines consult Minaya and the Wilpons?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3440344)
Whatever the reason, I'm glad it's happening. I love seeing martinet coaches with an inflated view of themselves and what they're doing getting their comeuppance.

Agreed. I think college coaches in general are wildly overpaid. Not in a moral "these guys don't contribute as much as some university researcher curing cancer" sense, but in a "this coach isn't bringing in more revenue than any ol' young assistant coach you could have brought in here to coach this team" sense.

Ironically, Mangino, Leach and Leavitt are three guys I thought were deserving of every penny they got, all having basically built programs from scratch.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:23 PM (#3440353)
I love seeing martinet coaches with an inflated view of themselves and what they're doing getting their comeuppance.


Bobby certainly has a good opinion of himself, but since he led the Marines to their first pennant in 31 years, it's probably not entirely unwarranted.

Just sayin'.
   8. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:35 PM (#3440371)
But now, Setoyama began dismantling every reminder of Valentine’s influence. Down came the shrine, the main gate video presentation, the murals and posters on the walls. The beer, the hamburgers and other Bobby V. products also gradually disappeared.
It's as if Valentine had brought four guns into the locker room or something.
   9. heyyoo Posted: January 18, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3440394)
What MLB team would it be most fun to have Bobby come back and manage? It would have to be the Cubs, no ?
   10. Tripon Posted: January 18, 2010 at 08:00 PM (#3440400)
Mets again in a clean sweep. A's if only for the instant power struggle it would create. Nats, where Bobby try to pull off a 2nd Chibe Lotte movement.
   11. depletion Posted: January 19, 2010 at 01:56 AM (#3440684)
#3: I found it amusing as well.
The most memorable, however, was a banner, reading "Bobby Forever," that was so huge it stretched across half the outfield and was 30 rows high

It must be nice to be loved.
Mike Piazza once said (I paraphrase), "Bobby gave the team unity. We all hated him".
It would be really insane if Bobby came back to manage the Mets. I have enough problems.
   12. Tripon Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:14 AM (#3440692)
I need to see a photo of the fortune teller.
   13. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:20 AM (#3440694)
Anyone else find it amusing that the woman involved in the conspiracy to split Bobby from the Marines was named Yoko?


Perspective gap--there's like 1000000 Yokos in Japan.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:23 AM (#3440697)

Perspective gap--there's like 1000000 Yokos in Japan.


There must not be many good bands still together in Japan.
   15. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3440704)
There must not be many good bands still together in Japan.

I just checked and Guitar Wolf is still together so that has to count for something...

EDIT: Checked and apparently Teengenerate is apparently still hanging in there. Apparently the garage bands are numb to Yoko's charms.
   16. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:34 AM (#3440707)
The firing of Bobby Valentine reminds me a bit of all these college coaches getting fired for "abusing players." My guess is if we weren't in a recession with colleges and ADs in cost-cutting mode, none of those coaches - Mark Mangino, Mike Leach and Jim Leavitt - would be unemployed.

I'm wondering why you put the quotes around abusing players. My perspective is this....suppose we saw some other employee at this university--a dean, a department head, a faculty member--treat these students that way. Would they keep their job? Would we pretend it wasn't outrageously abusive?

Just because the student in question is an athlete, we seem to give some university employees a hell of a lot more leash than others.
   17. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:49 AM (#3440716)
I just checked and Guitar Wolf is still together so that has to count for something...


Bass Wolf is dead. :(
   18. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:54 AM (#3440722)
According to wikipedia they replaced him with another bassist.
   19. Tripon Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:59 AM (#3440726)
Leach and Leavitt would have been fired regardless. You can't imprison players in the shed when you have a concussion, and you can't intentionally punch your own players unprovoked.

Bad judgment, and then both tried to either justify or hid the fact they did it. Leach now says that Adam James did it himself and video taped himself to get Leach in trouble, and before that he had his people try to paint Adam James as a ##### with an over bearing father who tried to influence his playing time. That he had to go to this to justify the situation speaks volumes and made it easier to dismiss him. Leach was the head coach, #### like parents ######## about playing time comes with the job, and to sell out Adam James like that when his goal should be trying to minimize the damage as much as possible shows a lack to probably analyze the situation.

Leavitt likewise at different times denied, and then claimed it was the players fault for Leavitt punching him. Gutless. And its clear the situation occurred to multiple eyewitnesses. He should be worried about not getting charged with a crime, not trying to get his job back at this point.

Mangino technically didn't get fired, he resigned and received a buyout. He probably shouldn't be forced out if only because I don't care about personal insults, from the reports, he never touched a kid and never did something as idiotic as locking a kid in a shed. But he was axed because it was easier to pay him $2 million now instead of his full salary next year and then a buyout, so whatever.
   20. devo Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3440924)
Japanese baseball is fascinating.
   21. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2010 at 02:59 PM (#3440931)
There must not be many good bands still together in Japan.


Acid Mothers Temple are still going strong.
   22. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:02 PM (#3440932)
Acid Mothers Temple are still going strong.


More of a cult than a band, no?
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:03 PM (#3440933)
Japanese baseball is fascinating.


Just out of curiosity, what do the people here think about Ochiai missing the Japanese Hall by one vote for the second year in a row?
   24. RJ in TO Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3440934)
Just out of curiosity, what do the people here think about Ochiai missing the Japanese Hall by one vote for the second year in a row?


If I knew anything about Japanese baseball I'd be (*spins wheel*) outraged?
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3440979)
If I knew anything about Japanese baseball I'd be (*spins wheel*) outraged?


Probably, yeah. He's a three-time Triple Crown winner, with a .987 career OPS and 510 career HR (#6 on the career list), 10 appearances on the Best Nine, and 15 All-Star games (including 11 in a row). Oh, and a Manager of the Year award in his post-playing career.

He's also got a history of problems with Japanese authority. He quit his college team after one year because he didn't like being a gofer for the seniors, stuck with an unorthodox batting stance, in defiance of his coaches' instructions, talked openly about being motivated by money and fame, etc.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:47 PM (#3440988)
Japanese baseball is fascinating.

Japanese culture is fascinating.
   27. Flynn Posted: January 19, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3440991)
with an unorthodox batting stance, in defiance of his coaches' instructions, talked openly about being motivated by money and fame, etc.

Wasn't Ochiai subject of one of the longer pieces in You Gotta Have Wa?
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:02 PM (#3441007)
Wasn't Ochiai subject of one of the longer pieces in You Gotta Have Wa?


Yep.

[Obligatory: Great book, can't recommend it enough.]
   29. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:43 PM (#3441050)
what do the people here think about Ochiai missing the Japanese Hall by one vote for the second year in a row?
That's ####### ridiculous.

We had a You Gotta Have Wa lovefest a week back or so on this site - anyone reading this thread who hasn't previously read the book ought to do that instead.

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