Ottawa – Oh dear. I just finished re-reading Bobby Valentine’s last blog post on “Bobby’s Way.” It was written on July 26th (http://www.bobbysway.jp/), marking his announcement to leave the Chiba Lotte Marines after the 2009 season. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see him with the team one last time when I visited the stadium in early September. The one game I managed to catch was just so good, baseball was fun again!
It was one of the best games I saw the Marines play to date. When I got to the stadium, I could hardly believe my eyes. The roster was stellar. So many of my favourite players (i.e. Imae, Fukuura, Saburo, Satozai, Tsuryoshi etc.) were on the roster and to top it off, Tsuyoshi, Iguchi, Saburo, and Satozaki all hit home runs! We even beat the Fighters 9-2 that night. Sometimes the Fighters seem unstoppable but not that night.
Looking back, the 2009 season was a challenging seasons for both the fans and the management. I could feel the tension when I visited the field the next day. I truly, truly hope that 2010 brings a new chapter to the team and I look forward to catching more of Bobby’s great work on this side of the ocean.
You can catch Bobby on ESPN as an analyst on “Baseball Tonight” and on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York. 2010 here we come!