Bobby Officially Almost Done in Chiba
In a blog post, Bobby Valentine has officially put the last nail in the coffin of any hopes that he’d return next year:
And most importantly, I came to feel that for me to leave the team at the end of the 2009 season is best for the Shigemitsu family and for the Chiba Lotte Marines, and so I wanted to make this announcement about the decision as soon as possible.
Please view this announcement as my determination to make Chiba Lotte Marines baseball fun once again, for our fans and for each member of the team. I have always felt victory was shallow–and true victory was impossible–if the attempt to gain it was not fun. This year has not been fun for anyone who truly loves the Chiba Lotte Marines, so I will make a renewed effort to make this 2009 season the most fun that it can possibly be, and one that we will all remember and cherish for our lifetimes.
(read the whole post here)
Why make this announcement now, given that the team has already announced that they aren’t bringing him back? I suppose this is a way for Bobby to make a statement on his own terms. It’s also a message that the fan-lead, grassroots efforts to convince Lotte management to bring him back probably aren’t going to work, and that he just wants to focus on baseball for the rest of the year.