Valentine returns to Japan
By JIM ARMSTRONG, Associated Press Writer
November 3, 2003
TOKYO (AP) -- Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine returned to Japanese baseball Monday, signing a three-year deal with the Lotte Marines.
``This was just the right thing to do at this point in my life,'' the 53-year-old manager said. ``To feel wanted and needed is very important in life.''
Valentine, fired by the Mets in October 2002 with one year left on his contract, declined to comment on financial terms of the contract, saying only that it was ``flattering'' and appropriate for someone with over 2,500 games of managerial experience.
Japan's Sports Nippon newspaper reported Monday that he will make an estimated $6.4 million on the three-year contract with an option for two years.
Valentine, who replaces Koji Yamamoto, guided the Marines to a second-place finish in 1995, the team's best finish since 1985.
At the end of the '95 season, Valentine had a falling out with former general manager Tatsuro Hirooka and left Japan.
``I feel confident that I have been given the freedom to guide the club using my knowledge and my philosophy,'' Valentine said.
Since his departure, the Marines haven't finished better than fourth in the Pacific League.
Valentine, who had also been mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Grady Little as manager of the Boston Red Sox, spent this season as an analyst for ESPN.
He managed in New York from 1996-02, leading the Mets to the 2000 World Series. He also managed the Texas Rangers from 1985-92.
While Valentine said it was difficult to make an assessment of the current Lotte team without seeing the players first, he said he would be interested in having a look at former Mets player Tsuyoshi Shinjo, who was assigned to Triple-A Norfolk in July.
``Shinjo had a good season with the Mets when I managed him,'' Valentine said. ``Now that he may be available, we'll go through the proper channels to speak with him in the future.''
Updated on Monday, Nov 3, 2003 3:49 am EST
Yes doctor, I am sick.
Sick of those who are spineless.
Sick of those who feel self-entitled.
Sick of those who are hypocrites.
Yes doctor, an army is forming.
Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....