(April 27th) Hi everyone,

Today we have an off-day to travel after a very well pitched game by Shimizu Nao that we lost 1-0 to Darvish Toshu and the Nippon Ham. Each team got only 2 hits and they scored one run in the 1st and we could not match it.

This has been a good road trip for the first 2 cities and now we go on to Tachikawa and play the Lions 3 day games for the start of Golden Week.

I also woke up this morning and read online the story in Sports Illustrated about me and the Marines.

A very famous American magazine, Sports Illustrated sent a young reporter here for a few days last August and they have a 10-page story in this week’s magazine.

Many of the things that have occurred over the last 4 years were mentioned in the article. Chris Ballard, the author of the piece, spent time with the team and gathered a lot of information and he also made some observations of his own.

I’d like to start by saying thank you to Sports Illustrated for the time and energy spent in putting this story together.

I have no doubt the intention of this story was to positively portray the many great things that are happening in Japanese baseball, especially the Chiba Lotte Marines organization over the past 4 years, and I hope that is the message that most people take away from reading the story. There really are a lot of exciting things happening in Japanese baseball and the players and executives over here are working hard and getting better everyday.

However, I must admit there are a few things in the story that I think are misleading and being this is my blog, I'd like to try to set the record straight.

Of course, I didn't expect anyone to understand everything that should be understood in just a few days, but there are some things I feel compelled to address.

One thing that popped out at me is that my bench coach, Frank Ramppen, was portrayed in a manner much the opposite of who and what he really is.

Frank is one of the foreign or "gaijin" guys who really “get it” here. He has learned the language and adjusted to the culture and really appreciates the game of baseball played in Japan. He has brought a genuine quality to the job that is received well and is getting better at his work everyday and I’m sorry to say that the story didn’t depict him in this way at all. But then again, to be mentioned and quoted in a Sports Illustrated article is not the worst thing to ever happen to him.

Regarding another gaijin, my longtime batting coach and great friend Tom Robson, a sarcastic comment I made during what I thought was a private dinner conversation over beers with friends was somehow taken seriously and the result was the terribly mistaken impression that I questioned his work ethic.

I would hope it goes without saying that I have nothing but the highest professional respect and personal affection for a man that I chose to work by my side for 20 years, in Texas, New York and in Japan – twice. Tom Robson is not only one of the best baseball men I have ever been around, he is THE VERY BEST hitting coach on the planet. He was hired with me and fired with me and won championships with me and to have it represented anywhere that I think anything less of him than the very best is a terrible, terrible mistake.

The next situation deals with my unfortunate use of an insult towards two great MLB baseball men, Don Baylor and Mike Hargrove, during that same dinner conversation that I assumed was private.

In trying to prove my point in a serious discussion with my minor league manager, Koga-kantoku, I tried to reject what Koga-kantoku was saying by questioning the credibility of Baylor and Hargrove, the men he was quoting.

Although this might have been a good strategy in a private argument between friends over beers, it was not something I intended to be made public and I’m truly embarrassed and sorry it happened. If I had known the dinner conversation was “on the record,” I would have made it clear to the writer that I was only trying to win an argument and not really insult men who had nothing to do with the actual conversation.

My final comment is that I am very sad that an article that is supposed to show readers how much I believe in the great aspects of Japanese baseball and the tremendous progress the Chiba Lotte Marines organization has made the past 4 years would leave out almost all mention of the great Japanese men and women of the front office who have made this possible.

There are so many people who have been instrumental in the gains we have made as an organization, most notably Setoyama-shacho, our club president, and Araki-san, our director of business operations.

There is simply no way the Chiba Lotte Marines could be in their current position as leaders of Japanese baseball without the leadership, intelligence and hard work of Setoyama-shacho and Araki-san. Their contributions are so many, they could never all be listed in a 10 or maybe even 100-page magazine article, but I’m still very sad to see that they didn’t receive even 1 percent of the credit they deserve on the pages of Sports Illustrated.

Commit to your passions - Passionately pursue your commitments

Sports Illustrated Article コメント数:7 (7 Comments)

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  1. JJ さんのコメント: (JJ says):


    (There are times where the person who we are talking to happen to take what we said differently thus it causes misunderstanding among us.
    For instance, I sometimes run into such situation when I’m emailing someone – the recipient feels that I’m mad at the person somehow. I don’t intend to sound like I’m talking bad about someone, but some people take it as I’m making bad remarks of that person. It can be difficult at times as it is all depends on how the people around us take what they hear. However, if the person happens to be someone who I’ve known for a long time, I know the true nature of the person.
    So I don’t think you need to worry about how the person would take when they read what’s written in the article at all, because they know you.
    For example, we, the Marines fans, wouldn’t believe but probably laugh when we hear someone talking about how “Bobby hates the Marines fans.”
    We all know that you have so much love and the care for the Marines.
    We can’t really turn our back on this information-based society, but what we CAN do is to find the truth in it.
    So I don’t think you should worry about what you mentioned in this post.)

  2. naka-family さんのコメント: (naka-family says):



    (Kantoku, Konbanwa

    I understand what you meant in the post a bit.
    We have so many ways to get the point across when we are talking to someone. There is a way of doing so by saying something completely opposite from what is intended, so that we might be able to stir up the person. And if the person is someone that we’ve known for a long time (friends or co-workers) then we’d talk to them too frankly at times or we’d say things in a bit assertive way. When some outsiders come in to the conversation that itself makes the situation even more complex. I think that this article has the same element.
    However, I am sure that the people around you really understand how you are. So please don’t worry about these misunderstandings and just kick some butt as you always do.
    I love the way you are; you have a bright outlook on life and have a good sense of humor.)

  3. kei さんのコメント: (kei says):


    (There were a lot of things that I wanted to think about after reading today’s post - I could tell that you put so much thought into it. I could also tell that you have a heart for the people. I haven’t read the article in the Sports Illustrated Magazine, but it is sad that the article had some misleading elements.
    I really appreciate you taking the time to explain your thoughts and reasoning for the fans in a timely manner.
    Thank you so much for posting your comment even though you have such a busy schedule.)

  4. BigManZam さんのコメント: (BigManZam says):

    I think all of us who read the article know exactly what it was, Bobby. It was a hit piece from start to finish. Someone didn’t like your personality, was too much of a coward to tell you to your face, and so he used a large circulation magazine to write a 10 page insult directed towards you. It was embarrassing to actually read, because it was so childish. I can’t believe someone gets paid to write that. I take offense personally due to the writer trying to belittle the Japanese game many times.

    Anyway, I think Tsuyoshi would be the first person to tell you that he was terrible last season. As a resident of Seattle, I can also tell you that Mariners fans are confused about Hargrove’s use of the bullpen and Johjima’s place in the batting order.

    I’d also like to take this last paragraph to spread awareness of the fact that Chiba Lotte home games are still streaming for residents of Japan only. Things are definitely wrong when the average resident of Japan has to catch some games on radio only. Access to video of the games is laughable. I’ve also read from people in Japan that the streams aren’t very stable. Softbank home games are free for the entire world to watch. This should be the case with every NPB team. I don’t even think the Central League has a single stream this year.

  5. Mark Tokorev さんのコメント: (Mark Tokorev says):

    Dinna fash yerself about it, Bobby~!

    I read the SI article by Chris Ballard very carefully — twice in fact. And, I actually think it was largely positive in nature. I did not see any malice on the part of Ballard. In fact, I’d say it was 90% positive. Really.

    I think those who are intelligent enough to understand the context in which “trash-talking” (in private) is used to positively motivate others can understand that you meant no real harm or disrespect. In latter part of the article in question, it is obvious during your dinner conversation that you were very much focused on boosting the morale and confidence of your Minor League coach, Koga-kantoku, and convincing him that he ought to join you in the Major Leagues.

  6. danny serafini さんのコメント: (danny serafini says):

    hey skip,
    wanted to drop a line on that article. sorry to hear that the words were translated so poorly from a so called professional jornalist like chris ballard. just to set the story straight to any fans out there with questions. i have played for many managers in my time, and many of them could be ego maniacs or condissending to people and fellow players, but unlike bobby v those managers do it without a purpose, except for their own i securities! bobby v does his rants and raves for the most important reason! MOTIVATION, and CONVICTION for benefit of the player and the team! so if anyone is affended by the way he does buisness! they need to grow up and handle it like a man!!!!!!!!!
    good luck skip
    serf the real #42

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