(September 18th)

Some issues and events that happened over the last couple of months:

The Olympics were quite the travesty for the Japanese team. They went there as favorites, and did not medal. The team didn’t seem to have any energy when I saw them. I had the opportunity to go to Beijing, an amazing city and an amazing spectacle. I went to the “bird’s nest” and watched some of the track and field events. To my surprise, a very dear friend and ex-player of mine, Robin Ventura ― and beautiful wife Stephanie, along with their in-laws ― were sitting right behind me in this 92,000-seat venue. That was a great night.

I climbed the Great Wall and spent a few hours with Larry Rocca, walking around and seeing, without a doubt, one of the great marvels of the world.

But as far as our team, I feel bad that they did not get to experience the opening ceremony because of some decision by someone in Japanese baseball. The players were confined to their quarters, and were not allowed to stay at the Olympic Village. They couldn’t leave the New Otani hotel in Beijing where they were put up and ate their meals. They had their meetings and they slept all day. According to many players that I talked to, they were treated a little like prisoners. I feel bad for them, and feel bad that Japan didn’t represent itself as well as it should have, as one of the baseball powers of the world.

But as I’ve always mentioned, exhibition series are just that: exhibitions. These aren’t teams, they are a group of players brought together to play individually, and this group of individuals didn’t have their best time.

Naruse was one of the shining spots of the pitching staff, striking out, I believe, 17 guys in 14 innings and getting the win against the Canadian team. Nishioka played injured, but still had one of the highest batting averages on the team and showed his great ability and fortitude. Satozaki played some, but was not in the lineup the last 3 games, much to my dismay. Even with a left-handed starting pitcher, they chose to play Yano over Satozaki, which really was perplexing.

But I got to enjoy the Olympic event for the first time in my life. I’ve always had a job during the summer and this was the one time that I had a break for the Summer Olympics. During the 3-day break, I flew over and I enjoyed my days off immensely, except that I saw only 1 victory from the Japanese team and 2 major losses. I did see the gold medal softball game where Japan won, and that was a wonderful event.

Other events:

For many years, there was a “gentleman’s agreement” between MLB and NPB that the free agents of Japan and amateur free agents in America would not be signed by other countries. It seems now that a young man, Tazawa, has told NPB teams that he doesn’t want to sign with them. He wants to sign in America. That’s creating a bit of a rift between the two baseball entities. NPB doesn’t exactly know what to do with this situation and it seems that a new agreement will be needed the near future.

I have constantly preached that NPB needs to improve its minor leagues and its pension plan and benefits, and share revenue so that players can get the same money they can receive in MLB here. If the working conditions could be similar here and in the States, it would keep this kind of problem from presenting itself. Most of my requests and ideas have fallen on deaf ears. Now in a reactionary state, NPB is trying to respond to the situation.

Our fans have just been fabulous! Every game, support has grown. They’ve become more inspirational every game that we play. They’ve contributed to many of our wins and I thank our fans for their great support.

My Victory Tree has gone quite well. For every victory that we get during the season, I present one of our fans with a tree that they can plant and nurture, and help our environment grow in the right way. There have been many lucky winners and hopefully there will be many more to come.

There was a little situation where there were quotes in the paper about the president of our team, Setoyama, and I having some problems. The only problems that existed really were our communication or translation problems. Things were mistranslated to the press and misunderstood by the president. He thinks I might have misunderstood something that he said and I think he might have misunderstood something I said. We have since straightened that all out. We had a fun dinner and we talked about the future of the Marines. I think the future of the Marines is very bright.

On that note, I’d like to congratulate Jerry Royster and the Lotte Giants of the Korean Professional Baseball League for making the playoffs for the first time in 8 years and for setting all-time attendance records in Korea for both our team and for the Korean league itself. Jerry has the team in second place at this time. They’ve had fifth; eighth, and ninth place finishes over the last 9 years. The team is playing with an incredible amount of spirit and excitement. My congratulations go out to that team.

Hopefully, Ishigaki has not been damaged too much by the hurricane. A hurricane came through last week and hit the little island of Ishigaki pretty seriously. We’re still getting reports about our facility there. Hopefully, it will not affect our spring training adversely.

More to come, thanks.









Women's softball gold medal game






Commit to your passions - Passionately pursue your commitments

Issues and events happened this summer コメント数:6 (6 Comments)

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  1. tosh suzuki さんのコメント: (tosh suzuki says):

    Yesterdays neck throw by Benny was very disgusting to watch, and was surprised to see that you amongst of all, would be complaining to the umps to have him thrown out of the game. Sure, three dead balls would be a reason to complain, but Benny’s action is nothing to condone. Especially in front of baseball fans which include plenty of kids.
    I don’t know if the papers are reporting it right, but it states Benny saying “it’s done and over”. Not quite, his actions are troubling than ever especially in days when kids don’t seem to understand what is right and wrong.
    Pushing and shoving, still unsportsmanlike, can be construed as just being childish, but what is horrible about Benny’s actions is that he himself would have caused incredible injury to another. I guess Hosokawa is out of the game for a while, but luckily not a life threatening ordeal - but it could have been… Afterall, Hosokawa was just there to cool Benny down or so it seems.
    Anyways, I hope you will take necessary actions against your players who can’t control themselves. Please show these “macho celebrated sport players” that baseball is not a medieval sport and that they take responsibility for their actions as well as that it simply is just not the right thing to do anymore. Yes, back in the old days players spiked opponents to hurt them, but that is not what we want to teach young players - and I hope you agree.
    In light of all of this, I hope you good luck in the remaining season and after season games.

  2. かもめ Kamome さんのコメント: (かもめ Kamome says):



    (Good evening, Bobby!

    I was so worried about what would happen to you and Marines in the future, but I’m so relieved to know that the misunderstanding was cleared up. I’d really like you to stay as a manager of Marines as long as possible! Soon I’ll come watch the games at Marine stadium again!)

  3. piko さんのコメント: (piko says):




    (Bobby Kantoku, you must be tired from those 12 consecutive games, but I’m so happy that Marines have done a fantastic job despite the tough game schedule.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while, and I really appreciate you taking time out of your hectic schedule to keep it updated.
    I believe that you’ll do a better job than anybody else as a manager of Japanese team for WBC because you truly understand how players feel and uplift them. But I don’t want you to leave Marines while you’re working with Japanese team, so I’m not sure what I really want.

    I was concerned about what happened between you and president Setoyama, and it was good to know that everything’s ok now. I’d really like you to stay as a manager of Marines for a long time.
    Please take care, and I hope the team plays well for the rest of the season. I’ll be doing my very best cheering for Marines!)

  4. Hiro さんのコメント: (Hiro says):





    (Hi Bobby! This is my first time to write in!

    I totally agree with what you said about Japanese team for the Olympics game. The players seemed like they were not enjoying the game and looked almost painful. It’s a shame that each player couldn’t show more individuality and play without feeling too much pressure in that “group”.

    In the light of this experience, I think that you should be the next manager of Japanese team for WBC. I guess there must be a lot of difficulties in this old mind-set Japanese baseball, but I think you’ll be perfect for the job. Please keep preaching them to improve Japanese baseball, and I’ll always be on your side.

    Finally, I hope Marines will play strong for Climax Series and Nippon Series!)

  5. Hatabo. さんのコメント: (Hatabo. says):

    Hi, Bobby♪
    I’m glad that you could spend summer of this year meaningfully.
    I’m happy because you’re reconciled with Mr. Setoyama. I was happy, and tears flowed. :cry: It’s pleasant now that Bobby’s Marines can be seen again!
    I’d like to bring up a tree of AODAMO.

    Thank you very much for your a lot of pictures and current condition reports today! :)


  6. roro さんのコメント: (roro says):


    (I’m so relieved now.
    I’ll keep on cheering Bobby and Marines forever and ever!)