I'm here at the Nishitetsu Grand Hotel in Fukuoka. We finished our last practice before the season begins tomorrow, and I am reflecting on the past few days and looking forward to the future.

I have had a very busy 2 days since the end of the WBC. In particular, I have been talking with my players and trying to get a feel for the right thing to do in this very unusual situation. It is well documented that Lotte had 8 players on the WBC Japan Championship team. I am very proud of this fact but I am also very concerned for the welfare of the players and also for the welfare of the team.

The players landed on the 22nd in Japan and I gave all of them the next day off. I then wanted them to let me know how they were feeling and we would decide how to make a plan going forward. I tried to get our team party changed to the 27th in Makuhari but there were not enough hotel rooms for the guys to stay in after the party so we had to have it on the 23rd here in Fukuoka. When the players heard this they decided to come to the party and so 5 of the players, Yabuta, Fujita, Satozaki, Imae and Nishioka flew from Tokyo to Fukuoka and not only were they at the party but they all want to play in the opening game! The starting pitchers who would not be in the first 2 games here stayed back in Chiba and are getting ready for the home opener.

It was really great to see these guys. They have such energy and charisma. Imae and Nishioka were really alive in practice and Satozaki was hitting well. Yabuta and Fujta both threw a little in the bullpen to get used to the different ball and thought they could be ready for the game tomorrow. I know it means a lot to the team and to our great fans to have all these guys ready to compete in the opening game.

Kubo will be the starting pitcher and I am sure he feels relieved knowing that Yabuta and Fujita are ready if needed. I can't wait to get started and also look forward to the 28th when the entire team will finally be together again.

So, that party I mentioned above made for a very fun night and all the guys had a good, relaxing time.

Now, together with our fans, we are ready for the 2006 season to begin!


Opening Game! コメント数:11 (11 Comments)

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  1. chi-ko さんのコメント: (chi-ko says):




    また来ます (^^)/

    from chi-ko

    (Hello Kantoku!
    That’s how the world’s best players play ball★
    The surroundings have changed and now you can see the players really wanting to come out and play. You could see that they had real built-in energy and drive.
    They shouldered Japan and did their best at the WBC but it is from their hearts that each and every one of these players shows their love for the Marines.
    And what an authoritative wins at home it was (≧▽≦)
    Seeing such a team and players is a testament to the manager’s strength.
    What a wonderful team and bunch of players ☆
    It will surely take a bit of time for the team to continue along this way.
    But I think we will see that the experience that the players got at the WBC will certainly come through.
    I believe in the team and the players and will continue rooting for them!

    I hear that Watanabe will be starting tonight and I am very much looking forward to it.

    Regarding the filming of the commercial…you certainly look good in the team uniform but you look really cool in that stylish clothing and it gets my hearth thumping! ★ Looking forward to seeing you in different clothing!

    I’ll be back (^^)/

    From chi-ko)

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


    (Hello Bobby. You looked good in all those changes of clothing. We got to see, and will continue to see, a different look for you. And congratulations to you on your wins. It was awesome to hear the crowd cheer “Our Pride.” I am very much looking forward to seeing Lotte continue to play to victory.)

  3. Toto さんのコメント: (Toto says):

    Hi Bobby,

    How nice! I did not know you have such a wonderful weblog. I like your writing. My friend just has let me know. (My friend is Macintosh mania. So, he became happy the designers using the Mac in the photos.)
    Honestly, I am a Hanshin fan. Yes, your team beat my Tigers at Nihon series. But, now, I think there were no questions. Because the players, the representatives of Japan were mostly from your team. It is VERY difficult to win the World Champion, right? :)
    Looking forward to your updating this site.


  4. N.S.bowler さんのコメント: (N.S.bowler says):


    (I have one request. Though the date for your uploaded blog entry automatically appears the actual time your blog was written and it is different. For example, your latest entry is from the day before the first opening game yet the date shows March 29th when in fact, on that day, the Marines had already won its 2nd game. Please put the actual date the comment was made in your entry. On a separate note, can you tell us what the current situation is regarding the smoking sections at Marines Stadium? Without the smoking/non-smoking separation I am not inclined to go and watch the games. Or, do I need to go out to the stadium and check it out myself?)

  5. よん Yon さんのコメント: (よん Yon says):


    (So, the season has finally started. Though it may have been a bit of a disadvantage to see 8 of the Lotte players at the WBC, we fans believe in you and the team. BTW, when can we expect to see the Shinsei Bank commercial? Looking forward to it. And regardless of what you wore you looked cool! And the yukata was very good looking.)

  6. Mike Plugh さんのコメント: (Mike Plugh says):


    Sounds like you’re a busy guy these days. Thanks for the rundown on the team. I like Yabuta a lot. I think he shows guts in pressure situations and I look forward to following him more closely this season. Imae also looks like a real stick of dynamite. If he can put together a full year like he had in the Japan Series last year, you’ve got something!

    You look good in the yukata, Bobby. Good luck!!!


  7. ゆうこ Yuko さんのコメント: (ゆうこ Yuko says):


    (Hello Bobby (^−^)
    Two wins in a row at home, that’s great! I went out to see the team in Fukuoka and though it was too bad about the result it was great seeing you in action ♪ BTW, you looked great in that yukata ♪
    You have a wonderful smile and you’re the reason why I’ve come to cheer on Lotte.
    I’m a supporter living in Fukuoka and will be going to the Yahoo Dome in May to cheer you on!
    I am really curious to know what that bank commercial was all about. I doubt they’ll show it here in Kyushu. That’s too bad!)

  8. etsu さんのコメント: (etsu says):




    (Nice to meet you. I always enjoy reading your blog.
    I really love seeing that beaming smile of yours.

    You looked particularly cool in those outfits when you filmed the commercial. I want to see it soon.

    Last year I got married and moved to Chiba and I live near the Stadium so I hope to get out and see many games. The thing is that I am pregnant now and I wonder if I can go!?)
    My older brother is also Lotte fan and the other day he sent me a Lotte calendar. I was so happy. I am looking forward to going to Marines Stadium with my husband and brother to spend a great time there.

    I am always cheering for you! Here’s to great players and a great manager! Ganbatte kudasai!)

  9. KURT HESTER さんのコメント: (KURT HESTER says):

    Dear Coach

    I met you just prior to us winning the 1997 College World Series at LSU. Skip introduced us and we spoke about the lack of power in baseball. By the way I was the Strength Coach, I forgot to mention that. With the drug problem in the Major League players will have to actually work in the off-season instead of relying on enhancing drugs. I proved that you can train for power at LSU when we set the collegiate national record with 2008 homeruns in a season. I have a different approach to training athletes for baseball and don’t agree with any training philosophies of MLB strength coaches. I know you believe their is a better way to manage baseball and I believe their is a better way to train baseball athletes. Never change your way of thinking.

    Kurt Hester

  10. 猿 Monkey さんのコメント: (猿 Monkey says):


    (Looks like both Yabuta and Fujita developed quite a bit at the WBC.
    In particular, I think that hurler Yabuta has shown much growth. His splitter is definitely his trump card. I think it is really hard for clean up batters to hit it.)

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