(April 22) Hi everyone. I'm calling in from beautiful Sapporo where we had a very tough game today after losing one yesterday and we showed our true guts in winning a 3-2 game against a hometown Nippon Ham team. Ono was terrific. Yabuta and Kobayashi closed it out to do a great job to support the hitting of Satozaki driving in 2 runs and Benny driving in one run. This also helped us to not be discouraged by the fact that many of our line drives were caught.

Being in here Sapporo gives me pause to appreciate the diversity of this small country of Japan. It's the end of April and there's still snow on the ground, the mountain tops are snowcapped, and it is still very cold here. Hokkaido is very hearty country and has wonderful food and a very strong population – people who care about their community and have a different way of live because they have to battle the cold 8 or 9 months out of the year. It sure is beautiful here though and I liken very much to the Northeast of the US. It is probably a little colder than Connecticut – perhaps more like Maine – but the flowers and trees and beauty of the landscape is really breathtaking.

After the game I had a great dinner with all of the young players, everyone with 2 or less years at the professional level. The photos will show that Uchi, Nishioka, Imae, Aono, Tsuji, along with Kubo, Kawasaki, Watanabe, Heiuchi, and Ohmatsu were all present. We had a wonderful dinner and talked about many things including how their earning years are over the next twenty or so, that money is very important and should be managed well, and that they must enjoy their playing careers. Though it is great to spend money on luxuries and have fun, they should also think about their post-career futures, invest and plan for the long term. When their earning years are over they can then have a comfortable life and not struggle like so many ex-ballplayers have experienced both in the US and here in Japan.

I reminded them that the player's union here in Japan is not the same as it is in the US and it does not provide the type of pension and support that the US unions do for theirs. We had a grand time eating and drinking. Some of the players, Nishioka, Imae, and Kawasaki do not drink alcohol, however, but they did have tea. But we all participated in a toast – a kanpai – I made to all of them; congratulating Nishioka and Imae on their first WBC championship, Kubo on his great season last year and first victory this year, and Ohmatsu on his first major league homerun this year (ichi-gun no homerun), Aono on his first RBI, as well as Tsuji's ichigun, and Kawasaki and Uchi on their fine pitching at the ichi-gun level, and Watanabe and Heiuchi on their fine play during the season thus far. It was a long toast and I tried to do it all in Japanese and I think the guys understood everything I was trying to say. It was fun.

Now we are back home for two series that I think will be good. The weather is warming up. We have Hiroyuki Kobayashi back with us for the first time to pitch and I am sure we will be energized by our great fans. The fans have not been at our home ballpark much in the great numbers we used to last year because of the cold weather we have been having but now that things are expected to warm up hopefully it will be better.

Take care and talk to you soon.


P.S. Oh, by the way, check out these pics from an off-day event of mine where I got to watch the filming of a DEEN music video that was shot from the roof of the Plena Building in Kaihin Makuhari with the backdrop being the WBG Building where the Marines' offices are in and where the Gold's Gym that I work out at is. It was a very well planned event. Shu, Koji, and Shinji were all there performing there in front of the camera. The crew putting together the promotional video was very nice and very professional. BMG Japan is producing the video and I am sure it will come out looking wonderfully. I love the creative aspect that I see on an everyday basis more and more here in Japan.

Dinner with the young players コメント数:19 (19 Comments)

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  1. cats-auh さんのコメント: (cats-auh says):

    Hello Boby!!

    I went to cheer to Marine stadium yesterday.
    Nice victory!! & your baton& Hiroyuki’s pitching !!

    I ‘m so glad . team ’s atmoshere seems going up.

    I think baseball ’s most important think is team work.

    Please keep to become one for one and only dream for us

    Fight marines!!

  2. pure さんのコメント: (pure says):



    (Hello Bobby!

    So, you got to see the DEEN promotional video shoot. Being on that building under the blue skies must have been a gret feeling. What a phenomenal and great time that must have been.
    And it being filmed in Makuhari…on your off day…talk about good luck and timing.
    The guys from DEEN must be pretty excited and happy to have you in the video.
    Looks like you and DEEN are really close.
    I hope that DEEN can come back soon to Marines Stadium to cheer on the team.)

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


    (Hello Bobby. I saw the pics of you with the young players and with Nishioka on his web site too.
    You certainly seemed to have a meaningful talk over dinner with them!
    Having the young players do their best on the team is a huge plus and I am really happy to cheer them on. (^−^)
    I have been to Hokkaido twice and I must say the food is very good.
    And if we’re talking winter it must be crab!)

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


    (Hello Kantoku. Congratulations on those back-to-back night game shutouts and getting to .500. In particular, last night was the first time in a long while that the shutout was so thorough. I wasb able to enjoy a rousing win with the others! Now I believe that the veterans and new guys have finally come together. Golden Week is the “Savings Series” and I plan on brining my whole family to check out a game so definitely please do your best.)

  5. chi-ko さんのコメント: (chi-ko says):





    from chi-ko

    (Hello Kantoku!
    I am happy to see those photos of the DEEN video shoot♪
    Tagawa-san said that when you showed up for the shoot the weather finally cleared!
    You are the bearer of sunshine (≧▽≦)

    And, just as I have always known, you really do take care of your players. You are great for showing your love of baseball, the players and the fans! The fans and team members whom you have met are certainly all the better for having gotten to know you.

    Unfortunately work and other obligations keep me from going to the stadium to root for you guys at the games. But my feelings are just as strong as those that do go there! I cheer with the same energy and vigor. Right now it is impossible for me but one day I truly hope to make it out to see a game!

    I’ll be back (^^)/

    From chi-ko)

  6. tomoko さんのコメント: (tomoko says):


    (Hello Bobby. And congratulations to you on getting the Marines over .500. From the games I have been seeing recently I can see that each and everyone is really doing a great job. Even if they mess up once, they quickly recover and put in a good play. Has the team finally come together?
    You really have consideration for others and think about them and their well-being. I always feel that way when I read your blog!
    Thanks so much for showing those pics of the promotional video shoot.
    What did you guys talk about up there?
    And like last year I am really excited about being out there in the right field stand with the other Marines supporters and singing tunes like “Lover Mari” and “Diamond” with DEEN.)
    Please see if you can arrange it! (Just kidding)
    Have a nice game tomorrow!)

  7. とまりん Tomarine さんのコメント: (とまりん Tomarine says):




    (I had been waiting for yesterday’s game for a long time and seeng Kobayashi return to great form and pitch a shutout was the best feeling ever!

    Of course I continue to want to see the veteran players do well, but I must say I have high hopes for these young players. I could really sense the feeling from your blog about the dinner. In particular I am very much rooting for pitcher Uchi and fielders Ohmatsu and Aono.
    And on eastern I have my eye on Takehara.

    We finally have crossed into .500 territory and now I can start increasing my savings!)

  8. mayumi さんのコメント: (mayumi says):

    Hi, Bobby,

    It is always exciting to see the Marines’ games and your site is very enjoyable, which gives me your personal warmth.
    Since you, your players, your organization and the great fans brought me the new waves for enjoying the ball game, I have become a big fan of you. Since this season started, I have come to the stadium 5 times in which you lost 4. But finally, I got a chance to see the victory with Hiroyuki’s perfect pitch. I am coming to the stadium to be a banana with my little nephew on Saturday. Hope you and your players will have a great game! Thank you for taking care of us.

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


  10. TAKA さんのコメント: (TAKA says):


    (Nice to meet you, Bobby. I saw the Lotte game on Gyao. Looks like we’re back to .500 and now it really starts to count. Please do your best. I am hoping and praying for great results.)

  11. はたぼう。 Hatabo さんのコメント: (はたぼう。 Hatabo says):


    (Good evening, Bobby.
    I went to see the two games against Orix. And I plan on seeing the games against Rakuten♪
    Going out with the young players to dinner looked like lots of fun. Speaking in Japanese, I am sure that the players took what you had to say to heart. I am really looking forward to seeing these youngsters play now even more so!
    Thanks for that story about DEEN! I heard that your name was mentioned back in January when you were at the DEEN concert and were showered with praise! I am looking forward to seeing the completed promotional video♪
    I hope to see DEEN perform at Marines Stadium again.

  12. yoko さんのコメント: (yoko says):



    そのラインナップに『DEEN ダイヤモンド』カクテルなんてあったら嬉しいなって思います。

    (I got the feeling that you are like “Dad” to the other players (LOL)

    So, you got to see the filming of the DEEN promotional video. Looks like there was some fancy footwork going on there. Maybe this is not the place to write this, but in his diary Tagawa-san (Shinji-san) wrote, “Bobby came by to watch us film the video. At that moment we started to get some great, sunny weather and it was just wonderful.” That is what he wrote to his fans. To us DEEN fans I think it is wonderful to have you doing things with the members of the group and also telling us about it. ♪

    By the way, I’d really like to give that cocktail of yours at Marine Stadium a try. I’ll be going to Marines Stadium in May and I’m thinking of trying the “Johnetsu” (Passion) cocktail. If in addition to that there was also a “DEEN Diamond” cocktail that would also be great. You think you might be able to make one?)

  13. マリーンズ大好き I love Marines さんのコメント: (マリーンズ大好き I love Marines says):


    (This is my first time to leave a comment! I live in Kyoto and can’t make it out all the way to Marines Stadium to catch games but I plan on going to see the Interleague game on the 9th of May.
    I will be the one against the Hanshin Tigers! And of course I will be there cheering for Lotte♪
    Great to see the team pulling together and working more cohesively. Its a great thing!
    One day I want to make it out to see a game at Marines Stadium!
    Keep bringing in the wins and improving the win record!)

  14. mayu さんのコメント: (mayu says):

    hello bobby!! i’m a big fan of chiba lotte marines!!! i’m a high school student (girl) ;-)

    thank you for exciting games!!! i really like watching games of marines:-)

    sounds great that you had a wonderful dinner with young players!! i watched the picture that you had taken with nishioka in nishioka’s website. it made me really happy!! also all the pictures in your website are awesome!!! you are loved by everyone!!!

    i expect marines to win this year again!!! i aslways cheer you up!!!


  15. よん Yon さんのコメント: (よん Yon says):


    (The dinner looked like lots of fun. The other day I saw the picture of you and and Nishioka-senshu on his web site.
    Wonderful news that the team is now finally at .500. From now Lotte will really get going. If I can make it to a game during Golden Week I will.)

  16. Keiko さんのコメント: (Keiko says):

    Hello, Bobby. I’m very happy to know you like Hokkaido. I was born and brought up in Hokkaido, so I love Hokkaido! Please enjoy staying Sappro when you go to Sapporo.

    I can see you had very good time with your young players and I’m sure that they got many lessons from you. I think you are like father and teacher!

    I am planning to go to Sapporo Dome in August to watch a game against Fighters. Actually, I am considering which team I should cheer. But maybe I’ll be on your team! I’m looking forward to seein you in Sapporo!! I expect you will show us an exciting game!

    Thanks, see you later.

  17. しみしん Shimishin さんのコメント: (しみしん Shimishin says):


    (Hello Bobby. Looks like the team finally achieved good balance and is poised to continue doing well. I think the team — the young players — got a big boost from the dinner you guys had. I have been a Lotte fan for over 20 years now and I think it is just wonderful to see what has been happening with the team the last 2 years. Please continue doing what you do to make baseball as fun as possible for us fans. Finally, I have a question for you: How is Kuroki’s condition? I really believe in him and have this expectation that he will perform as a hero or savior of sorts…)

  18. Hiroaki さんのコメント: (Hiroaki says):




    (Hello Bobby!

    Looks like you are really enjoying yourself here in Japan. There are so many foreign ball players coming in and out of Japan but you seem to really savor the moment and enjoy Japan while you are here. As a Japanese that makes me happy. Please continue finding out new things about Japan and share it with us as there might be things that even we Japanese will not get to see and that you can share with us.

    For us fans you are certainly a boss that we can really respect and love!
    I hope to be there at future games to cheer you on. Take care of yourself.)

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