Last week, the Red Sox made it official and hired former Chiba Lotte Marine (and Rangers and Mets) manager Bobby Valentine as their new manager. Valentine and current Mets manager Terry Collins are two of only three major league managers to have ever managed in Japan (the other being former Royals and Fighters manager Trey Hillman).
There was an interesting article on Valentine in the New York Times last week. As a Red Sox fan, I'm not sure what I think about all this. I was very sorry to see Terry Francona go, despite the epic September collapse, so I view any change with trepidation. On the other hand, it won't be a boring season with Valentine as manager. We'll see how it goes.
In honor of his hiring, I thought I'd show my favorite Japanese Bobby Valentine card (well, besides this one anyway):
Whoops, that's the front of the card (2006 BBM Marines #M90). Bobby's on the back:
I remember there being some sort of Cha-Cha contest at Chiba Marine Stadium that spring that Bobby took part in but I can't find any video of it. I did however find this:
I suspect that this is what made the Red Sox pick him over Gene Lamont. I'm hoping that they play this between innings occasionally at Fenway.