A few things struck me in the article. One is how the fans rallied around a cause with signs and t-shirts. MetsGrrl, are you listening? The other, and bigger one, is what Bobby V. has done in Chiba.
- In his seventh season with the Marines, the charismatic Valentine has long been a fan favorite in Japan. That's not only for what he's done on the field -- the Marines won the Japan Series championship in 2005 -- but also because he's made significant progress in making Japanese baseball more fan-friendly.
Valentine's presence is felt everywhere at Chiba Marine Stadium. There is a special section of the stadium where kids can sit in the "Bobby Seats" free of charge and a street near the stadium has been renamed Valentine Way.
A lot of fans wanted to see him back with the Mets, but his fan-friendly ways would never work in the dysfunctional world of Fred and Jeff Wilpon. I don't see much coincidence in that Fred Wilpon took over as the sole owner of the Mets the same year that Bobby V. was fired (and replaced with Art Howe).