Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From My Desk: Comments About The "2009 Lotte Soap Opera"

Hello all. It's been quite sometime since I've written on my blog here. I've been doing other things these days in regards to my personal health and job so there hasn't been much time for Yakyu. But I've still managed to keep up with things on the various sites and I came across this little tidbit on the Chiba Lotte Marines from Yakyu Baka. But before I talk about that, I'd like to say that Gen does a wonderful job with his site and that if he ever reads this, I'd like to personally shake his hand and thank him for all the hard work he does in bringing Yakyu to the eyes of people who can't follow the game on a regular basis.

With that being said, I feel that I'm too passive when it comes to giving my opinions about the game itself. Reporting on games alone simply isn't my style so I've decided to let my opinions on certain subjects come out and I hope to enhance discussion about Pro Yakyu itself.

Now as we all know, there has been much drama in regards to the Chiba Lotte Marines this season. They've decided to make a change in their management by not renewing the contract of American manager Bobby Valentine. Totally understandable from the team's perspective as this sort of thing happens but how they went about announcing this change was extremely unprofessional and it made the entire Chiba Marine front office look like a bunch of jackasses to be frank. By dragging Bobby Valentine's name through mud and by keeping this drama in the sports news all season long, it created a buzzkill in which the performance of the team became secondary to the status of Bobby Valentine. Now I'll admit, I didn't really like Bobby at first but after weighing the good and bad, I came to the conclusion that the good outweighs the bad when it comes to Bobby V and all he has done for Pro Yakyu. So my personal opinions about Bobby V aside, I feel that Lotte's fans have gotten the short end of the stick because of an incapable and downright stupid management group(and believe me, I know a stupid management group when I see one -coughs Yokohama coughs-).

Now naturally, Lotte's fans didn't take to the announcement kindly and they started to become more vocal with their opinions. And eventually, things got so tense that Lotte's management dropped the ball by giving their opinions about the Chiba fans by saying something along the lines of "being nothing more than Carp in a pond who will eat whatever we feed them". Honestly, I feel that this rock song pretty much sums up how the fans by the bay in Chiba are feeling these days:

Now in regards to the banners that were held up that day,while some of the content the the Lotte Ouendan presented could be seen as going too far by some people (calling for the heads of their front office members), I personally don't think so as I feel the fans should be able to say what they please as long as they don't get physical and disrupt the actual games themselves. I can see why they said what they said but fans and or entertainment seekers of all kinds have a right to express themselves when it comes to their preferred form of entertainment as they pay their hard earned money to do as they please with. As a professional sports fan (NPB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and yes MLB to an extent still), I find it very refreshing to yell at the visiting team or express myself when my team does badly. It’s part of being a fan and I think that most players will say that it’s also part of their jobs to hear what fans say on a nightly basis. Again, the fans by the bay in Chiba are rightfully fed up as they should be and I applaud them for speaking out and voicing their opinions. In a country where “being part of the group” is fostered over individualism, it’s really refreshing to hear people speak their minds and let their voices be heard, however small they may be.

As for Nishioka, I feel he was totally in the wrong not because of his opinion and thoughts (which he is entitled to) but how he presented what he thought. Funny how he speaks out on something he finds offensive and chastises the fans for “taking away from the hard work of the players“ but when the Lotte fans were gathering signatures earlier in the season and holding up massive banners saying how many said signatures were collected in order to keep Bobby V in Chiba, we never heard a peep out of him.

An old proverb came to my mind when I read this and that was: “biting the hand that feeds you". The bottom line is that Nishioka angered the very people who support the team he plays for. And by support I mean that these people buy tickets to the games, food, and Lotte merchandise, which allows Nishioka to make a living and feed his family among other things. So, what did he expect to accomplish by expressing his opinion on a public forum such as a “Hero Interview”? Not to mention the fact that it was a Marine’s victory no less. Again, Nishioka is not wrong for his opinion and thoughts (which he is entitled to), but by expressing said thoughts in a post game interview does the very thing which he spoke out against which was “taking away from from the hard work of the players” and makes him look like a hypocrite in the process as that what Lotte’s management has been doing all season long with their public comments about Bobby V. So in essence, he’s no better than Lotte’s management by saying what he said at the time in which he said it.

In closing, I’d like to send a personal message to Nishioka and that is:

If you want to express what you feel, by all means do it on your blog (if you have one) or on another forum. What you do on your own time is your business and if you had expressed such feelings during said time, I think that the fans would’ve understood and taken a bit more kindly to you. You were totally unprofessional in how you acted and came across as blowing off steam and personal frustration because of what your team’s management has put all of you through this season. I believe that you owe Lotte fans a public apology in how you treated them and you need to admit that you were wrong in the fact that what you said totally took away from the hard work that you and all of your teammates put in that day to get a victory. You have a right to your opinions and I respect that but when it comes to your job there’s only four simple words I can say to you:



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