Bobby Valentine, who manages Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball, did not like World Baseball Classic, wants to see a true World Series between the best team from NPB and MLB.
The former New York Mets manager said Japanese baseball has closed the gap with the MLB, and the next logical step is a competition between the best teams from the two organizations. “Watching our guys all season and the World Series on TV, I can tell you the level of play is equal.” said Valentine. “Such a competition would be great and it’s time to do battle.”
Valentine is the only manager to manage in both World Series and Japan Series, brushed aside the World Baseball Classic. “I’m not talking about all-star exhibition games,” Valentine said. “I’m talking about two battle-proven teams who have played a season together and know how to play baseball.”
“If the people making all the big decisions in baseball don’t know the difference between all-star exhibition games and a competition between true champions, they shouldn’t be in the decision-making process to begin with.”
Valentine who managed the Mets in 2000 but got swept by Yankees, also guide Marines to finish 2nd in 1995, is the only foreigner to manage in the Japan Series and only the fifth to head a team in Nippon Professional Baseball.
“The only problem would be the unions,” said Valentine. “But they’d make a fortune from the TV. It’d be the biggest contract ever.”
Major League Baseball has never been keen on the idea. “Maybe it’s just time for our owner to make the challenge to the owner of the team that wins the World Series,” said Valentine.