Bobby Valentine interviewed in the New York Times

I had the opportunity to interview Bobby Valentine, manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines, on one occasion several years ago. I found him to be an astute student of baseball, both Japanese- and American-style, and an eager promoter of the Japanese game.

Now the New York Times has featured Mr. Valentine in the “Questions for” feature in the Sunday Magazine.

The most interesting answer for me is that he confirms my suspicion for why Japanese professional baseball limits games to four hours or twelve innings: “Japan is a public-transportation society, and the trains stop running at midnight.” I always suspected that this was the case — or else there could be twenty-inning marathons that leave fans stranded at the ballpark, or alternatively, are played before crowds smaller than the number of players on the field.

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