Be our Valentine: Fans back manager

Updated: May 22, 2009, 12:23 PM ET
Associated Press

CHIBA, Japan -- Bobby Valentine put the fans first in Japan, and in his moment of need, they're paying him back.

An increasing number of fans of the Chiba Lotte Marines are holding nightly vigils in support of their manager, upset at the Japanese baseball club's refusal to extend his contract beyond the end of this season.

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 -- ...

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