Perhaps the most frustrated player in Japan pro baseball at present is Chiba Lotte Marines relief ace Brian Warren. With the team off to such a bad start in the 2000 Pacific League pennant race, Warren can't get into many games. As the team's closer, he's been extremely underworked, because Lotte has seldom had a lead, and there just has not been any closing to do.

Through Friday's games, the Marines were a dismal 3-17, playing .150 baseball. They're dead last in the Pa League, 10 1/2 games out of first place, and we've only just gone into Golden Week. One might say Chiba's dim pennant hopes are fading fast, and it's a major disappointment for Warren, who had looked forward to having another great season for himself and the team.

The 1999 PL Fireman of the Year logged a win and 30 saves in 49 appearances for the fourth-place Marines last year and says he had a chance to move to another Japanese team but decided to stay in Chiba.