• The Associated Press


The season hasn’t even started yet and Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine is already getting hot under the collar.

The former New York Mets manager, known for his fiery temper, got into a heated exchange Tuesday with Orix BlueWave manager Haruki Ihara in the seventh inning of Lotte’s 2-1 preseason loss at Chiba Marine Stadium.

According to the Nikkan Sports newspaper, Valentine used language “unsuitable for publication,” to express his displeasure over Ihara’s decision to manage the game from the third base coach’s box, something which the former Seibu Lions skipper does on a regular basis.

In addition to the foul language, Valentine reportedly told Ihara to “Get out of there,” and “Hurry up.”

Ihara responded by telling Valentine to “Speak Japanese.”

After the game, Valentine told reporters that Ihara is just trying to get attention and that his presence in the third base coach’s box puts pressure on his pitchers.

Valentine, who guided the Marines to a second-place finish in 1995 — the team’s best finish in the past 19 years — is back for his second stint with the Pacific League team.

According to Nikkan Sports, Valentine holds the major league single-season record for the most ejections after he was thrown out 18 times in 1985 as manager of the Texas Rangers. Valentine was not ejected from Tuesday’s game.

Giant HR for Tuffy

CHIBA (Kyodo) Tuffy Rhodes hit a game-tying solo shot for his first home run since signing with the Yomiuri Giants last December as the visitors came from behind to overpower Satoru Komiyama and the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-1 in a preseason game Wednesday.

The left-handed Rhodes delivered southpaw Takashi Kawai’s pitch into the center field stands at Chiba Marine Stadium to ignite a four-run seventh inning before Shinnosuke Abe drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single. The game featured a total of 10 pitchers.

At Yokohama Stadium, Daisuke Miura limited the damage to just one run over seven innings without issuing a walk for his second win in as many starts for Yokohama this spring as the BayStars beat the Orix BlueWave 4-1.

In other games the Chunichi Dragons whipped the Seibu Lions 14-5, with Motonobu Tanishige hitting a grand slam off Mitsutaka Goto; the Hanshin Tigers beat the Hiroshima Carp 9-0; the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks tied with the Yakult Swallows 5-5; and the Nippon Ham Fighters edged the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 14-13.

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