Sapporo toasts Valentine by naming beer after him

TOKYO -- Bobby Valentine is so popular in Japan that he now has a beer named after him.

To commemorate Valentine guiding the Chiba Lotte Marines to their first Japan Series title in 31 years last month, Sapporo Breweries Ltd. has come out with BoBeer, a special version of its popular Black Label lager that's available only in Chiba.

The can features a cartoon likeness of Valentine giving a thumbs-up and saying "We're No. 1."

Valentine's Pacific League champion Marines swept the Central
League champion Hanshin Tigers in the Japan Series last month.

The Marines have offered Valentine a new three-year contract. While he has yet to sign, Valentine said Thursday he was very pleased with the terms offered. The former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager has been mentioned as a candidate for a few managerial openings in the majors.