While ESPN is reporting that Bobby Valentine (above) has ruled himself out of consideration for the Los Angeles and Tampa Bay managerial openings, Valentine’s Chiba Lotte Marines have won the first game of the 2005 Japan Series under unusual circumstances. From the Yomiuri Times’ Jim Allen.

Chiba Lotte Marines pitcher Naoyuki Shimizu put the Hanshin Tigers in a fog, and a pea soup coming off Tokyo Bay put the Marines in the win column on Saturday in Game 1 of the Japan Series.

In the first game in Series history to be called because of fog, Shimizu went the distance as the Pacific League champs beat the Central League pennant winners 10-1 in seven innings at Chiba Marine Stadium.

“I have never seen a fog out,” Marines manager Bobby Valentine said. “I have seen snow outs and once in the minors we had a [game called because of a] sand storm.”

The Marines banged out four homers, including shots by Tomoya Satozaki and Benny Agbayani in the seventh inning, just before umpires cleared the field. After a 34-minute delay, the umpires called the game.

The weather came too late to save the Tigers from Shimizu and 22-year-old Marines star Toshiaki Imae, who had four hits including a first-inning homer and twice drove in runs that put his team in front.

Shimizu walked the first man he faced to start the game but escaped the first inning unscored upon. He allowed a run on five hits, while striking out six.

“He pitched like the champion he is,” Valentine said. “He had some runners on base and had to make some great pitches and he did.”