“We’re going to build a blue dynasty again.”
The Samsung Lions have begun a new era. On April 16, Samsung appointed Lee Jong-yeol as the first outsider manager in the history of the baseball team to lead the organization into the new season. “I want to focus on player development and build Samsung into a strong team that can produce sustainable results,” said Lee.
Lee’s vision is closely aligned with Samsung’s reality. Samsung has gone through a dark period in recent years. While the team has failed to qualify for the fall baseball season in seven of the last eight years, it was largely due to its ineffective approach to player development and nurturing. While the outfield has undergone a generational change, there are no new faces on the mound.안전놀이터
The bullpen is particularly problematic. The reliance on the 40-year-old Oh Seung-hwan and Woo Kyu-min remains high. In recent years, Samsung has been hoping for the growth of younger players like left-hander Lee Seung-hyun and Kim Yoon-soo, but there hasn’t been any noticeable improvement. The fact that they are still looking for a “post-Oh Seung-hwan” after such a long dark period suggests that their scouting and prospect development has been poor. There’s no avoiding the front office.
In that sense, Lee Jong-yeol’s vision of “running a team in the style of Theo Epstein” is exactly what Samsung needs right now. Theo Epstein is a former manager of the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball, where he led the team to strengthen its power through efficient management using data and a system of prospect development. He led his teams to championships through bold trades, small and medium-sized acquisitions, and internal development. This is the kind of vision Samsung needs, given its thin roster and lack of internal development.
In the upcoming winter, Samsung will undergo major changes under Lee Jong-yeol’s leadership. Not only will the scouting and development system be improved, but the roster will also be reorganized as the team vows to “focus on player development.” It will also be interesting to see what the team does in the free agency and trade market to strengthen its roster.
Theo Epstein broke the 86-year-old “Curse of the Bambino” in Boston in 2004 and led the Cubs to a World Series championship in 2016, breaking the 108-year-old “Curse of the Goat”. It will be interesting to see if Lee Jong-yeol, who has Theo Epstein as a role model, will be able to play the role of a ‘winning hitman’ at Samsung, which is going through a dark period.