“Postseason is basic”
On the 20th, the Lotte Giants officially announced, “We have appointed the 21st manager Kim Tae-hyung.” The contract is for a period of three years and a total of 2.4 billion won (600 million won in down payment and 600 million won in annual salary).
Lotte, which has focused on nurturing rather than strengthening its roster in recent years, showed off its “big hand” before this season. After investing a lot of time and money in development, the team decided it was time to produce results, so they signed Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won), Noh Jin-hyuk (4 years, 5 billion won), and Han Hyun-hee (3+1 years, 4 billion won) to try to win the “winnow”.
The results were disastrous. After finishing April in sole possession of first place, Lotte maintained its good momentum, gradually building up its win-loss margin and competing for the top spot. However, a series of injuries began to take their toll, culminating in a disastrous seventh-place finish and the departure of head coach Larry Sutton due to health issues.
With Sutton’s departure in the middle of the season and the regular season ending without a new manager, interest in Lotte’s next head coach began to grow, and Kim Tae-hyung became the favorite to take over. Not surprisingly, he had a unique resume among the most recent managers to take the field.
Kim Tae-hyung joined the OB Bears in 1990 and played until 2001, then went on to become a manager. He took over as the Doosan Bears’ manager in 2015 and led the team for eight seasons. Along the way, he led the team to the Korean Series for the seventh consecutive year, the first time in the KBO, and lifted the trophy three times.먹튀검증
Kim took a year off after his contract with Doosan ended last year, but he didn’t leave baseball. Kim made his debut as a commentator for SBS Sports, showing off his quick wit. Lotte and other clubs considering a managerial change were bound to take notice of Kim’s move, and Lotte and Kim joined forces.
After Sutton’s departure, Lotte began the process of hiring a new head coach with several candidates. At the same time, Lotte’s parent company, Lotte Holdings, began to make moves. The reason for the unusual move was the will of Lotte’s chairman, Shin Dong-bin. Shin wanted someone with strong leadership skills to lead Lotte.
On the 18th, CEO Lee Kang-hoon personally met with Kim Tae-hyung to convey his intention to sign him. Two days later, on the morning of the 20th, Lee Kang-hoon and Kim Tae-hyung met in person to sign a contract, and the “Lotte Tae-hyung” rumor finally became a reality.
When contacted by ‘My Daily’ after the news of his signing with Lotte broke, Kim Tae-hyung said, “I’ve been seeing a doctor since the beginning of October, but it was only in the last few days that it became official.” “There were a lot of articles from the summer, but there were only reports. From the club’s point of view, there is a story that it is ‘bad’ if too many articles appear, but I am grateful for the opportunity.” He chuckled.
His return to the field a year after laying down the baton is certainly significant. Lotte is not the only team that has been eyeing Kim Tae-hyung, which means that there are many teams that highly value his capabilities. “I’ve been away for a year, but it doesn’t mean that I want to coach,” he said.
He continued, “You have to make the most of any opportunity that comes your way. Lotte is no different. They chose me because they expect me to do better than I am doing now, and they expect me to go in a better direction. That’s why I have a lot of responsibility,” he said.
What was Lotte like as an opponent when he was the head coach of Doosan and as a third-party commentator? Kim Tae-hyung said, “When I was commentating, they were so good at the beginning of the season that I thought, ‘We just need to manage them well.’ However, we were unable to keep the good momentum going,” he said, adding, “We need to think of the postseason as going back to the basics.”
Lee Dae-ho and Kim Tae-hyung, managers of the Lotte Giants and Doosan Bears, respectively./My Daily
“I think Lotte is still in the process of rebuilding,” he said, “but there are many good players among the younger players. They lack experience, but I think they have the power to make it to the postseason. In the end, I think I will be able to judge how the team will be run when I join the team.”
After the inauguration ceremony on the 24th, Kim Tae-hyung will hold a meeting with the first and second teams on the 25th, with the participation of preliminary free agents. On the 26th, the team will begin a full-scale offseason camp to prepare for the 2024 season. The team hasn’t played in the postseason in a long time, and hasn’t won a championship since 1992, so they are starting over with a huge task.
“We have a lot of responsibility, so it’s most important to get to know the players. Through the final camp and next year’s training, we will watch the military veterans and rookies we haven’t seen before. There are a lot of players I’m curious about,” he said, adding, “I will join the team from Wednesday (25th) and start to understand the squad.”
Despite launching the KBO and beginning the club’s history, Lotte hasn’t had much success in its long history, having never lifted a regular-season championship trophy. As a result, Lotte’s manager has been dubbed the “poisoned chalice” by some. With Kim Tae-hyung leading the team with his strong charisma, many are eager to see how Lotte will change.