Amid the disastrous result of failing to advance to the postseason for six consecutive years, the Lotte Giants are embarking on a major reorganization. First, we centered the team and appointed a commander to lead it. This is the ‘master’ director Kim Tae-hyung.메이저놀이터
Lotte announced on the 20th, “We have appointed the 21st coach Kim Tae-hyung,” adding, “The contract period is three years and a total of 2.4 billion won (down payment of 600 million won, annual salary of 600 million won) has been signed.”
Lotte, which had never been to the postseason stage since 2017, set out to strengthen its power with bigger goals as well as fall baseball. Lotte is the first club to sign a non-FA multi-year contract with Park Se-woong for a total of 9 billion won over 5 years, followed by 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). recruited.
Lotte, which achieved notable reinforcements, had a strong start to the season. Lotte got off to a good start by finishing April in first place. But I couldn’t rest assured. Last year, Lotte finished in sole second place in April, but its performance began to decline in May, and it was remembered that it never made it to the postseason stage. But this year was a little different.
Lotte continued its good trend in May, competing for the top spot with the LG Twins and SSG Landers and making strides toward advancing to the postseason. But last year’s nightmare repeated itself. Injuries began in June, and the team began to decline, and in the second half of the year, when there was a fierce battle for ranking, coach Larry Sutton had to step down due to health issues.
The reason Lotte’s performance plummeted wasn’t just because of injuries. Not only did the performance of players recruited as free agents fall below expectations, but it was also too late to replace foreign players who were suffering from injuries and poor performance. In the end, simply watching the performance drop led to the disastrous result of failing to advance to the postseason for six consecutive years.
As the long regular season came to an end, many conversations began to emerge about Lotte’s next head coach. Among them, the person whose name was most mentioned was definitely director Kim Tae-hyung. Coach Kim Tae-hyung is a ‘master’ who led the Doosan Bears to the Korean Series (KS) for 7 consecutive years as the ‘first’ in the KBO League, and in addition to Lotte, clubs with the possibility of replacing the head coach also coveted him.
In particular, on the 16th, one media outlet reported that Lotte had appointed coach Kim Tae-hyung as the new head coach. Lotte began looking for a new head coach right after Coach Sutton resigned (August), but a Lotte official said, “Nothing has been decided. A consultation process with (Lotte) holdings is also necessary. And CEO Lee Kang-hoon has never met coach Kim Tae-hyung. He stated his position, “There is none.” It is true that he was the most likely to be the new head coach, but they had never met and nothing had been decided.
So, when did Lotte meet with coach Kim Tae-hyung and sign the contract? According to Lotte officials, manager Kim Tae-hyung met with CEO Lee Kang-hoon in Seoul and signed the final contract. On the 16th, they were busy trying to sign a contract with coach Kim Tae-hyung, whom they had not even met. Everything went smoothly.
A Lotte official said, “Since August, we have been communicating a lot with the group (Lotte Holdings) about who the right candidate is. We are not just giving up. We have listed many candidates and prepared. When the article came out, we were ready. “It was a process. And today, director Kim Tae-hyung and the CEO met and it was confirmed,” he explained.
Lotte has been operating with the philosophy of not entrusting the baton to a novice head coach, but owner Shin Dong-bin’s ‘intention’ played a large role in the background of appointing coach Kim Tae-hyung as the 21st head coach. Club owner Shin Dong-bin wanted Lotte to be led by someone who could maximize the capabilities of the players based on strong leadership.
A Lotte official said, “Owner Shin Dong-bin has a lot of love for the baseball team. The owner improves the team’s performance based on strong leadership and winning spirit, and understands the strengths and weaknesses of each player within the team, making the team more motivated. “He wanted someone who could become Buyeo to be the director. CEO Lee Kang-hoon knew this very well, so he appointed director Kim Tae-hyung,” he said.
It is clear what Lotte wants from coach Kim Tae-hyung. As we have spared no investment both materially and spiritually in the process of recruiting free agent resources ahead of this season, we hope to be reborn as a strong team that consistently advances to the postseason stage. First, coach Kim Tae-hyung plans to hold an inauguration ceremony on the 24th and hold a meeting with first- and second-tier players, including prospective free agents, on the 25th before leading Lotte in earnest.
With a person who fits the ideal that team owner Shin Dong-bin strongly hoped for will take the helm, it remains to be seen what kind of team Lotte can become.