Coach Kim Tae-hyung (pictured), who was appointed as the new head coach of the professional baseball Lotte Giants, emphasized ‘strong leadership’ in a phone call with International Newspaper on the 22nd. On the 20th, Lotte Club signed a three-year contract with manager Kim Tae-hyung worth a total of 2.4 billion won (down payment and annual salary of 600 million won each).
With the appointment of coach Kim Tae-hyung, a ‘master’ who set a record of advancing to the Korean Series for 7 consecutive seasons during his time at Doosan, the expectations of Busan citizens are higher than ever.
Director Kim was also well aware of these expectations. He said, “My name was mentioned a lot even before the coach was appointed, and while I am thankful to Lotte fans, I also feel burdened. Lotte is a team with plenty of potential, so I will work well with the players and try to improve their performance as much as possible.”
Coach Kim, who led the team with strong charisma and leadership during his time at Doosan, expressed his intention to maintain the same approach at Lotte. He said, “I know there has been a lot of noise both inside and outside the club in recent years. “There were players on the team who could be the focal point, but there were almost no such people among the coaches,” he said, adding, “As I lacked the power to lead the team, I will pay the most attention and take care of this aspect.”
Coach Kim’s greatest strength is helping promising players reach their potential through training. At Lotte, Coach Kim paid attention to Na Seung-yeop, who is scheduled to be discharged from Sangmu next month. Na Seung-yeop, who wore a Lotte uniform as the 11th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 rookie draft, is active in Sangmu this season with a batting average of 0.312, 5 home runs, and 57 RBIs in 84 games. Director Kim said, “I want to see Na Seung-yeop discharged from the military soon. “He is trying to figure out what kind of games he can play in the first team,” he said. He said, “Kim Min-seok and Yoon Dong-hee had good experience in the first team this season, but they need to improve further than they are now. Long-distance hitter Han Dong-hee said, “I think it would be important to ask him how he felt this year through an interview and then give him direction.”
Coach Kim will hold an inauguration ceremony at the Lotte Hotel in Busan on the 24th and then have his first meeting with the players the next day at Sangdong Stadium in Gimhae, where the finishing camp is in progress.
With Coach Kim’s appointment, Lotte will welcome an outsider with championship experience as coach for the first time in 21 years. After hiring former coach Baek In-cheon, who led LG’s championship (1994), during the 2002 season, Lotte was criticized by fans for successively appointing ‘novice’ coaches with no winning experience in 21 years, including former coach Larry Sutton, who resigned midway through this season. .안전놀이터
Coach Kim served as the head coach of Doosan for eight years since 2015, advancing to the Korean Series for seven consecutive seasons and winning three times (2015, 2016, and 2019). For Lotte fans, they are faced with a manager they have never seen before. One Lotte fan said, “I don’t want Lotte to win right away in the first year of coach Kim Tae-hyung’s tenure. However, it is clear that Coach Kim will instill ‘winning DNA’ in a team that has been accustomed to losing,” he said. “I look forward to seeing a completely different Lotte next season.” Meanwhile, Lotte decided on this day not to renew the contracts of eight coaches, including acting manager Lee Jong-woon, Park Heung-sik, Jeon Jun-ho, Choi Kyung-cheol, Jang Tae-soo, Jeong Ho-jin, Kim Dong-han, and Ryan Long, for next season.