Coach Kim Minjae (51), who left his beloved SSG Landers and headed to coach Kim Taehyung’s Lotte Giants, expressed both regret and anticipation.
Coach Kim, who started his career as a player at Lotte in 1991, played for Lotte for 11 years, then played for SK Wyverns (now SSG) and Hanwha Eagles before retiring in 2010.
Afterwards, he began his coaching career at Hanwha and wore the uniforms of several teams, including Doosan, KT Wiz, Lotte, and SSG.
Last season, as the head coach of SSG, he helped coach Won-Hyung Kim and contributed to the wire-to-wire integrated championship. In recognition of this achievement, he also went to the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) as a coach.
This season, he worked as a bench coach and third base running/operations coach, but on the 25th, in the third game of the semi-playoffs against the NC Dinos, SSG lost 6-7, and as soon as the series ended with three consecutive losses, Coach Kim announced that he was leaving to become Lotte’s head coach. A report came out. Afterwards, he himself admitted this.
Coach Kim, who was contacted by News 1 on the 27th, was on his way to Busan after getting his affairs in order in Incheon. First of all, he expressed both gratitude and apology toward SSG.
Coach Kim said, “I had many experiences in a good team called SSG. There were many good coaching staff, including coach Won-hyung Kim and coach Won-woo Cho, and the club employees were also good. In particular, it was a great source of pride to experience winning the Wire-to-Wire Championship last year.”
He continued, “I feel heavy about leaving the team as SSG unfortunately ended the season in the semi-playoffs. I also expressed my apologies to coach Won-hyung Kim. We had a hard time with many injuries during the pennant race, but we performed well at the end and rose to third place. “But it’s disappointing that we couldn’t beat the NC Dinos.”
Coach Kim also said, “I got along well with senior players such as (Chu) Shin-soo and (Kim) Kang Min-i, but I think I will continue to catch the eye of young fielders such as (Park) Seong-han and (Choi) Ji-hoon who I have been training with.” “They have had ups and downs this year, but I think they are in the process of becoming bigger players. I will continue to support them,” he added.
The past is regrettable, but a new tomorrow awaits Coach Kim. Coach Kim, who assisted coach Kim Tae-hyung at Doosan for two years starting in 2019, will assist coach Kim again after four seasons. It is even more meaningful because that team is Lotte.
Coach Kim said, “I received an offer from coach Kim Tae-hyung during the semi-playoffs and thought about it a lot. In addition to my relationship with the coach, the fact that the team was Lotte also played a role in my decision. I guess it’s my hometown team, right?”
He continued, “Compared to when I was at Lotte, the team seems to have changed a lot and the roads in Busan have also changed a lot. That’s why I feel completely new,” he said, adding, “I want to put past regrets behind me and experience a new baseball game at Lotte again.” .토토사이트
Director Kim Tae-hyung is called a charismatic leader. He has a strong external appearance, making it difficult for players to approach him. Coach Kim, who knows this well, tries to serve as a bridge between the players and the coach.
Coach Kim said, “The Lotte players are probably very nervous. As the head coach, I will make the team atmosphere a little more mellow,” and added, “I have a relationship with other coaches such as Joo Hyung-kwang and Kim Joo-chan, who were reported in the news but are scheduled to go to Lotte, so the coaching staff is compatible. “It will be good,” he said confidently.
Coach Kim, who had an eventful life as a leader, including being eliminated in the first round of the WBC this year and his team being eliminated early in the postseason, repeatedly expressed his regret, saying, “It was a very disappointing season in many ways. I did not change the team in a better situation, so I am not at peace.” .
Still, he expressed his excitement, saying, “Busan citizens’ love for baseball is truly famous. I will try to make Busan excited about baseball next season.”