The regular season isn’t quite over yet, but teams that have been eliminated from the postseason are starting to overwinter. It’s early to start rebuilding for next year. Samsung has named a new head coach, Lee Jong-yeol, and Lotte is in the process of hiring a new head coach. Lotte is not expected to name a new coach until October. However, will they be able to hire their “No. 1 pick” as soon as they want?
Lotte’s offseason planning is already underway as the regular season ended on April 16 against Daejeon Hanwha. The team went 68-76 (.472 winning percentage) and finished in seventh place this year, missing fall baseball for the sixth straight year.
A nine-game winning streak in late April put them in a three-way tie with the LG Twins and SSG Landers by mid-June. However, the team then suffered a series of injuries that were not well managed. Poor performances from foreign players (Dan Streeley) and injuries (Jack Rex) also caused Lotte to lose momentum. Eventually, as the summer wore on, the team ran out of steam, and the bullpen, which had kept the team afloat, ran out of steam, and the team had to face the fate of fall baseball failure again. Now, Lotte recognizes that it needs to shake things up in some way.
The first priority is to hire a manager, a position that became vacant when Larry Sutton resigned for health reasons in late August. Lee Jong-woon led the team for the remainder of the season, going 18-18 in 36 games.
Jong-woon Lee cleaned up the mess after Sutton’s resignation and kept the team competing in fall baseball until the last minute, but he is unlikely to be named head coach. The club’s idea is to prepare for the 2024 season with a new manager. On the afternoon of the 16th, it was reported that the team had hired former Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung, who serves as a commentator for SBS Sports, but Lotte has denied this. The official position is that there has been no meeting with Kim Tae-hyung yet.
However, there is a general consensus within the club that the process of hiring a new coach will not take longer than October. The influence of Lotte’s parent company, Lotte Holdings, is stronger than before. Nothing can be decided without the choice and approval of its chairman, Shin Dong-bin. Of course, in the past, Shin Dong-bin has always made major decisions for the club.
Former coach Kim Tae-hyung is the most likely candidate for the job. He has been in charge of Doosan since 2015 and has a track record of success, having led the team to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years. In particular, Kim Tae-hyung’s Doosan team was in a difficult situation with its parent organization at the time. The team had developed a number of promising young players into core resources. However, the lack of support from the parent organization led to the departure of internal free agents. By the time Kim’s contract expires in 2022, the team’s strength has weakened significantly. He leaves behind a career record of 645 wins, 485 losses, 19 draws, and a .571 winning percentage in 1149 regular-season games. 먹튀검증
Kim Tae-hyung is a charismatic former manager. This is the type of manager Lotte hasn’t chosen in the past, and it shows that Lotte is willing to change. Even those around Lotte are saying that the charismatic leadership of Kim Tae-hyung is necessary for Lotte to change. Lotte also chose Kim Tae-hyung as the