“Make sure to have a fall feast in 2024″… the busiest fall of the year for ‘giants’
At the start of the 2023 KBO season, Lotte was on fire. In April, they went 14-8 with a winning percentage of 0.636, good for first place in the league. But as the season progressed, Lotte, which was originally known as “Bomde” because it was only strong in the spring, began to decline. By the end of June, the team’s coaching staff had been shuffled amid rumors of discord, and in August, head coach Larry Sutton finally stepped down. In the end, Lotte finished the season in seventh place with a record of 68 wins, 76 losses, and a .472 winning percentage.
As fall baseball begins, Lotte is busy rebuilding the team. It started with the hiring of former Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung (pictured) as manager. Kim led Doosan to seven consecutive Korean Series appearances and three championships between 2015 and 2021, establishing the “Doosan Dynasty. Lotte offered Kim a three-year contract totaling 2.4 billion won ($600,000 down payment and $600,000 annual salary), the highest for an active manager like Lee Kang-cheol, who recently re-signed with KT. The expectation is that he will change Lotte’s organization. “I am well aware of the weight of being the head coach of Lotte,” Kim said, “and I will reward the expectations of the fans who have been waiting for a long time and deliver results.”
Following the appointment, Lotte is also changing its general manager. Sung Min-kyu, who was set to lead Lotte until 2024, has stepped down due to performance responsibilities. The new head is rumored to be a Lotte alumnus with experience in both the field and front of house.
Lotte is also reorganizing its coaching staff to assist Kim. It has already decided not to re-sign Lee and eight other coaches, including Park Heung-sik, Jeon Jun-ho, and Choi Kyung-chul. It’s a planned move. There has been speculation that some of the coaches Kim worked with during his time at Doosan will join Lotte. “The issue of selecting the coaching staff is a matter that will take time, and I will continue to be busy,” Kim said after signing with Lotte. Kim hinted that he would personally select the coaching staff. 메이저놀이터