Lotte, where abnormality is customary, how will things go after this season?
- on Aug 30, 2023
What will the Lotte Giants look like after this season ends?
On the 28th, Lotte manager Larry Sutton voluntarily resigned due to health reasons. Lotte will play the remainder of the season under the acting manager system of head coach Lee Jong-woon.
Coach Sutton’s resignation is in fact half voluntary and half involuntary. It is true that he was under extreme stress due to the poor performance of the team, but it is said that the pressure from the club also worked. The coaching staff’s mutiny in June and the coaching staff’s reorganization seemed to narrow Sutton’s position. In addition to grades, it seems that Sutton was under a lot of stress due to the pressure from the club’s high-ranking officials.
Lotte, driven to the brink, decided to entrust the temporary baton to the head coach to find a breakthrough. This is the usual procedure when his manager resigns. An ironic situation occurred in the process.
Acting coach Lee Jong-woon led the team eight years ago as an official Lotte command tower, but resigned after one year. A graduate of Gyeongnam High School-Lotte, he took the helm with a three-year contract at the end of October 2014, but was sacked after one year amid a sluggish 8th place (0.462) in his first season. Acting coach Lee later went through SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers) Futures (2nd division) league coach and returned to Lotte 2nd division command tower this year. It is not uncommon for the 1st team command tower to return to the 2nd team coach after several years. In other words, he asked the former coach, who had been hardened once, to ‘reorganize’ the messy team situation.
It is unusual to bring back a leader who has been dismissed for poor grades or other reasons and to entrust him with acting supervision. Whether it is a past choice or a current choice, one of the two can be interpreted as wrong. There was a precedent in the early days of the KBO League, but it is a look that is rarely seen recently.
In Lotte, such abnormal situations often occur. Former manager Kang Byeong-cheol held the baton for Lotte three times. Coach Yang Sang-moon also served as the Lotte command tower in 2004-05, then returned to his parent team again in 2019 with a two-year contract. An official from the club said, “There was no other option other than the appointment of acting manager Lee Jong-woon.”
The first year team Lotte has so far appointed a total of 20 official directors (including more than plural). After coach Jerry Royster stepped down from 2008 to 2010, the only coach who has filled the contract period is Cho Won-woo. Even after leading to the postseason in 2017, he signed a new contract for 3 years, but resigned after a year after finishing in 7th place (0.479 win rate) in 2018. In addition, since 2010, coaches Yang Seung-ho, Kim Si-jin, Lee Jong-woon, Yang Sang-moon, Heo Mun-hoe, and Sutton packed their bags early amid poor performance.
As of the 28th, Lotte has 38 remaining games left. Many changes are expected after the end of this season, depending on the performance of acting manager Lee Jong-woon for the remainder of the season. 안전놀이터
It is expected to have a big impact on the leader’s future. General Manager Seong Min-kyu renewed the contract last year after the expiration of the three-year contract. General Manager Seong is planning the future by drawing a lot of excellent resources from the rookie draft. However, the direct achievements he has shown so far are below expectations. He said that the two commanding towers (Heo Mun-hoe and Sutton), whom he had personally selected, resigned in disgrace, and in the process, he was criticized. Signing of a free agent (FA) and trade has not led to results. So rumors about the leader’s whereabouts have been steady throughout this season.
Lotte, which last won the Korean Series in 1992, has not experienced fall baseball for the longest period among the 10 clubs. All of this is Lotte’s cold reality, repeated like ‘abnormality is custom’.