A Fatal Error in Process, Who’s Responsible for Lotte Lost Four Years?
In September 2019, the Lotte Giants appointed Sung Min-kyu, a former Major League Baseball scout, as their new manager. The young and fresh new manager has been trying new things, introducing cutting-edge programs with ‘process’ as the keyword.
At one point, I had high hopes that Lotte might be able to do something different because of Sung’s confident demeanor during the interview. However, in retrospect, it was just an illusion. Four years later, I would like to ask what has been done and what is the effectiveness of the process?
Lotte had a catcher shortage after Kang Min-ho moved to Samsung. When Lee Ji-young and Kim Tae-gun were in the free agent market, we offered them contract terms and gave them 48 hours to respond. In the end, the negotiations broke down. It’s not a death sentence for a player, but I wondered if it was proper negotiation to give them a time limit to respond. As it turns out, the terms offered to Lee Ji-young and Kim Tae-gun were not very good.
Instead of Lee Ji-young and Kim Tae-gun, Lotte offered to trade Ji Ji-wan to bolster the infield. This is not to disparage Ji Ji-wan, but it has already been determined that he is not a first-team player in terms of skill. In particular, as a catcher, he had a clear weakness in throwing and was not favored by pitchers due to his lack of blocking ability. As expected, the signing didn’t work out.
A few years later, two big catchers, Park Dong-won and Yoo Kang-nam, became available in free agency. The general consensus in the baseball world was that Park was the better of the two, but Lotte chose differently. It paid Yoo Kang-nam a total of 8 billion won over four years. LG signed Park Dong-won to a free agent contract for 6.5 billion won. Based on performance alone, LG made the right choice. If they had signed Lee Ji-young or Kim Tae-gun, they would have gotten the best of both worlds: performance and cost savings.
Lotte brought in coaches who had been given no-contract notices by other clubs after Sung Min-kyu took over. In a way, it was a case of saving face. The team atmosphere would have been better if Lotte had hired coaches who had played for Lotte in the past and really loved the organization. As it was, 온라인카지노 there were more people walking a tightrope with the dream of prolonging their lives than bonding to achieve team results.
All of the cutting-edge systems that he had advocated at the beginning of his tenure were also not in place. Instead of taking a step forward, they took a step backward. In this way, Sung’s process ended not with success but with fatal errors.
Lotte has announced that it has hired a new coach, Kim Tae-hyung, and is searching for the next head coach. We don’t know who the new head coach will be, but we can only hope they don’t repeat their mistakes. By the way, who should be responsible for Lotte’s lost four years?
Tae-in Chae made his KBO debut in 2007 as an overseas special assignment and played for Samsung, Nexen, Lotte, and SK. In his career, he played in 1241 games, batting .299 with 1162 hits, 127 home runs, 678 RBIs, and 481 runs scored. After retiring from the game, he became an amateur coach and now runs his own baseball school in Busan.