Shin Dong-bin is the new manager desired by Lotte Giants owner. The key is to change Lotte baseball.
Coach Kim Tae-hyung, a ‘winner’ who led the Korean Series to victory for seven consecutive years, was appointed as the new head coach of the Lotte Giants. Lotte announced on the 20th, “We have appointed coach Kim Tae-hyung as the 21st head coach.” The contract period is 3 years and the total amount is 2.4 billion won (600 million won down payment, 600 million won annual salary).
He is a famous general who has received the most attention among the figures currently in the military. New coach Kim Tae-hyung graduated from Shinil High School and Dankook University, joined the OB Bears in 1990, and continued his career as a player until 2001. His position was catcher, and in 827 professional games, he batted .235 with 9 home runs and 157 RBIs. He wasn’t bad at offense, but he was evaluated as a player with better defense.
His presence as a leader was even greater. Immediately after his retirement, he served as a battery coach for the Doosan Bears and SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers). He started his first managerial career at Doosan in 2015 and led it for eight years. During this period, Doosan advanced to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years and reached the top three times. As a coach, he achieved 645 wins, 19 draws, and 485 losses (winning percentage of 0.571) in 1,149 regular season games.
He has the most wins among the 10 active coaches and the most experience in advancing to the Korean Series. Under coach Kim Tae-hyung, Doosan had a strong enough team to be called a dynasty, but there were also seasons when its power weakened during the generational change. However, coach Kim Tae-hyung brought the team to the PS with his unique leadership and charisma, and even in short-term games, he showed his competitive nature and raised Doosan to the highest stage.
The background to coach Kim Tae-hyung’s appointment to Lotte is also the same. A Lotte official said, “This was the appointment that owner Shin Dong-bin (Lotte Group Chairman) wanted,” adding, “Owner Shin Dong-bin wanted to appoint a coach who has the leadership to lead Lotte baseball and who can improve both the team’s power and performance while playing winning baseball.” “I did it,” he explained.
In addition, a Lotte official said, “At the same time, there was a desire to bring in someone who is experienced in rebuilding the team and nurturing new players.” He added, “Since August, the club has been continuously looking for the right person for the next manager internally, and the new Kim Tae-hyung was appointed. “The director thought he was the most suitable person, so we brought him in,” he explained.
In fact, Lotte moved quickly to appoint a manager. I contacted Director Kim once earlier this month, and exchanged opinions again this week. Next, Lotte Giants CEO Lee Kang-hoon met with coach Kim Tae-hyung in person in Seoul on the morning of the 20th and signed the contract. After rumors of his appointment were reported, he moved quickly to finalize the contract.
Lotte fans have been welcoming since coach Kim Tae-hyung’s appointment was announced. In particular, expectations are high as Lotte is virtually the first ‘winning contractor’ brought in from outside.
In the past, Lotte has had a total of 20 coaches, but the average term of office was less than two years.
In particular, past Lotte head coaches were criticized for insisting on the ‘pure-bloodism’ of those from the club and region. In addition, the criticism that he was drifting without a philosophy following former manager Royster’s ‘No Fear’ baseball followed like a tag.
Since former coach Jerry Royster left the club without renewing his contract for the 2010 season due to poor performance after completing his contract for three seasons, it has been difficult for Lotte coaches to properly fill out the remaining term.
Former coach Yang Seung-ho led Lotte to second place in the 2011 regular season and advanced to the postseason the following year. However, he was dismissed after corruption in the academy entrance exam during his time as Korea University coach came to light. Former coach Kim Si-jin took the helm at Lotte in 2013, but resigned after two years without completing the remainder of his term due to poor performance.
Former coach Lee Jong-woon signed a three-year contract with Lotte in 2015, but was fired after one season after finishing in 8th place in the first year. Former Lotte coach Cho Won-woo, who also received the baton, finished in 8th place in 2016, but finished 3rd in the 2017 regular season. However, it was painful to be upset by NC Dinos in the semi-playoffs. Former coach Won-Woo Cho renewed his contract for three years after the end of the season, but was fired after finishing in 7th place in 2018.
In 2019, coach Yang Sang-moon took the reins of Lotte again after 2004-2005 and returned as the head coach, but he was eventually dismissed without even completing a season as the rankings fell to the bottom in the first half of the year. Afterwards, former coach Heo Moon-hoe signed a three-year contract after the end of the season, but after finishing in 7th place in the 2020 season, he was fired after finishing in last place until mid-May in the 2021 season. It was former coach Sutton who took over after former coach Heo Moon-hoe stepped down.
Most of them were from Lotte or were first-time directors with ties to Lotte. In the end, they went through the trial and error of a novice manager, and the team’s direction seemed to be drifting. But now Lotte’s direction is clear. It appears that the team is being led by a ‘master general’ rather than a ‘beginner manager’.
New manager Kim Tae-hyung said, “I am well aware of the weight of being the manager of Lotte. I would like to thank Lotte fans and club owner Shin Dong-bin for choosing coach Kim Tae-hyung. He emphasized, “I will repay the expectations of fans who have waited for a long time and achieve results.”