Exactly one year ago, in October of last year, Lotte Holding decided to capitalize its subsidiary Lotte Giants with 19 billion won .Shin Dong-bin, chairman of Lotte Group, personally attended Lee’s retirement ceremony and presented him with a ring with the number 10 on it, showing his excitement for the new Lotte. With the group’s full support, Lotte’s 2023 season was literally a yongdusami, starting with a dragon’s head and ending with a snake’s tail.
Lotte’s loss to the LG Twins on Tuesday at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul confirmed their elimination from the postseason regardless of their remaining schedule. This is their sixth consecutive fall baseball failure after finishing third in the 2017 regular season and making the semi-playoffs .Flip the calendar back a bit further, and you’ll see that in the 11 seasons between 2013 and this year, the team has only made it to the postseason once, in 2017.After not being invited to the Fall League for four consecutive years from 2013 to 2016, the team hung its head in shame for another six years from 2018 to this year.
Of the 10 current KBO clubs, Lotte is the last to have experienced the postseason. The situation is not much different from the worst “Dark Ages” in the franchise’s history, when they finished 8-8-8-8-5-7-7-7 from 2001 to 2007, missing the postseason for seven consecutive years. At the beginning of the season, Lotte gave expectations that ‘this year is different’ .They started with a “stovepipe” to prepare for the season and aggressively recruited players.
After signing 카지노사이트 ‘ace with glasses’ Park Se-woong to a long-term contract worth up to 9 billion won for five years, the team signed a trio of free agents: Yoo Kang-nam (4 years, 8 billion won), Noh Jin-hyuk (4 years, 5 billion won), and Han Hyun-hee (3+1 years, 4 billion won).Lotte lived up to expectations, finishing April on a nine-game winning streak and sitting atop the standings after 34 regular-season games.
Busan’s Sajik Stadium was packed with well over 10,000 spectators even on a weekday game, and the merchants around the ballpark screamed with joy at the influx of fans.It was a difficult climb to the top of the standings, but the fall was swift.A pitching imbalance dropped them down the standings, and by the end of June, infighting among the club’s coaching staff led to a major coaching change.
After the All-Star Game at Sajik Ballpark, the second half of the season was no different. After barely hanging on to the top five, they lost to the Gwangju Kia Tigers on July 28, dropping to sixth place, and never made it to the top five. Manager Larry Sutton was sidelined with health issues twice in August alone, and eventually handed the reins back to himself after failing to fulfill his three-year contract.
After falling to the bottom of the standings in 2019, Lotte stepped down former manager Lee Yoon-won and hired Sung Min-kyu, who previously worked as a front office executive for the Chicago Cubs in Major League Baseball. Sung introduced a number of changes to the club, but failed to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive year during his tenure .Lotte’s outlook is also bolstered by the number of prospects it has selected and developed in the rookie draft since Sung’s arrival.
Lotte had nine players on the 62-man preliminary roster for the Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) announced by the KBO in August, the most among the 10 clubs. Limited to players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999, or within their third year of professional baseball, Lotte included Jin Seung-hyun, Choi Joon-yong, Kim Jin-wook (pitchers), Lee Jung-geun and Son Sung-bin (catchers), Han Dong-hee (infielders), and Yoon Dong-hee, Ko Seung-min, and Kim Min-seok (outfielders).
If Lotte is to break the ‘password’, they will need to be the mainstay next season. Lotte’s immediate task is to find a new manager. SBS sports commentator Kim Tae-hyung, who led the Doosan dynasty, is being talked about as the most likely candidate both inside and outside of baseball circles, while the name of a former Lotte player is also being thrown around.