Lotte’s 7th consecutive manager to drop out…only 1 outside hire to win KS

History has repeated itself once again. Lotte head coach Larry Sutton, 53, has stepped down for health reasons.

Lotte appointed Sutton to replace Heo in May 2021. Sutton, who was officially appointed as Lotte’s 20th head coach, retained the trust of the club despite Lotte’s eighth-place finish last year with 64 wins, 76 losses and four draws 토토사이트(.457 winning percentage).

The club also gave him its full support. Even though Lee Dae-ho, “Chosun’s No. 4 hitter,” announced his retirement, the team made a major move in the free agent market, signing Yoo Kang-nam for a total of 8 billion won ($8 million) over four years, Noh Jin-hyuk for a total of 5 billion won over four years, and Han Hyun-hee for a total of 4 billion won over 3+1 years. In particular, the team was praised for making smart signings by strengthening positions that had been pointed out as weaknesses, such as catcher and shortstop. In addition, the team tried to expand its depth by actively signing players in the free agent market.

In fact, Lotte finished April in sole possession of first place and made a frightening surge, winning nine straight games. Lotte’s surge continued into early June. By June 3, Lotte was sitting in sole possession of third place with a 29-18 record (.617 winning percentage). Only two games separated them from first-place SSG.

But what awaited Lotte was an unbelievable fall. Lotte was forced to end the first half of the season with a 38-39 record (.494 winning percentage) due to an unstoppable slide, and now with a seven-game losing streak and a 50-58 record (.463 winning percentage), their chances of fall baseball are looking increasingly slim. The gap to fifth-place KIA has now grown to five games.

Sutton’s resignation on the 27th After missing his second game of the season against KT, Sutton informed the club of his intention to resign, and Lotte accepted it, announcing his voluntary resignation on the 28th and appointing assistant coach Lee Jong-woon as acting manager.

Already, there are various stories circulating about Lotte’s next head coach. For example, SBS Sports commentator Kim Tae-hyung, who is already in the spotlight as the ‘biggest free agent’, is said to be in the running. Kim Tae-hyung is a master commentator who led Doosan to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years when he was the manager. Kim Tae-hyung is not the only one on the list of candidates, but there are many others from both inside and outside the organization. Despite the fact that Lotte hasn’t made any gestures to hire a new manager yet, rumors are flying.

Lotte has a history of making unconventional coaching hires. In their history since their inception in 1982, Lotte has had 20 full-time managers and only once have they hired an outsider who has won a Korean Series title. It’s ironic, to say the least. For a team that hasn’t won a single championship since winning the 1992 Korean Series, Lotte is more likely to take risks when it comes to hiring the most important manager.

Lotte manager Larry Sutton has voluntarily resigned. Byun Hye-mi Reporter

Acting manager Lee Jong-woon ⓒLotte Giants

After the first manager, Park Young-gil (1982-1983), resigned in July 1983, Lotte hired a new manager, Kang Byung-chul (1984-1986), in 1984 and won the Korean Series that year. Sung Ki-young (1987) took over, followed by Woo Hong (1988-1989), who led the team to the 1982 World Baseball Classic, and Kim Jin-young (1990), the “Godfather of Incheon Baseball,” but the results were not promising. Lotte then brought back Kang Byung-chul (1991-1993), whose efforts paid off as the team qualified for the postseason with a fourth-place finish in the 1991 regular season and won the much-anticipated Korean Series title in 1992.

Kang was succeeded by franchise star and “40s Jockey” Kim Yong-hee (1994-1998). Kim Yong-hee led Lotte to the 1995 Korean Series, but was forced to leave the team after finishing in last place for two consecutive years in 1997 and 1998. Under Kim Myung-sung (1999-2001), Lotte reached the Korean Series in 1999 and the semi-finals in 2000, but a dark period followed when Kim died of a heart attack in July 2001.

His successor, Woo Yong-duk (2002), had led Samsung to the Korean Series in 1993, but the team never won a title. Woo left the team in June 2002. Woo’s successor, Baek Incheon (2002-2003), had coached LG to the 1990 Korean Series title, but he was also forced to hang up his jersey in August 2003 due to poor performance.

Lotte rebuilt itself under Yang Sang-moon (2004-2005) and showed some promise in 2005, finishing fifth in the regular season, but the team made the gamble of rehiring Kang Byung-chul (2006-2007), which also proved unsuccessful.

Lotte’s adventure continued. The team hired Jerry Royster (2008-2010), the first foreign manager in KBO history. Lotte emerged from the dark ages under Royster, reaching the postseason every year, but he ultimately declined to re-sign.

(From left) Cho Won-woo, Yang Sang-moon, Heo Moon-ho, and Larry Sutton, who have been Lotte managers for the past four years. Reporter Byun Hye-mi, Sporting News DB

Since then, Lotte has had seven managers, starting with Yang Seung-ho (2011-2012), followed by Kim Si-jin (2013-2014), Lee Jong-woon (2015), Cho Won-woo (2016-2018), Yang Sang-moon (2019), Heo Moon-ho (2020-2021), and Sutton (2021-2023), but all of them have had the misfortune of leaving midway through their contracts. Of these, only five (Yang Seung-ho, Lee Jong-woon, Cho Won-woo, Heo Moon-ho, and Sutton) were novice managers who made their official debut as first-team managers at Lotte.

Looking back at Lotte’s so-called “managerial atrocity” history, it begs the question of why Lotte has been so reluctant to hire outside talent with a track record of winning the Korean Series.

There have been a total of 18 managers in the KBO who have won the Korean Series. Kim Young-duk (1982), Kim Eung-yong (1983, 1986-1989, 1991, 1993, 1996-1997, 2002), Kang Byung-cheol (1984, 1992), Baek In-in (1990), Lee Kwang-hwan (1994), Kim In-sung (1995, 2001), Kim Jae-bak (1998, 2000, 2003-2004), Lee Hee-soo (1999), and Sun Dong-yeol (2005-2006), Kim Sung-geun (2007, 2008, 2010), Cho Bum-hyun (2009), Ryu Jung-il (2011, 2014), Kim Tae-hyung (2015, 2016, 2019), Kim Ki-tae (2017), Trey Hillman (2018), Lee Dong-wook (2020), Lee Kang-cheol (2021), and Kim Won-hyung (2022).

Many of these managers have gone on to win Korean Series titles and have even been rehired. Lotte, however, has few ties to them. Aside from Kang Byung-cheol, who led Lotte’s “V2” team in his first managerial role, Baek Incheon is the only manager Lotte has hired from outside the organization who has won a Korean Series title.

Of course, winning the Korean Series is not a 100% guarantee of success. A rookie manager can still win a championship if he has the leadership skills. However, Lotte’s history of taking risks rather than playing it safe has led to repeated failures, so it’s time to think about the club’s direction.

If Lee Jong-woon can deliver a big twist drama, Lotte could be a strong candidate. There are also a number of other candidates that have already begun to be talked about. The future of Lotte will be on the line, so all eyes will be on them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.