‘Unconventional start’ Expectations were high
‘Unconventional start’ Expectations were high, so ‘Lee Seung-ho’ was sober for a year
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I couldn’t help but smile at the return of fall baseball after two years.
This season, the Doosan Bears made a change after nine years. They parted ways with Kim Tae-hyung, who led the team from 2015 to 2022, and hired a new manager, Lee Seung-yeop.
Kim started a “dynasty” during his tenure with Doosan. He led the team to the Korean Series title in 2015 and advanced to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years until 2021. He won three Korean Series titles and two combined titles.
After finishing ninth last year, Doosan turned things around.
Lee is no stranger to Doosan colors. The former Geopo, who holds the KBO record for most career home runs (467), has played exclusively for the Samsung Lions except for a stint in Japan. The number 36 that Lee wore as an active player is also his permanent Samsung number.
Lee also had no coaching experience after his retirement. He’s stayed connected to baseball as a KBO ambassador and broadcast commentator.
There were concerns, but the expectations of ‘freshness’ were high. Lee took the helm with a three-year contract and set a goal of reaching the Korean Series during the contract period, the first step of which was to reach the postseason.
Although he played as a ‘big gun’ during his active career, the team’s colors are not the usual bold baseball, but a baseball with detailed operations that he saw during his time in Japan.
Doosan ranked second out of 10 teams with 133 team stolen bases this season. While the first-place LG Twins recorded 166 and had a 62.2% success rate, Doosan had a 73.5% success rate. Considering that Doosan hadn’t stolen more than 100 bases in any of the previous three years, the base running was definitely more aggressive. 카지노사이트가이드 They even have a stolen base king. Jung Soo-bin won his first individual title with 39 stolen bases. It’s been 12 years since Oh Jae-won won the title in 2011.
After a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the opening game, the Lions went on a winning streak at the end of the first half, extending their winning streak to a club-record 11 games. However, the team then went on a losing streak, wiping out all the points they had accumulated.
There was hope, and there were clear areas for improvement. In fact, it was clear that it was not going to be an easy season. Dylan Pyle, a highly touted foreign pitcher, was hit by a pitch in spring training and was out for over a month. He was unable to rebound and packed his bags. Fortunately for Doosan, young pitchers like Kim Dong-joo and Choi Seung-yong have shown promise, and replacement foreigner Brandon Waddell has established himself as a solid one-two punch with Raul Alcantara with an 11-3 record.
In the increasingly aging outfield, there were no clear replacements. Especially at shortstop, the team was hoping for the likes of Ahn Jae-seok to step up in place of Kim Jae-ho, but in the end, Kim Jae-ho, who rebounded perfectly, was given the wild-card No. 2 spot. “From this camp, we will make sure that the young players can be used immediately,” Lee said.
The team finished the regular season in fifth place and advanced to fall baseball for the first time in two years. But the time to enjoy it was too short. A 9-14 loss to the NC Dinos ended their semi-playoff hopes.
Starting pitcher Kwak-Bin Kwak threw three scoreless innings before faltering in the fourth, giving up a back-to-back home run to lead off the inning. Despite taking a 3-0 lead, the momentum shifted in the fourth inning and errors followed. The bullpen didn’t get out of the inning cleanly, either, and there was a lot of talk about the timing of the pitching change. Choi Seung-yong, who pitched a scoreless first inning, was the only one who wanted to go a little longer.
The air was heavy in the Doosan dugout after the 2023 World Series. “We struggled,” was all that was said.
Having risen to third place in the middle of the season, the futility of this season was bound to loom large. There was more criticism than encouragement.
In the end, Doosan’s usual closing remarks at the end of the season included an ‘apology’ along with a ‘thank you’. “We fell short,” Doosan said. We didn’t reach the heights our fans expected,” and vowed to “build on this year’s experience and show the power of Miracle Doosan next year.”
After the wild card game, Lee said, “It was over in the first inning. It went by quickly. Thanks to our players, we got to play fall baseball. I took over last fall and have been preparing for fall baseball ever since. We succeeded in the first round, but I was disappointed that it ended after one game.”
Lee continued, “We had a lot of fun. We won a lot of games thanks to the players. Although the fall baseball season ended in the first game, there were many good things. I gained confidence that I can go to a higher place next year,” and promised the growth of Lee Seung-yeop-ho, who will be in his second year.