I don’t know what to say, so I don’t answer. I just say I’m focused on the Korean Series game.”
It’s the evening of the fifth day of the playoffs. Ahead of the Korean Series, news broke that LG Twins hitting coach Lee Ho-joon had been tapped to take over the suddenly vacant SSG Landers managerial position. It was further explained that the official announcement would be made after the Korean Series. SSG officials expressed bewilderment, saying that they hadn’t even conducted an interview yet.
This is not good news for coach Yeom Kyung-yup, who leads the team. Yeom hasn’t touched the coaching staff much since taking over LG. He kept the main coaches who knew the LG players well. He has a good working relationship with Lee Ho-joon, saying that they have “good chemistry” and don’t disagree on hitting theory. LG ranked first in both team batting average (0.279) and OPS (0.755) this year.굿모닝토토 도메인
But with the Korean Series just around the corner, news broke that one of the main coaches would be taking over as manager. In a phone call on the evening of the 5th, Yeom Kyung-yup asked, “Has the news come out?” and said, “I haven’t heard anything yet,” adding, “I only know that I’m in the running.” “If it’s confirmed that I’ll be the head coach, I’ll come and talk to him myself,” he said.
LG had an asymmetrical season in 2021, ranking first in team ERA (3.57) and last in offense. The team batted just .250 (8th) and had an OPS of .710 (8th). Despite having a strong mound, they ended up finishing third in the regular season standings. The batting lineup failed at crucial moments.
Ahead of the 2022 season, the team decided to make a change by hiring coach Lee Ho-jun, who led a “two-hitter” offense in the NC. Cha Myung-seok contacted Lee, who was rumored to be leaving the NC after the 2021 season, and offered him a job, even though his departure from the NC was not yet confirmed. He then reached out again and was able to get Lee to wear the stripes.
At the time, Lee said, “I’m nervous. I feel like I’m back to the beginning, like I’m playing baseball for the first time, and I want to do it right here. If I feel like this, I think I’m really becoming a coach like a coach,” he said, adding that he was excited to be on a non-NC team for the first time since his coaching transition.
Over the past two years, he’s built a powerhouse offense that has posted a team batting average of .274 (first) and an OPS of .749 (first). This year, the two-hitter trend returned, but LG was different. He bucked the trend of the KBO, as only NC had done in the past. He was recognized for his performance at LG and was nominated for the managerial position.
On the other hand, Yeom hopes that the players will not be agitated, and if a question is asked at the media day about Lee Ho-joon’s managerial search, he will not give a specific answer. He said, “I don’t think such a question will come up. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have anything to say. I won’t answer. I’m only focused on the Korean Series,” he said. The Korean Series media day will be held at 2 p.m. on June 6.