Monday, 24th June 2024

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SSG changed it all after a year of winning

Everything has changed in a year. SSG Landers, the 2022 season professional baseball champion, was hit by a flat wave. The winning coach was replaced with two years left in his term, and the MVP of the Korean Series left the team at the risk of retirement. The first-year general manager stepped down from the front line.

It was on the 31st of last month that the prelude to chaos rose. SSG announced that it will terminate its contract with head coach Kim Won-hyung on the day of Game 2 of the playoffs. It was exactly six days after the semi-playoff. The name was a generational change.

The aftermath was inevitable. This is because right after winning the Korean Series last year, he made a “decision” as if turning his hand upside down after a season of giving him a big three-year renewal of a total of 2.2 billion won. It was not that SSG was “only third place” with overwhelming power this year. SSG’s expected winning percentage this season was seventh in the league, calculated based on the difference in gains and losses.

Rumors sparked by the manager’s dismissal continued throughout the postseason. After scouting former coach Son Si-heon, who was training in the U.S. as a second-tier coach for the NC Dinos, there was a lot of backbiting in the process of deciding the new first-tier head coach. Following rumors of a famous commentator’s appointment as a coach, Lee Ho-joon, coach of the LG Twins, the No. 1 team in the regular season, even had an interview with the SSG manager ahead of the Korean Series.

The managerial problem was concluded by appointing former KT Wiz head Lee Sung-yong (photo), but another big bomb exploded. Franchise star Kim Kang-min, who was spending the twilight of his career, suddenly went to Hanwha Eagles. Missing from the second draft protection list was the root cause. At the end of retirement, the player himself wanted to extend his active duty, and the club failed to do either persuasion or protection.

Public opinion was infested. There were also clear signs of agitation within the squad. The team’s axis players, including Kim Kwang-hyun and Han Yu-seom, expressed dissatisfaction on SNS. This led to follow-up. SSG changed Kim Sung-yong’s position to head of the R&D (R&D) center the previous day. He even emphasized that it was to hold him accountable for the controversy that arose during the selection of coaches and coaches and the second draft process. However, some people still point out that it is a measure to avoid eviction.

SSG’s 2024 season, facing rapid changes, is full of uncertainty. Choi Joo-hwan and Kim Kang-min left the team in the second draft, and another franchise star, Lee Jae-won, was released. On-site leadership began from the ground up in both the first and second teams, and even the head of the front office was changed. This is why the two rabbits, which Shinsegae Group Vice Chairman Chung Yong-jin ordered directly from head coach Lee Sung-yong, seem to be especially difficult to catch.


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