The Lotte Giants are constantly pouring out nonsensical things. This is Lotte’s reality.
On the 28th, Lotte officially announced, “Director Larry Sutton resigned on the 27th after the game with KT and expressed his appreciation for the managerial position due to health reasons, and after careful consideration, the club decided to respect and accept Sutton’s wishes.” It was all the more shocking news because he denied it vehemently after rumors of his voluntary resignation were reported on the 27th.
Prior to this season,메이저사이트 Lotte invested a lot of capital in power reinforcement. Lotte announced the start of Stove League by signing a 5-year, 9 billion won contract with local ace Park Se-woong, and invested a large amount in reinforcing the infield center line, which had been pointed out as a weakness. Lotte first signed a contract with catcher Yoo Kang-nam for a total of 9 billion won over 4 years, and then embraced Noh Jin-hyeok for a total of 5 billion won over 4 years. And for a total of 4 billion won for 3+1 years, they even recruited Han Hyun-hee, who can handle both starting and bullpen positions.
Power reinforcement did not stop here. Lotte teamed up with Ahn Kwon-soo, a “third-generation Korean-Japanese” who ended his companionship with the Doosan Bears, as well as “veteran” Kim Sang-soo, Cha Woo-chan (retired), Lee Jung-hoon, and Shin Jeong-rak, and entered the postseason for the first time in six years since 2017. aimed The start was good. Lotte finished April in first place for the first time in 11 years since 2012, running a winning streak worthy of being left in the history of the club.
Despite the good results, Lotte was not happy. There was a good reason for that. Last year, they finished in 2nd place in April, but this is because they finished the regular season in 8th place as a result of a steep decline from May. But this year seemed a little different. Lotte continued to compete for the top ranks, winning more than 50% in May. The problem was in June.
In 2022, if it crashed from May, the 2023 season was in June. This time, the ‘injury’ of the main axes caught the ankle. In particular, Ahn Kwon-soo, who showed great success as a table setter in April, and Noh Jin-hyeok, who was recruited for a total of 5 billion won, began to leave due to injury. In addition, foreign players such as Dan Strayley and Jack Rex, who performed remarkably last year, were also sluggish.
In a situation where grades were plummeting, even if everyone came together as one to overcome the crisis the team was facing, even coach Bae Young-soo’s ‘rebellion’ was revealed on the surface. At the time, a Lotte official drew a line, saying, “You may blush a little in the process of reconciling when you have a different opinion while talking about baseball, but it is not a protest.”
However, not many people believed this. Lotte sent coach Bae Young-soo down to the second team while taking a change in the coaching staff after the suspicion of ‘rebellion’ was reported. And in the process, acting head coach Lee Jong-woon, who was in charge of the 2nd team, was entrusted with the role of head coach for the 1st team.
Starting from the All-Star break, Lotte made a winning move by replacing two foreign players in order to raise the somewhat lagging atmosphere. However, this has not led to a rebound. On the contrary, as the grades fall further, the distance from ‘fall baseball’ is getting farther away. There is a gap of 5 games from the 5th place, which is the last line to get a ticket to the postseason. Rather, the gap with 9th place is closer to 4.5 games.
In the midst of this, another ‘bad news’ broke out. This time, the worst situation occurred when the command tower put down the baton. Coach Sutton was unable to direct the game on the 17th due to health reasons, and the same was true on the 27th. Sutton’s repeated absences eventually led to rumors of ‘voluntary resignation’, and Lotte officials emphasized that they would continue to accompany Sutton until the end of the season. But this was never followed.
After the game on the 27th, coach Sutton called general manager Seong Min-gyu late at night and announced that he would no longer lead the team. Multiple Lotte officials said, “It is true that there were symptoms of dizziness and body aches. The team’s performance was not good, I felt pressured, and I think I thought I would be a burden. I don’t think I wanted to be a nuisance to the team.” He explained the reason for his voluntary resignation.
And here comes another somewhat incomprehensible decision. Despite his voluntary resignation, Sutton’s remaining salary will be paid. He made this decision as he judged that he had worked for Lotte for a long time and helped develop the team, such as nurturing promising players. This is a decision made by the club, and it is not a matter for anyone to argue. However, it is somewhat incomprehensible to pay the remaining annual salary to the former manager who made the decision to drive the team into a turbulent atmosphere at a time when they should be aiming for the last ‘rebound’. In addition, head coach Lee Jong-woon decided to take over as acting manager.
Lotte is the club with the most internal ‘noise’ among the 10 clubs. In recent years, many foreign coaches have worn Lotte uniforms, but not many have had good endings. It wasn’t once or twice that there was a story that ‘discord’ became the fuse in the process of leaving the team. This is also the main reason why former manager Heo Moon-hoe was sacked. Director Sutton’s voluntary resignation is also a simple health problem, the reason why attention follows that it is not hard. These are probably the biggest problems with not being able to step on the postseason stage for the past six years and not winning since 1992.