For the first time in eight years, Lotte Giants head coach Lee Jong-woon watched a game from the home team’s dugout on the first base side of Sajik Baseball Stadium on July 27.
The former Lotte franchise star was named the team’s 16th manager after the 2014 season ended. He was the first member of Lotte’s 1992 Korean Series championship team, which remains the franchise’s second and last title to date, to take the helm.
However, “Coach” Lee Jong-woon’s time with Lotte was short-lived. After Lotte failed to qualify for the postseason in the 2015 season with a record of 66 wins, 77 losses, and one tie, Jong-woon was fired in the first year of his three-year contract.
It wasn’t until last fall that Jong-woon put on a Lotte jersey again. Lotte identified Jong-woon as the right person to lead the development of the second team and offered him the position of future team manager. Jong-woon gladly answered the call of his hometown team and became a part of the Giants again.
Lee Jong-woon’s career has taken a drastic turn recently, as he has been working to develop players in the second team. Lotte has undergone a major coaching staff reshuffle after falling to the bottom of the league’s monthly win percentage with a 6-16 record as of June 26.
Coach Lee Jong-woon, formerly the head coach of the Futures team, has moved to the role of first team head coach, while Park Heung-sik, formerly the first team head coach and hitting coach, will focus solely on hitting. Bae Young-soo, the main pitching coach of the first team, was moved down to the role of general manager of the Futures.
It is not common for a coach to return to the team where he was the head coach as a secondary coach and to change positions during the season as a first-team coach, but Lee Jong-woon did not mind.
Prior to his resignation on the 28th, Lee Jong-woon said, “I was suddenly notified by the club (of the change in position), so it’s a lot of pressure,” but he also said, “As a professional team coach, I came to the first team with the mindset that if there is something I need to do in the team, I should accept it.”
After eight years in the dugout, he said he was “excited” to watch Lotte’s first team play. LOTTE coach Larry Sutton also tried to ease the tension by jokingly asking Lee Jong-woon how he felt just before the game started on the 27th.
“We are happiest when we are wearing our uniforms,” said Lee Jong-woon. We came up from the second team in a hurry, but it’s so good to be here.” “I hope our team does well. I hope the team will do well,” he emphasized.카지노사이트
Lotte snapped a two-game losing streak with a thrilling come-from-behind victory on the first day of the coaching staff reorganization. Trailing 2-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Lotte tied the game 3-3 off Samsung reliever Lee Seung-hyun before Yoo Kang-nam hit a two-run homer to end the game.
“I was so excited and shouted a lot the day before that my throat was hoarse,” said Lee Jong-woon, “I went home and ate a little dinner, but I was so nervous that I immediately felt sore.” He laughed.
“But it was so exciting and good to win. Thankfully, Yoo Kang-nam hit a home run, so I hugged him after the game,” and joked, “I told him that I would ask for his autograph as soon as I saw him at the stadium today.”