Next year’s goal? “I need to win 3rd place”

Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop (47) responded to the question, “What did you think the most about in your first season as a head coach?” Even for the best home run hitter ever who dominated the KBO league, the role of a manager is an unpredictable thorny path. “It’s very difficult to bring together more than 70 to 80 players and staff with different tendencies and personalities in one mind,” said Lee, who met at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 23rd after finishing training. “When I was a player, I just needed to be good at mine, but it wasn’t like that when I became a coach.” I’ve learned a lot over the past year, and I’m still learning it,” he confessed.

At the end of last year, Lee signed a three-year contract with Doosan for a total of 1.8 billion won. He had a successful managerial debut season last year, putting the team, which finished ninth, in fifth place. However, it was regrettable. At the end of the season, it ended in fifth place after a fierce battle for third and fifth place. He played in the wild card game, but was completely defeated by the fourth-place NC Dinos and finished the fall baseball in one game. The memory of being booed by some home fans after the final regular season game remains a heavy burden.

Coach Lee said, “The home team coach was booed by the home fans, and it’s weird if he’s not shocked. “I thought the fans were really disappointed, and I realized that I was lacking a lot,” he said. Encouragement from people around him that he did a good job for a novice coach also doesn’t work for him. Coach Lee said, “I can’t tolerate my shortcomings just because I’m in my first year. I had several chances to go up, but I couldn’t save it. We have to humbly accept the fans’ evaluation, he said. “I will prepare more thoroughly next year so that there are no boos.” I can do better,” he vowed.

Lee is the owner of a poker face. He always protects the dugout with a calm face. That’s not the case on the inside. On the day of losing the game, I would turn off the lights in the accommodation and sit quietly alone and spend sleepless nights. “When I turned on the TV, baseball highlights came out, and when I looked at my phone, I found articles on the Internet, so I stayed away from them,” he said. “The joy of the long game doesn’t last long, but unfortunately, the regret of losing the game lasts long.”

Sometimes they are criticized for their unspeakable inner situations. Manager Lee said, “From the outside, I could see baseball very well, but when I came inside, I often couldn’t do it as I wanted due to unexpected situations like this or that. It’s true that it’s hard, but everything is just an excuse. The decision is mine, and baseball is done by the player. “If that choice fails, it’s my fault, and if it’s successful, it’s thanks to the player,” he stressed.

Lee still receives as much attention as active players. It is an inevitable situation because he was a former star player in the 42-year history of the KBO League. Coach Lee will have to endure a lot of spotlights next year as well. Confrontation with Lotte Giants is one of them. Kim Tae-hyung, who led Doosan for eight years before Lee, was appointed as the new head coach of Lotte Giants.

Director Lee said, “Coach Kim is a senior and a great director. “I will play with the attitude of learning a lesson in the game against Lotte,” he said, lowering his body. But his will to “never lose” was clear. “If you’re a professional, everyone, whether you’re 40 or 20, should play with the same thought of ‘winning’. I also don’t want to lose to head coach Kim at least in the stadium. I will win more by any means,” he said.

I also plan to fight better next year with the LG Twins next door, who have won the championship for the first time in 29 years this year. Manager Lee said, “We were so bad against LG (5 wins and 11 losses) this year, and we were weak overall to the top teams. “To go higher, we have to win more matches against top teams,” he said, adding, “Since we ranked fifth this year, shouldn’t we be more than third next year. “I will prepare well before the opening and go higher with the players,” he repeatedly vowed.


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