Will he solve Kim Tae-hyung?

Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung’s witty answer when asked about the cause of the “spring jinx” on his way to the spring camp.

Lotte used to gain momentum every spring but often collapsed in summer. That’s why the terms “Cherry Blossom Baseball” and “Spring Day” were added to each other.

It is a humiliating nickname, as evidenced by the fact that Samsung and SK, the predecessors of the SSG, showed off their support and were nicknamed “Yeoreumseong” and “Autumn SK.” They would even say that they should go down when it is time.

Lee Dae-ho, who debuted in 2001, played 17 seasons with Lotte alone, excluding overseas experience, and retired in 2022. Jeon Joon-woo, who debuted in 2008, will mark his 16th season in the KBO League (excluding military service). They are franchise stars representing Lotte, which is well known for its reputation.

It is a problem that even those who have a lot of affection for the team and are familiar with every corner of Lotte cannot easily answer. Recently, Lee asked Jeon Jun-woo, who appeared on his YouTube channel, “What’s wrong?” After much thought, Jeon offered the answer, “A long journey,” but Lee countered by citing NC and KIA as examples.

Jeon eventually bowed his head, saying, “I really don’t know. The players are really good…” Lee Dae-ho said with a smile, “But I feel better these days. I used to be good until exhibition games… (I did well until May last year).”

In fact, the word “spring day” originated from exhibition games. Lotte ranked first 11 times in exhibition games. In the 21st century alone, the number reaches five (2005-2009 2010 2011 2022).

However, the team has never won a regular season title, and it has only won two Korean Series titles. As LG posted its first championship fanfare in 29 years last year, Lotte had the disgrace of being the oldest team among the 10 KBO teams (32 years since 1992, excluding Kiwoom).

In the end, Lotte needs strong team power and effective management of the team’s head coach. Last year, Lotte showed off the best start of the season. It was No. 1 overall until April, and also formed top 3 with LG-SSG in May. However, the team that had accumulated number of hits and hits exploded in an instant, and it rapidly collapsed in June.

The start of this season is full of concerns. It is not easy to fill the absence of An Chi-hong (Hanwha), who left for the FA, and Han Dong-hee is scheduled to join the army in June. The growth of newcomers, experiences of veterans, and fighting spirit should fill the gap.

Manager Kim Tae-hyung, who has won the Korean Series three times and has been on the roster for seven consecutive years, has set his sights on winning the Korean Series this fall season and the Korean Series within three years. What I expect from him is his know-how in running the season.

Lotte is also a challenge for manager Kim Tae-hyung. Since taking the helm in 2015, Doosan has been the only team in charge for eight years. Lotte is the first team he has moved to. Will Busan fans be able to receive a gift for the first time in seven years.


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