There is an unfortunate jinx in the KBO that has prevented teams from winning the Korean Series when a key coach from a team that recently reached the series has been hired to manage another team. Can LG, whose hitting coach Lee Ho-joon has been named the manager of SSG Landers, break the jinx and win the title for the first time in 29 years since 1994?굿모닝토토 주소
SSG, which announced the termination of manager Kim Won-hyung’s contract, has recently named LG batting coach Lee Ho-joon as its new manager, according to an exclusive report on the 5th of this month. SSG is expected to officially announce the appointment after the Korean Series between LG and KT.
SSG, which won the KBO’s first-ever wire-to-wire title last year, entered the fall baseball season in third place in the regular season, but suffered a heartbreaking three-game loss to fourth-place NC in the semifinals. SSG abruptly terminated the contract of manager Kim Won-hyung, who signed a three-year contract totaling 2.2 billion won ahead of the Korean Series last year, after just one year.
SSG said, “We decided that we needed to make changes and innovations, such as changing the overall team management and player generation. Changes were inevitable in order to renew the team and transform it into a stronger team that is more loved. We have decided to go beyond the initial changes to the player and coaching staff and replace the on-field leadership.”
“In the coming days, SSG will begin the process of selecting a manager from a diverse pool of candidates. We will strive to hire a manager who will bring even more entertaining baseball to the fans who come to the ballpark,” he said of the criteria for the new manager. The SSG has reportedly decided to hand the reins over to Lee Ho-jun, who transformed the LG lineup into an organized and feared batting lineup. Lee led a dynasty at SSG’s predecessor, SK, for 13 years from 2000 to 2012.
This isn’t the first time a team has lost a key coach ahead of the Korean Series. Since the 2010s, quite a few coaches have been hired to manage other teams ahead of the Korean Series, all of which coincidentally came after failing to win the series.
The first was Han Yong-duk, who took over as head coach of Doosan in 2017. Han Yong-duk was an early favorite to take over as the next manager of Hanwha, which finished the 2017 season with Lee Sang-gun as acting manager after Kim Sung-geun quit midway through the season. The timing of the announcement was delayed due to Doosan’s postseason run, where Han served as the head coach and pitching coach, and Hanwha announced the appointment after Doosan lost to KIA in Game 5 of the Korean Series on October 30 to finish as runners-up.
The following year, Doosan head coach Lee Kang-cheol also took the reins of KT shortly after Doosan failed to win the Korean Series. Just like this year, KT’s announcement of Lee’s appointment was made ahead of Doosan’s Korean Series.
While Doosan was preparing for the Korean Series, Lee accepted KT’s offer, and the process was finalized with the consent of Doosan’s management, including then-head coach Kim Tae-hyung.
At the time, Lee Kang-cheol said, “I was worried about the timing of the announcement and accepting the job because the team is currently preparing for the Korean Series, but Coach Kim Tae-hyung and the president and general manager were very considerate. After doing my best to help Doosan win the Korean Series for the sixth time, I will take over as KT’s head coach with a happy and fulfilled heart.”
However, Doosan, which finished first in the regular season, failed to win the title in the Korean Series after being swept in four games by SK (now SSG).
In October 2019, assistant coach Heo Moon-hoe Kiwoom was named Lotte manager. On October 26, after Kiwoom failed to win the Korean Series with a four-game sweep of Doosan, it was revealed that Heo Moon-ho was the new Lotte coach. Lotte president Sung Min-kyu, who took over in early September, interviewed four or five candidates for the national team job, and Heo, who has a good reputation among the players and a knack for nurturing them, was selected as the next head coach early on. He also left the team after Kiwoom’s runner-up finish.
The most recent example is former coach Kim Won-hyung, whose contract with SSG was terminated. On November 6, 2020, news broke that Kim Won-hyung, the pitching coach of Doosan, who had made it through the semi-playoffs, had been appointed as SK’s head coach, and SK, which was coordinating the timing of the announcement, officially announced the appointment out of consideration for Doosan, which was in the postseason.
“I would like to thank Doosan Bears CEO Jeon Pung, general manager Kim Tae-ryong, and manager Kim Tae-hyung for congratulating me on my appointment and considering my early announcement despite the fact that we are currently in the playoffs,” Kim said at the time. “I will leave Doosan as the manager of SK, but I wish the Bears a seventh championship and a second straight Korean Series title.”
But the result was another runner-up finish. Doosan advanced to the Korean Series by defeating second-place KT 3 games to 1 in the playoffs, but fell to NC 2 games to 4 to lose their second straight Korean Series.
Former Doosan pitching coach Kim Won-hyung / OSEN DB
Fast-forward to now, and the hitting coach of another Korean Series contender, LG, has been named the manager of the other team ahead of the series. It will be interesting to see if LG, which hasn’t been to the Korean Series in 21 years since 2002 and is looking to win its first title in 29 years since 1994, can break the “runner-up jinx” and win a thrilling overall victory.