Looking back, the reasons for my failure are clear. I wasn’t as bold and confident as my opponent. The runner hesitated to run to the next base on a wild pitch from the opposing pitcher. The batter didn’t swing at a favorable pitch count and ended up striking out in an unfavorable count. If the opponent made a wild play on a double or home run, they stood by and watched. Pitching changes were also often uncoordinated. I finished the year thinking about the next pitch in a short game like there was no tomorrow.
This is the last four years of LG. It was always a sad ending. This year, I’m determined to create a happy ending. The answer is eagerness and boldness. We are confident that if we play bolder than our opponents in the summit match, we will naturally face the desired result. LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop asked the team to continue the form they showed in the regular season.
That was about a year ago. After taking the helm in November last year, Yeom ordered the team to be bold in their approach to both hitting and fielding during the final camp. “He told me that I can succeed when I play aggressively and swing the bat with my failures out of my head. So he didn’t criticize them for failing. Throughout the season, LG players have been confidently heading to the dugout even after failing to steal a base.
The upcoming Korean Series (KS) is no different. On the 23rd, Yeom said, “The key to the KS is ‘eagerness’. We don’t have many players with championship experience. But I think we can make up for the lack of experience with our eagerness,” he said. “Throughout the regular season, the veterans, including (Kim) Hyun-soo, (Oh) Ji-hwan-i, (Park) Hae-min, (Lim) Chan-kyu, and (Kim) Jin-sung, took the lead and led the juniors by preparing eagerly and seriously for every game.”
“We need to continue this direction in KS. I think the desperation of not winning could be an advantage in KS. Desperation will create confidence. Hesitation and hesitation are the worst. If you play confidently, you will get results and gain confidence. Then we get the results we want,” he said of the unified victory.
It’s not just a message for the players. It’s also a self-reflection. “I used to prepare too much,” he said. When it came to the postseason, I would look at various materials and make plans. Then I hesitated,” he says, “and that was the breakdown. During my two years off, I thought about why I didn’t make it to the postseason, and that was the cause. This KS, I’m not going to hesitate. I’m going to keep it simple and fast.”
This means that there will be no hesitation when it comes to pitching changes or game plans. The KS 30-man roster is expected to be finalized quickly. Short-term games are not a test, but a stage to produce results. There is no need to play this or that player for the future. You just need to keep playing the players who are doing well.
“We have 30 players on the roster, but we won’t actually play all 30. So I’ll keep three spots for experience. “I already have a 30-man roster in my head,” he said, “and I’ll discuss it with the coaching staff. I’ll discuss it with the coaching staff, but it’s pretty much finalized.” In other words, he has almost finalized a scenario that will showcase his eagerness and confidence in the final game.
The KS roster will be 14 pitchers and 16 batters. Casey Kelly, Choi Won-tae, Lim Chan-kyu, Lee Jung-yong, Kim Yun-sik, Go Woo-seok, Kim Jin-sung, Baek Seung-hyun, Yoo Young-chan, Ham Deok-ju, Park Myung-geun, Jung Woo-young, and Choi Dong-hwan are the 13 confirmed. Son Ju-young is the favorite for the final spot. He is competing with Lee Woo-chan, Lee Ji-gang, and Lee Sang-young, and the 14th pitcher will be decided through a trial with Cheong Baek-jeon and Sangsung. Son Joo-young is more of a position to experience the KS atmosphere than the KS power.
In the field, Park Dong-won, Austin Dean, Shin Min-jae, Moon Bo-kyung, Oh Ji-hwan, Moon Sung-joo, Park Hae-min, Hong Chang-ki, and Kim Hyun-soo are the top nine, with Kim Min-sung, Heo Do-hwan, and Choi Seung-min serving as backups at first base, catcher, and designated hitter, respectively. Jeong Ju-hyun and Ahn Ik-hoon are also likely to see time as infield multiples and outfield backups, respectively.
On Ahn Ik-hoon, who was promoted to the first team at the end of the season and batted .318 (7-for-22), Yeom said, “I want to put him on the roster in case of any outfield injuries. If any of the main outfielders get injured, he can play in the outfield instead.” 메이저놀이터
The last two spots in the outfield will be filled by Lee Jae-won and Kim Bum-seok, as expected. Yeom hopes that the KS heat will motivate the two big hitters, who will one day be asked to bat fourth in the LG.