“It’s better to win as a manager.”
Kim Won-hyung (50) SSG coach still had a smile on his face. It was only natural that he won the Korean Series (4 wins before KS 7) after writing the first “Wire-to-Wire” championship record in 40 years since the start of professional baseball. Manager Kim expressed his gratitude that he was able to achieve good results thanks to the strong mound and the support of the fans, but also expressed his apologies to the three players who were unable to step on the KS stage.
Coach Kim, who we met at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 15th, said he felt complicated emotions after winning. First of all, director Kim expressed his joy. He said, “I received the most contact while playing baseball.”
The moment of crisis that coach Kim picked was the time before the three-game series against Kiwoom from July 12th to 14th. He said, “Since it was only 2.5 games away from second place Kiwoom at the time, it was a situation where the ranking could change depending on the results of the three consecutive matches.” It took place, and in the end, I think I was able to produce good results.”
Coach Kim said thank you to the mound. He said, “Last season, it was difficult to manage pitchers, with Moon Seung-won and Park Jong-hoon out due to injuries, but this season, Kim Gwang-hyun returned, and Wilmer Font and Oh Won-seok also showed remarkable growth.” Thanks to that, I have a sense of stability on the mound.”
He also expressed his gratitude to the players who showed their fighting spirit to the end at KS. In Game 5 of KS, which was tightly matched with 2 wins and 2 losses, SSG was dragged 0-4, but Choi Jeong’s two-run homer in the 8th inning and pinch hitter Kim Kang-min’s 3-run finish in the 9th ended the game 5-4. Coach Kim said, “I expected to go on base, not a home run, on the first and third base safely, and sent Kim Kang-min as a pinch hitter with good sense.” In particular, Game 5 was a game that coach Kim did not want to lose. Manager Kim said, “I was personally very happy to hear the news of the extension of the coaching contract an hour before the start of the 5th game, but I really wanted to win because I thought it would be useless if the team lost.” I look back.
Coach Kim was a great pitcher who won 134 victories in his career as a player. In 1991, the first year of his debut, he also won a 1-0 shutout in a head-to-head match with Haitai Seon Dong-yeol. At the time, it was the record for the youngest shutout in professional baseball. However, coach Kim emphasized, “It’s just a personal thing,” and “I was the happiest when I won the championship as captain in 2007.” At that time, SK was pushed back by Doosan with KS 0 wins and 2 losses, but won 4 consecutive victories and won.
However, coach Kim did not play in a single game. Coach Kim said, “I wanted to go out at that time, but I couldn’t play in the end, and coach Seong-geun Kim also expressed his regret.”
SSG has now become a target for championship teams. This is because everyone dreams of winning by shouting ‘Down with SSG’. SSG also needs to make up for the lack of power. Coach Kim said, “First of all, we are listing foreign players,” and “we haven’t talked deeply about free agents (FA) yet.” Next year, senior players are expected to become more important. Manager Kim said, “Young players should know how they have played baseball from their youth until now, how much effort and management they put in, watching players like Choo Shin-soo, Kim Kang-min, Choi Jeong, Kim Gwang-hyun, Noh Kyung-eun and Koh Hyo-jun,” and added, “Senior players say that they are getting older. Milli emphasized that it is not a generational change, but a generational change occurs when young players learn from watching veterans and are ready to play.”
Director Kim also thanked the fans. Coach Kim said, “I didn’t know much when there were no fans at the stadium in the aftermath of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19), but I felt the value of ‘the players are the driving force behind the running’ as I watched the fans come to the stadium and cheer.” He expressed his gratitude, saying, “This player created an atmosphere to work harder.”
Incheon = Reporter Jeong Pil-jae [email protected]
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