The KIA Tigers, which finished the regular season in sixth place last year, had a busier winter than ever, aiming for a mid-range goal or higher. They solved many tasks one by one, from the closing camp, where a large number of key players participated, to the second draft, recruitment from outside, and contracts for existing players.
It is not easy for any team, or the general manager, to complete the stove league 100 percent perfectly. Nevertheless, Kia has made efforts to minimize power leakage. As a result, there is not much difference in power consumption compared to last year, except that both foreign pitchers have been replaced.헤라카지노주소
Coach Kim Jong-guk, who was about to play the final season of the contract period, was also eager to produce results.
Kim Jong-kook, who was appointed as the 10th coach in December 2021 on the condition of a total of 1.05 billion won (down payment of 300 million won and annual salary of 250 million won) for three years, drew attention as a “one club man” who only played for the Tigers since his professional debut. In addition, as he frequently communicated with players as a coach as well as a player, he was highly praised within the team in terms of understanding and leadership of the team.
In 2022, the first year since Kim Jong-kook’s inauguration, Kia failed to advance to a 50 percent win rate with 70 wins, 1 draw and 73 losses (0.490). However, it survived the semifinal competition through the second half of this season, finishing the regular season in fifth place, and became the last among the five teams to confirm its advance to the post season. The wild card game against KT Wiz resulted in a 2-6 loss.
Kia, which has focused on promoting fall baseball for two consecutive years, had difficulties due to a series of injuries it suffered last year. Fewer than half of the total games were played as a whole. Kia, which had nine consecutive wins in early September and made a last-minute spurt, was not invited to join the fall baseball league as it finished sixth place during the regular season.
Manager Kim Jong-kook is congratulating the team after the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League KIA Tigers and KT Wiz match held at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the afternoon of the 7th, KIA Kim Do-young scored when Choi Hyung-woo hit an RBI timely hit in the top of the 8th inning with two outs and runners on the second base. X-Sports News DB.
Two seasons passed like that, and head coach Kim Jong-kook was about to go to the final season of his contract.
Players who suffered pain last year were dreaming of taking a leap forward. Outfielder Choi Hyung-woo, the protagonist of “The Oldest Non-FA Contract,” said, “There is one thing that is certain. I think our team will do well from this year. Unlike before, expectations are huge this year. Previously, juniors were not trimmed, but now they have accumulated for about two to four years and have grown a lot.”
“I don’t have a goal for the record,” said Kim Do-young, who is in the midst of rehabilitation. “I want to achieve my goal this year because I haven’t achieved my goal of playing full-time in a season for two consecutive years. I hope you can give me a lot of support so that I can rise to a higher level in Kia,” Kim said, expressing his commitment to advance to the postseason.
Seo Geon-chang, a “transfer student” who signed a contract with KIA for a total of 120 million won (50 million won per year and 70 million won in options) this winter, also said, “I wanted to win to Shim Jae-hak, the general manager, when I joined the team. I’m very happy to be a member of the strong team, and I want to contribute to the part that the team needs,” he said, emphasizing the team’s goal over personal performance.
The venue of the spring camp has also changed. KIA, which had its first spring camp in Arizona (the first round) and Okinawa (the second round) in Japan last year, changed its camp site to Canberra, Australia. Two factors, namely, warm weather and smooth jet lag, will greatly help its players train.
KIA focused its efforts on preparing for the spring camp. It held a seminar on coaching staff strategies for the 2024 season at the conference room of the Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Tuesday. A total of 28 people attended the ceremony, including CEO Choi Joon-young, Sim Jae-hak, head coach, coaching staff for the first, Futures and Residual Army, training coach, and front desk team leaders. Up until then, the atmosphere was peaceful.
Through the seminar, KIA had time to review last season and prepare operations and set goals for this season, and also discussed a new system to be introduced this year. Coach Kim Jong-guk, who attended the seminar, said, “I think there was a great achievement in that we shared our thoughts and shared opinions on the direction our team should go. We finished the last season unfortunately, but we will make sure to prepare from the spring camp with the goal of winning this season. We are always grateful to the Tigers fans for their great support, and we will try to repay their support.”
Afterwards, all those eligible for renewal of their annual salaries signed on Wednesday, and the list of participants in the spring camp was announced the next day. In fact, the only thing left for the team to board the plane bound for Australia. However, the Kia Tigers suspended manager Kim Jong-kook from his job on Friday, three days before his departure from Australia. The entire baseball community was in a frenzy.
After confirming through a tip-off that manager Kim was under investigation by the investigating authorities, KIA finally confirmed this at the meeting on the 27th, and decided that it could not perform its duties normally as a manager during the investigation, and suspended his duties. An official at KIA declined to say, “The prosecution is currently investigating the receipt of money and valuables.”
What is more embarrassing than anyone else is the Kia team. “I heard that the team was questioned by prosecutors after meeting with manager Kim Jong-guk on Thursday, and the team came to realize (the investigation). Since the results were not in this situation, I thought that the coach would not be able to participate in the camp normally, so I had a meeting in a hurry and decided to suspend my duties,” Shim Jae-hak, the team’s general manager, explained the current situation.