It was the joy and sorrow of the Jamsil rival in 2023, when the word “a sense of change” came to mind the most. The LG Twins, which had long hit the threshold for victory after a dark period, achieved “V3” with their first Korean Series victory in 29 years. On the other hand, the Doosan Bears succeeded in returning to the fall baseball for the first time in two years with the appointment of manager Lee Seung-yeop, but ended the season with a lackluster result. Where will the two teams stand in 2024.
The LG Twins eventually relieved the regret of their 29-year-old victory. LG won Game 5 of the Korean Series against KT WIZ 6-2 at Jamsil Stadium on November 13, lifting the trophy with a 4-1 record in the series.
LG stepped on the accelerator pedal to win the 2023 season with the appointment of Yeom Kyung-yeop, the “winning contractor.” LG, which has established a solo system since the second half of the regular season, ranked first with 86 wins, two draws and 56 losses in the season, 6.5 games behind second-place KT.
LG faced KT, which came up as a reverse sweep in the playoffs, and suffered a shock loss of 2-3 in the first game.
However, LG sparked a turnaround with Park Dong-won’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 2. In Game 3, “Captain” Oh Ji-hwan also hit an unbelievable three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to completely bring the series flow to LG.
LG had a big victory of 15-4 in the fourth game. In Game 5, LG also won 6-2 with a performance that overwhelmed the opponent in ball, water, and stocks to confirm its victory.
Doosan, which has been overwhelming its Jamsil rival for a long time since the 2000s, finished ninth in the league in the 2022 season amid a trend of gradually catching up in the 2020s. And in the 2023 season, we had to watch Jamsil rival LG lift the trophy for the first time in 29 years along with the early elimination of the wild card game.
In addition, LG is dreaming of building a dynasty after winning the Korean Series. Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop said after winning the championship, “I thought this year was the most important. If we win this year, we believe our players will gain confidence and mental strength. Now, if we raise only one or two more players a year, we can go to a prestigious club and continue to win. If that happens, I think we will become stronger LG Twins next year.
Coach Yeom then said, “I told the fans that it was just the beginning. I think this championship is not the last but the beginning. I think it has taken the first step toward going to a strong team and a prestigious club. If you continue to make a good process, the results will follow. I will take a break and prepare for next year so that I can smile,” he vowed.
Doosan cannot afford to stay still at such a declaration of challenging the LG Dynasty. Doosan should play in Win Now in the 2024 season as LG’s opponent. He brought back catcher Yang Eui-ji with a large investment last year, so he has to challenge for a higher place when the main catcher is relatively strong. Unlike the mound, which has achieved a relatively successful generational change, the growth of young fielders is the key. Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop is also well aware of this, so he is paying more attention to the batting part of young fielders in the fall wrap-up camp.
Not only Yang Eui-ji, but also other veteran fielders are desperate. Outfielder Jung Soo-bin’s performance, which rebounded in the 2023 season, should continue in the 2024 season. Outfielder Kim Jae-hwan and infielder Huh Kyung-min also need to prove their value again as veterans who will keep the team at the center. In particular, Kim Jae-hwan is in desperate need of revival, as he participated in the closing camp and received one-on-one intensive tutoring with manager Lee Seung-yeop. If only Kim Jae-hwan survives, he can build a top-level batting line with Yang Eui-ji.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop spent time growing as the head coach through various trials and errors in his first season as a manager. In the 2024 season, such trials and errors should be reduced, while actively demonstrating the strengths of “manager Lee Seung-yeop.” Coach Lee also strengthened his will, saying, “Next year, we have to rank higher than this year’s fifth place.” I wonder if Doosan will be the biggest opponent in the challenge of establishing a rival kingdom in Jamsil in 2024 as a “Doosan Bears” baseball game.