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“He could be a scary coach, but he’s cool in a calm way.”

Lotte Giants manager Kim Tae-hyung, 57, is one of the few “charismatic” managers left in the KBO. When he stares at the ground with an expressionless face, it’s hard for players to look him in the eye. He is a leader who says what needs to be said to anyone, listens when he needs to be listened to, and has a rational mindset. He is a man.

When Kim Tae-hyung arrived at Lotte, it was said that a so-called “do-it-yourself” culture was established. At first, it may be because they don’t want to be seen or criticized. However, it is more important to sincerely understand why this culture is necessary. It’s hard to tell without seeing the Lotte Spring Camp, but this is the real change at Lotte.

As much as Kim Tae-hyung has gotten to know the players, the players and coaches have gotten to know him. “Spring camp is not an unconventional schedule,” said closer Kim Won-joong, who returned from spring camp in Guam and Okinawa on Friday at Incheon International Airport. The camp training itself is a time to get to know the coaches of each part.

However, Kim said, “The coach allows the players to create a team atmosphere. There is something that has changed. Scary coach? It could be, but I think it’s cool because he’s showing a calm side. I feel like we’re going to win. It’s positive.”

He is a leader who finds rationality in charisma and coldness, and has the ability to win hearts with humor and trust. Pitching coach Joo Hyung-kwang said of Kim Tae-hyung, “He’s a little unfamiliar. He is a strong person.” However, Coach Joo said, “He is not only strong to the end, but his strength may make him easier to deal with.”

Kim Min-seok, a typical representative of the MZ generation, describes Kim Tae-hyung as “strong when he wants to be strong and strong when he wants to be strong.” He said, “He’s not scary as long as the players follow the basics.” He wants them to be aggressive and not lose sight of the basics of baseball regardless of the result.

For example, when he sees a pitch in his strike zone in the 2B0S or 3B0S, he calls for a big hit. Naturally, you don’t care about the consequences. On the contrary, if a hitter gets stuck in that situation, he will reprimand them or hold them accountable.

Kim Min-seok knows. “He doesn’t like to watch me on three-balls and two-balls. I haven’t hit a three-ball yet, but even if I die, he’ll be happy if I die with my own swing.” From their stories, you can get an idea of what kind of baseball Lotte is playing this year and where they are headed. The ultimate goal, of course, is to play “winning baseball” with all of these players.


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