BUSAN - Kim Tae-hyoung, the newly appointed manager of the Lotte Giants, made clear his ambitions to lead the team to a championship during his introductory press conference. The announcement took place in the Giants' home city of Busan, marking Kim's formal assumption of one of the most high-pressure roles in South Korean professional baseball.
According to a new release by Yonhap News Agency, "I know it's not easy to win titles, but I'll say right here that my goal is to take this team to the championship. I hope the players will be ready for this. I will mold this team into a championship contender."
Kim's managerial career in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) is notably successful. He led the Doosan Bears to seven consecutive Korean Series appearances between 2015 and 2021, clinching the title in 2015, 2016, and 2019. After failing to make the postseason in 2022, Kim parted ways with the Bears and spent the 2023 season as a color commentator on cable television.
The Lotte Giants, who last won a title in 1992, sought Kim’s expertise following another disappointing regular season. The role comes with both opportunities and challenges, intensified by the Giants' fervent fan base.
In the last 11 seasons, the Giants have reached the postseason only once. This year, the team started strong but ultimately finished in seventh place. Addressing the level of pressure associated with managing the Giants, Kim mentioned that he feels more of a "sense of responsibility" than pressure.
Kim, who observed the Giants’ fluctuating performance from the broadcast booth, said the team might have exerted themselves too much early in the season. "Maybe they should have paced themselves a little," he suggested, adding that he will gain a better understanding of the team's capabilities as he begins his new role.
Kim aims to align the team’s on-field performance with the energy of its passionate fan base. "We have a really enthusiastic fan base, and I want the team to play an aggressive brand of baseball that can capitalize on scoring opportunities," he said.
He also emphasized that he wants his players to figure out team dynamics on their own. "We don't really need to talk about how the team always comes first. I think the players themselves know it the best. I want them to figure things out on their own through training and decide what it's going to take to move in the right direction," Kim concluded.