It was the first boo I’ve ever gotten in my life… Doosan fans don’t want grades.
The Doosan Bears finished the season in fifth place. Lee Seung-yeop’s first season at the helm of the Bears went from ‘national hitter’ to ‘novice manager’. He deserves a passing grade for his highly anticipated debut season.
He took the team from 9th place last season to fall baseball. Before the season, not many expected Doosan to make the postseason. It’s not that Lee is inexperienced, but the team itself was considered to be a far cry from the “dynasty years” under Kim Tae-hyung. The addition of the league’s best catcher in Yang Ji-soo was a huge plus, but not many thought Doosan would be able to consistently play fall baseball. Getting Doosan to the postseason is an accomplishment in itself. Many clubs haven’t even seen fall baseball in years.
But something shocking happened. The final home game against the SSG Landers at Jamsil Stadium on the 17th. Doosan lost 2 to 3 in a crucial game with third place on the line. Fifth place was confirmed. A postseason berth followed. When Lee appeared on the scoreboard, he was booed. One Doosan official who witnessed the scene said, “We were shocked by something completely unexpected.”
Lee was a national star, arguably the best hitter in Korean baseball history. He was good at baseball and had a great personality. He probably doesn’t even remember being booed as a player. Even fans of other teams loved him. It’s hard to believe that such a star manager could lead a team to fall baseball and be booed by the home fans. Of course, it was a few boos amongst the cheering majority, but it’s not something you can ignore.
After all, this is a coach who has always been at the top of his game as a ‘national hitter’, so the fans would have wanted the best from him as a manager. Maybe it was the disappointment of finishing fifth when he could have finished third. But it’s worth considering that it’s not just about the results.
What the fans saw in the appointment of this coach was a sense of freshness. He didn’t come out of retirement to coach, but there was an expectation that he wouldn’t play conventional baseball. Indeed, in the early stages of the season, he seemed to be playing younger players and creating healthy competition.
However, as a professional manager, you can’t help but feel small in the face of results. Things were rosy for Lee when he went on an 11-game winning streak in July. However, the team has since fallen to the middle of the pack, with the veterans being used more frequently and a focus on ‘small ball’ to score easy points. Despite his inaugural call for “small ball,” fans would have expected to see more of the breezy offensive baseball of Lee’s playing days, 카지노사이트킴 and the “small ball” shines through in a solid game plan, but instead of being a game-changing move, it’s a series of seemingly passive choices that build up fan frustration.
Add to that the mismanagement of the bullpen during the season-ending race for the division title. Pitchers kept coming out, their stamina dropped, and late-game blowouts increased. As one baseball writer put it, “If it weren’t for the ‘breakout’ signing of Brandon, Doosan’s situation could have been even worse.” Brandon came in as a replacement in June and posted an impressive 11-3 record.
It’s not that Doosan did a bad job, but the fact that SSG Landers and NC Dinos suddenly collapsed in the middle of the season and became the beneficiaries of the standings battle may have left diehard fans less than satisfied with the regular season. These days, baseball fans are more savvy than experts. They don’t like it just because it’s fall baseball, and the booing confirms it. This is an important issue for Lee to think about as he prepares for his first postseason and next season. Wins and losses are important, but as a manager, you have to have your colors.