Manager Kim Tae-hyung, 56, gave the Lotte Giants a confidence-inspiring speech during their first meeting. But he also had a stern warning for the young players. 안전놀이터
“What I always tell the players who have been backups and then played in the first team is that it’s a mistake to think that they will do better than this next year,” Kim told reporters after a meeting with the Lotte team at Sangdong Baseball Stadium in Gimhae, Gyeongnam Province, on Friday.
Kim, who was meeting with the team for the first time that day, continued his confidence-inspiring words across the board. “You can’t just say ‘I can do it,’ you have to feel it,” Kim said. “If you want to beat your opponent, you have to be better than them,” he urged the players. “From the outside, I’ve seen their enthusiasm, and I’ve seen that they can do it,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting over a certain hurdle. I hope they have confidence.”
Speaking to the media, Kim joked that “the younger players should look up to me,” and added, “From the outside, the players were very passionate. I felt like they were making the best of every play. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get over the hump, but I think we can do it.”
He also expressed his disappointment with some of the hopefuls, especially third baseman Han Dong-hee (24), who was unable to rebound after falling into a slump this season. I’ll do better than this year. No matter how bad you are, if you have the mindset that you will do better than this year, you will achieve good results,” Kim encouraged. Kim touched Han Dong-hee’s cheeks to encourage her.
However, in true Tiger fashion, Kim also had a warning for his players. In particular, he had a strong message for young hopefuls like Kim Min-seok (19) and Yoon Dong-hee (20), who have stepped up to the plate this season. Kim, who joined the team as a high school rookie this year, batted .255 with three home runs, 39 RBIs, 16 doubles and an OPS of .652 in 129 games and was named an All-Star. Yoon, who turned pro last year, got his chance in May and hit .287 with two home runs, 41 RBIs, three doubles and an OPS of .687 in 107 games, while also earning a spot on the national team for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
“One thing I always tell players who are backups and then make it to the first team is that they just think they’re going to do better the next year. Even when I was at Doosan, I talked to some players and told them that it’s a mistake to think, ‘I’ll be better than this next year,'” Kim said. “(Young players) have to be really prepared,” he said.
Kim also talked about how he prepares his athletes for the winter. “In the winter, you say you’re going to do weight training and build your body, but you can’t build your body with weight training. You have to build your body with baseball.” “Older players like Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong just lift weights and build their bodies during the winter, but younger players need to build their bodies with baseball, such as throwing and hitting,” Kim said.
The players are preparing to follow suit. “I think I need to build my body as much as possible so that my fastball doesn’t drop, and keep throwing the ball from December,” sidearm pitcher Woo Kang-hoon, 21, told Star News, “so that I can throw the ball well when I join the spring training in February.”