“If ‘Lotte Culture’ doesn’t change, it will continue to rank 7th to 8th.” 19th-year veteran’s bitter criticism, “Changing the consciousness of the team” is as important as the appointment of a master

Kim Sang-soo met with Star News at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 2nd and said, “The coach has changed, but the team must change first,” adding, “Lotte has its own culture, but if you push with that culture, you continue to rank seventh and eighth.”

Currently, the players are inactive (from December to January), but Kim Sang-soo, pitcher Shin Jung-rak (37), and Hyun Do-hoon (31) came to Sajik Baseball Stadium on the day to play catch and other games. “I think the baseball stadium is the most convenient place to play. I went to the center and I played there, so exercising there helps me a lot,” Kim said, explaining the reason why he came to the stadium.

When asked about his status during the off-season, Kim replied, “I thought about what I felt sorry about while taking a break.” “Now, I am thinking about how I can strengthen my team. What kind of senior should I become?” or “What kind of baseball player should I become? What kind of pitcher should I become?”

Looking back on the past season, Kim Sang-soo said, “Personal performance may be meaningful in my own way, but I am saddened that the team’s performance has not come out yet.” As he said, Lotte enjoyed a rollercoaster ride last year. The team garnered high expectations by bringing in three FA players – catcher Yoo Kang-nam (32), shortstop Roh Jin-hyuk (35), and pitcher Han Hyun-hee (31) from the Stove League. At one point in late April, it won nine consecutive games to become the top contender. 메이저 토토사이트

However, Lotte began to fall as it continued its six-game losing series in June alone. As its winning percentage collapsed in late August, Lotte ended the season with no effort at all when even coach Larry Sutton (54) was withdrawn due to health problems. Thinking of the season, Kim firmly said, “I don’t want to make that mistake twice.”

What do we need to do that? “I think we need to be a strong team only when we become a stable and natural team that accumulates wins,” Kim Sang-soo said. “I think we need to talk about how to reduce the ups and downs of consecutive wins and losses and overcome the slump in the second half.”

Ahead of this season, Lotte fully prepared by recruiting Kim Tae-hyung (57), former Doosan Bears manager who won three Korean Series titles. “He is my senior at Shinil High School,” Kim said, while jokingly saying, “Of course, the coach has changed, but the squad must change first.” What does this mean.

Kim Sang-soo said, “I think the squad should solve why they have been so bad and why they have been so sluggish.” He said, “We need to change everything that the team has done so far,” as he talks a lot with the new captain, Jeon Joon-woo (38). “Of course, Lotte has its own culture, but if you push with that culture, you continue to rank seventh and eighth,” he said. “We need to build up a systematic and winable system, teamwork of players alone, and motivation to win.”

Of course, it is not easy for a team to change its culture in a short period of time. Kim Sang-soo admitted this and said, “It takes three to four years, or up to five years.” Referring to veteran players such as Kim Hyun-soo (LG), Son A-seop (NC), Choo Shin-soo (SSG), and Park Kyung-soo (KT), Kim said, “If good leaders come out with direction and goals, the team will definitely get better.”

Kim Sang-soo is a leading player who served as captain (2019-2020), which is a rare case for a pitcher at Kiwoom in the past. However, he rarely gives advice. “A person just needs to experience it. No matter how much advice you give, it’s meaningless,” Kim said. “Do whatever you want, and experience it.”

“You have to experience that you are not good at baseball. You have to feel why you are different from when you are good at it and how you are treated when you are not good at it,” he said. “I think those experiences build up and come up little by little as you become stronger inside.” Kim Sang-soo added, “It takes three to four years for young players to suffer pain and struggle, and we will become a strong team.”

Although he only had one season in the team, he still thinks about Lotte’s future because he has become integrated into the team. “It’s only been a year, but I became attached as I talked with my juniors a lot. It’s good to think that I want to end the last one here. It’s good that I’m good, but I feel good when the team does well,” Kim said.

Kim Sang-soo, who entered the pro league in 2006 and will be in his 19th year, has played for the Samsung Lions, the Kiwoom Heroes, and the SSG Landers. Until last season, he played in 581 games and posted an ERA of 29-41 46 saves and 120 holds. During his career at Kiwoom in 2019, he recorded 40 holds, the most in a single season in the KBO, winning his first professional league title.

Kim Sang-soo, who was released from the SSG after the end of the 2022 season, signed an annual contract worth 110 million won with the Lotte Giants. He played 52 innings in 67 games for the season, recording four wins, two losses, one save, 18 holds (ranking eighth) and an ERA of 3.12. In the team, he played the most games with Koo, followed by hold with Koo Seung-min as well. Lotte had many players including Junghoon Lee (30), Yoon Myung-joon (35), and Cha Woo-chan (37) ahead of the last season, but Kim’s performance was definitely outstanding among them.

“Kim Sang-soo was practically an FA. He competed with other teams to recruit him,” a Lotte source said. As expected, he continued his good pitching with an ERA of 0.87 during the month of April, which was a huge boost to Lotte’s relief staff. His ERA briefly rose to 5.23 in May and 11.12 in June, going into the second division, but he managed to rebound by allowing no runs in 12 consecutive games (against Doosan in Ulsan on July 2 – Sajik SSG on August 4). Since then, he has continued his streak of 14 consecutive games (against Kiwoom in Gocheok on August 8 – against Samsung in Ulsan on September 7).

At one point, he was about to enter the two-point ERA range, but he was absent for nearly a month in September due to groin injury, which ultimately fell through. Notably, he displayed his fighting spirit even when he was in his mid-30s, recording four consecutive games and one four consecutive games. “I don’t have physical problems. Intermediate pitchers have to do that, of course, and they exercise to endure and overcome,” Kim Sang-soo said.

“Let’s do better than last year,” said Kim Sang-soo ahead of the 2024 season. “Before, I used to say ‘I only need to do well on the team,’ but these days, I need to do well on the team,” he said. “I need to help (Kim) Won-joong and (former) Seung-min, who become FA, because they need to do well to grow their bullpen pitchers and also need to perform well.” “What I want to hear the most is that Kim Sang-soo has gotten better. He said, “I want to become a pitcher who is not slow down and can’t be compared to last year.”

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