In the end, no miracle happened to the giant army. Still, the head coach recalled the Lotte fans who visited Jamsil Stadium and showed their support and expressed his sincerity, saying, “I am truly sorry.”
Lotte lost 0-7 in an away game against the LG Twins held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 10th. Lotte, which lost that day, maintained 7th place in the league with 66 wins and 73 losses. Lotte had a slim hope of advancing to the fall baseball season after winning against LG the previous day (the 9th), but with the loss that day, it was confirmed that they would be eliminated from the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. Lotte now has 5 games left. After facing Doosan at home on the 11th, they will move to Gwangju and clash with KIA on the 12th. After a day’s rest on the 13th, the 2023 season pennant race schedule will conclude with a three-game series between Hanwha and Daejeon from the 14th to the 16th.
Lotte failed to play fall baseball for seven consecutive years from 2001 to 2007, but succeeded in advancing to the postseason for five consecutive seasons until 2012 with the appointment of coach Royster in 2008. However, since 2013, the team has not been able to play fall baseball again for four consecutive years. Lotte finished the 2017 pennant race in third place and entered the fall baseball stage again. It has been 5 years since 2012. At that time, Lotte dramatically took 3rd place in the final game of the regular league and succeeded in advancing directly to the semi-playoffs. However, after a fierce battle with the NC Dinos in the semi-playoffs all the way to Game 5, they bowed out with a series record of 2 wins and 3 losses.
And then the dark times began again. In the end, they bowed their heads this season as well, failing to advance to fall baseball for six consecutive seasons from the 2018 season to this season. In the 2018 season, they finished the pennant race in 7th place with a record of 68 wins, 74 losses, and 2 draws (winning percentage of 0.479). In the 2019 season, they had the lowest performance with 48 wins, 93 losses, and 3 draws (winning percentage of 0.340), ranking last among the 10 clubs. It was the first time in the club’s history that Lotte ended the regular season in 10th place since its founding in 1982. It was also the lowest ranking for the first time in 15 years since 2004. At the time, they had 8.5 games to go with the Hanwha Eagles, who were in 9th place. In the end, taking responsibility for the poor performance, not only the coach, but also the general manager and president all resigned from their positions and went through a difficult time.토토사이트
Lotte rose again the following year. In the 2020 season, they finished the pennant race in 7th place in the league with 71 wins, 72 losses, and 1 draw, with a winning percentage of 0.497, one win short of .500. It was clearly a much improved performance compared to the 2019 season. However, it was difficult to get out of the middle or lower ranks. In the 2021 season, they ranked 8th in the league with 65 wins, 71 losses, and 8 draws (winning rate of 0.478), which was lower than the 2020 season. Last season, they finished in 8th place with 64 wins, 76 losses, and 4 draws (winning percentage of 0.457).
Ahead of this season, Lotte strengthened its strength by recruiting catcher Yoo Kang-nam, shortstop Noh Jin-hyuk, and pitcher Han Hyun-hee as free agents. Lotte clearly showed good momentum at the beginning of the season. The fight for the lead continued until early June. However, after June, the team’s rankings fell as they repeatedly lost the series, and former head coach Larry Sutton voluntarily resigned due to health issues. Even Coach Sutton laid down his baton midway, and all 7 players from Lotte, including former Coach Royster, stepped down without completing their contract terms. Afterwards, head coach Lee Jong-woon took over as acting manager and began to repair the team. Acting manager Lee, who had previously experienced one season as Lotte’s first-team manager in 2015, took care of the team well, but it was not easy to close the gap that had already widened with top teams. As a result, Lotte has successfully played fall baseball once (2017 season) in the last 11 seasons. Now, Lotte plans to spend the Stove League with an eye on next year’s season. We must immediately resolve issues such as appointing a manager, renewing contracts with foreigners, and recruiting free agents.
Lotte acting manager Lee Jong-woon met with reporters before the game on the 10th. Acting manager Lee said, “A lot of Lotte fans came the day before (the 9th). They were really sorry. Still, they are cheering for our team (even though fall baseball has become difficult)… The players should also feel a sense of responsibility after seeing that. “I’m sorry,” he confessed. There were 22,807 spectators at Jamsil Stadium for the game on the 9th, and 18,521 spectators for the game on the 10th, enjoying the match between the Lotte Giants and LG Twins. And the away fans on the third base side cheered on the Lotte players until the end.
Acting manager Lee said, “(Seeing Lotte fans’ cheering) was heartbreaking. In the past, when we played baseball, we heard a lot of swearing, but now it’s hard to find anyone who swears.” Fans’ appearance “While watching, I once again felt that our players must do really well. I was also very moved while listening to the cheering song,” he said, expressing his feelings once again.