“The players did a good job”
The Doosan Bears were scheduled to play their ninth away game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 13th. However, the game was cancelled due to a rainy season front that dumped water on the Seoul metropolitan area.
Doosan is undergoing a major overhaul after a disastrous season last year, finishing ninth in its inaugural season. After the expiry of the contracts of “master” Kim Tae-hyung, who led the team to the Korean Series (KS) for the seventh consecutive year for the first time in the KBO, and Lee Seung-yeop, who had been dubbed “the people’s hitter,” took the helm, the team dumped all foreign players, and declared a comeback with a total of 15.2 billion won ($15.2 million) and the biggest free agent acquisition, Yang Ji Woo.온라인카지노
The season didn’t start badly for Doosan, led by ‘newbie’ Lee Seung-yup. In April, Doosan won 12 games, drew one, lost 11, and won more than 5 per cent of their games, and in May, they continued to cruise with 11 wins and 11 losses. However, the good form didn’t last. Doosan seemed to slip out of the mid-table race in June, finishing with 10 wins, 14 losses, and a disappointing 7th place finish.
However, July was a different story. Starting with a win over the Lotte Giants at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan on the 1st of July, the team went on a winning streak, defeating the Samsung Lions and Kiwoom Heroes in succession, and the day before (12th), they defeated SSG 4-1 to extend their winning streak to nine games. Doosan’s longest winning streak is 10 games.
Doosan first won 10 games in a row under Kim In-sung in 2010 and went on a 10-game winning streak from 6 June 2018 against the GoChek Nexen (now Kiwoom) Heroes to 16 June 2018 against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles. Doosan, led by head coach Lee Seung-yeop, is very close to matching that record. With a win the previous day (12th), the team had won nine straight games in 1853 days. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled due to rain on the 13th, but the team will be looking to extend their winning streak to 10 games in their first three games against the KIA Tigers in the second half of the season.
Doosan’s winning streak is also a chance for Lee Seung-yeop to make history. This is the first winning streak in his first year as the Bears’ head coach. Back in 1982, Kim Young-duk and Kim Sung-geun “Yasin” in their first seasons, each won nine games in a row, and Lee joined them the previous day (12 December). Lee needs just one more win to make Bears history.
“There is an evaluation that we finished the first half with a good performance,” said Lee before the Incheon SSG game on the 13th, which was cancelled due to rain, “Now the first half is over. All evaluations are after the season is over. It’s the halfway point, so I don’t care about the evaluation, and I will prepare to enter the second half. The real battle is in the second half, when the heat starts,” he said emphatically.
When asked what made Doosan’s nine-game winning streak possible, the coach said, “It’s not about me. It’s the players. All the credit goes to the players. It’s not my record. It’s the whole team, including our players. We had our trials and tribulations, we had a difficult time in June. I don’t think the record really hits home yet,” he said, adding that he was tied with managers Kim Young-duk and Kim Sung-geun, “but it doesn’t compare to those great people.”
As a player, Lee was the “best” in the KBO, but as a manager, he faced many challenges. “When I was playing on the field, I studied and worked hard, thinking, ‘If I can’t do it today, I’ll do it tomorrow at all costs.’ But now I have to think and read the players’ minds. In fact, there are many things that don’t go my way,” he confessed.
“I used to think only about the team and myself, but now I have to look at all the players. It’s actually not easy to keep track of that. “I have more bad memories than good memories from the beginning to the middle of the season, but I think he made me realise that a little bit sooner,” he said, adding, “I think it was a better medicine for us in the beginning of the season.
After a strong April and May, Doosan suffered a major setback in June. “When we came into July, we were -3. If we were -10, we’d have to win 10 games in a row to have a 5 percent chance of winning, and we’d have to win 10 games in a row. “That’s why I thought it would be a bit difficult if we didn’t improve our winning percentage in the first half, so we went all out, and our players responded well. They were really ready to play,” he said.
Lee explained that his health had deteriorated as he struggled with his responsibilities. “It’s very hard,” he said. I used to exercise, but after I became a coach, I couldn’t exercise, so my back, neck, and other parts of my body hurt a lot. I feel that my body is getting weaker, but I think I need to control my physical condition well,” he said, smiling broadly.
After finishing the first half of the season on a nine-game winning streak, it will be interesting to see if Lee can pull off a second half ‘feat’.