“For team chemistry to be created, there must be respect.”
LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop has responded to the recent controversy over the suspension of “hitting machine” Kim Hyun-soo, 35. He tackled the controversy head-on, explaining the reasons for his decisions in an unusually detailed and firm manner.
Kim Hyun-soo, who is in the midst of a slump unlike anything he’s ever experienced in his career, gets a brief break. LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said he hopes to give Kim enough rest to break out of his slump, which could last anywhere from four to five games to as long as a week.
Ahead of the game against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes on June 6, Yeom said, “Kim Hyun-soo won’t play at all (today). He will have about four to five days to prepare, and it will be until this week at the longest.” On the day of the game, Kim didn’t even appear as a pinch-hitter, and the LG bats exploded for a 9-1 victory.
Kim has been in a serious slump this season. His batting average has plummeted to 0.254 on the season, and his on-base percentage (0.337) and slugging percentage (0.322) have combined for a 0.659 OPS, his lowest since his professional debut. It’s not a performance that lives up to his reputation as a “hitting machine,” as he had some of the most precise hitting in KBO history.
He hasn’t shown the ability to solve problems either. After 17 RBIs in April, he has just eight RBIs in May and June. His monthly batting average in May was just .148, the lowest of any month. He also had only one long ball, a double.
After LG was swept in a three-game series against the NC Dinos last weekend, and Kim Hyun-soo struggled in 13 at-bats with one hit and one RBI, criticism of the move was raised.
When head coach Yoon Kyung-yeop spoke to reporters afterward and said that he was going to give Kim a break by removing him from the lineup for the time being, some media outlets criticized Yoon’s communication style for being too detailed and public about the team’s weaknesses and decisions.
This has been a problem for many this year. In response, Yeom spent much more time than usual on June 6 explaining his team’s philosophy and recruiting decisions. In fact, he addressed the controversy head-on by providing more details.
“Right now, (Kim) Hyun-soo is not in good shape, and if he goes out as a substitute, it won’t solve the problem, and if he can’t hit in a crucial situation, he will be criticized, but I will only corner him in a more difficult situation,” Yeom said.
He’s not an ordinary player. He must play the role of the team’s center fielder to save the team. The reason for his patience and perseverance was not only out of consideration for Kim Hyun-soo, but also because the team felt that the revival of the center fielder was essential for a good team performance. The same goes for the resting decision.
“At the end of the day, the core of our batting is (Kim) Hyun-soo. Oh Ji-hwan and Austin Dean are also key. These guys are not run-scoring hitters, so it’s all about how many runs they can get, how they can solve the team’s problems, and how they can hit the winning runs. That’s why we talk about the pillar theory of hitters.” “(Hyun-soo) Kim is a pillar. If the pillar goes down, the team is bound to falter in their batting. They have to play a consistent role.”
When a team is doing well, it’s hard to recognize the pillars. But when the team is struggling, they stand out because they are usually the center of the team.
He also emphasized that following Kim Hyun-soo’s wishes to regain his batting touch without resting was not a case of being “dragged along by the player” or putting off responsibility on the player. It was a decision made out of respect for Kim Hyun-soo, who is the mental support of the team, and in consideration of team chemistry.
“The thoughts of (Kim) Hyun-soo are also very important. He’s in a position to lead the team as a whole, so I can’t help but respect his 토토사이트 thoughts.” He emphasized, “Hyun-soo hasn’t spoken for a long time now. After going through a slump, he must have been worried, and he must have realized that it is important to play, but he must also realize that he needs to make quick judgments about the moment of any decision (rest) in order to do better.”
He added that communication must be preceded by the players’ own understanding.
“As a coach, of course I have the power to talk, but the timing and the timing of the conversations with the players has to be done when they are receptive. (The experience) has to stay with them and carry over into the second half of the year, into next year, and they have to trust the experience of the coaching staff. If I had told (Kim) Hyun-soo to rest before 15 or 20 games, he might have done better. But at that point, there’s a very high probability that no matter how much I tell him, he’s going to lose trust in me rather than gain trust in me because of the baseball he’s been playing. From (Kim’s) point of view, if you want to play and the manager says, ‘Rest,’ you’re taking yourself out of the equation.”
While the head coach is the one with the real power to make decisions, he’s also the first to take charge of the team this season, so he’s been more cautious in his communication with Kim Hyun-soo, who is the leader of the squad and an important player, according to Yeom.
“There’s a problem with having a conversation that’s not effective, that can lead to trouble, that can shake the pillars. Also, it was early in the season, so (Kim) should have been able to feel it. “It’s the first time he’s had a slump this long,” he said, “so it could be an opportunity for him to develop further in his baseball career. From a player’s perspective, you want to keep playing and do something for the team, but you realize that sometimes it can be toxic to yourself and the team.”
Finally, Yeom emphasized trust. “The point was to wait for (Kim) Hyun-soo. After that, trust is built between each other,” he said. “Also, Kim Hyun-soo is a player who has a baseball career that can be respected to that extent. There must be respect between the coaching staff and players to create team chemistry,” he reiterated.
In the end, it seems that the decision to bring in Kim was not only a clear message and vote of confidence in the team, but also an important choice for the individual player’s resurgence and the team’s overall strength.
When it’s hard to know what’s going on inside a team, it’s often easy to judge it by what’s on the outside. This season, LG’s baseball team has sometimes come across as overly focused on winning and under a lot of pressure. And at the center of it all is the manager, whose choices and subsequent words are often controversial.
But it’s only been 54 games into the regular season since Yi set sail. Considering that LG is currently cruising along with a 0.623 winning percentage, it’s still too early to tell if the team’s colors have fully settled in, and the storms that are brewing outside, sometimes even threatening to capsize the ship, may not be the best thing for a team hoping to set sail on a “great voyage.