Finally, the two Korean Series winning command towers are united.
On the 10th (hereinafter Korean time), Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona, USA. KT and KIA are holding a spring camp. The national team will be convened on the 15th, and training will begin on the 16th. Soon, this place is expected to become the melting pot of Korean baseball.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol leads the spring camp as the head of KT thoroughly until the national team is summoned. On this day, I also closely watched Ju Kwon, who pitched in the bullpen. Coach Lee refrains from talking about the national team even to reporters. Right now, I think it’s ‘KT’s time’.
However, the moment coach Lee changes into the national team uniform and conducts the national team convocation training, it changes to ‘national team mode’. KT plans to leave it to head coach Kim Tae-gyun and focus only on the national team안전놀이터. In fact, coach Lee is doing twice as much as the others with the national team’s WBC management and KT’s preparation for the season, but he doesn’t show it off. Manager Lee has more responsibility and burden than anyone else in Korean baseball right now.
On the 10th, coach Lee’s strong supporters appeared on the scene. He is the manager of KT Futures, Kim Ki-tae. Director Kim led KT’s Iksan Futures Camp. He came to Tucson on the 9th, joined the KT 1st team training on the 10th and started skinship with the KT 1st team players.
Coach Kim is a case in which coach Lee strongly recommended the club and succeeded in recruiting him. While coach Kim was a leader at the Yomiuri Giants, his contract expired, and he quickly figured out that he was a ‘FA status’ and asked the club to recruit him as the futures manager. Coach Lee returned to the KBO league after four years of undressing at KIA during the 2019 season.
Coach Lee highly praised Kim’s unique ability to dominate the squad, induction of chemistry, and ability to nurture hitters. He is from Donggyeong, and Lee is 3 years his senior at Gwangju Il High School. Coach Lee joined the first-team squad that day, but kept a certain distance from coach Kim and only watched the players’ training seriously. As I was in charge during the KIA command tower, I was familiar with him, so I exchanged greetings for a while.
KT is the only one out of 10 clubs this year to have two Korean Series winning command towers. This is because coach Kim led KIA to win the Korean Series in 2017. Coach Lee, who led KT’s first Korean Series victory in 2020, naturally wants to win one more Korean Series during his contract period. Director Lee and KT’s contract period is until this year. Even for Lee personally, this season leading the WBC and KT is bound to be different.
Coach Lee has a unique sense of duty to lead the recently stagnant Korean baseball at the WBC. Then he is in a position to see the final match at KT. Director Kim helps this director. Coach Kim serves as the hitting coach for the WBC national team and helps coach Lee at close range. After the start of the season, as KT’s 2nd team coach, if he supplies good players to the 1st team, that in itself will give Lee momentum.
Coach Kim stays at the KT camp until the national team is summoned, and wears the national team uniform with coach Lee when the national team is called. After all, director Lee Kang-cheol and director Kim Ki-tae share a common fate this year. The industry expects Korean baseball to rise up in the magic of the two.