Lost 299 times… Seong Min-gyu’s process, is it the best so far?

Lost 299 times… Seong Min-gyu’s process, is it the best so far?

Since the appointment of general manager Sung Min-gyu (41), Lotte’s 300th loss is just around the corner.

Lotte lost 3-6 to Kiwoom in a professional baseball Sajik home game on the 19th.

Meanwhile, since September 3, 2019, when General Manager Seong was first appointed, Lotte has played a total of 574 games, recording 262 wins, 13 draws, and 299 losses (a winning percentage of 0.467).

For reference, Lotte’s record in 574 games just before the appointment of General Manager Seong was 263 wins, 7 draws, and 304 losses (winning percentage of 0.464).

So, there was virtually no change in Lotte’s performance before and after Director Seong took office.

A winning rate of 0.003 higher means that you can win 3 more times out of 1,000 games.
Lotte announced on July 9, 2019 that coach Sang-moon Yang and general manager Yoon-won Lee decided to resign from the team at the same time.

56 days later, General Manager Seong was appointed and apologized, saying, “I am extremely sorry for showing a disappointing performance in front of the fans due to repeated poor performance and performance below expectations.”

At the same time, he emphasized, “We can no longer repeat the same mistakes, and we will innovate the team at a rapid pace in line with a clear direction and strategy.”

However, even after the appointment of General Manager Seong, Lotte did not change much from the ‘Lotte that baseball fans originally knew’.

Sapporo Dome, Japan, where the opening match of the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 was held. Photo source: Samurai Japan website
So what did ‘Lotte that baseball fans originally knew’ look like?

It was during the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 in November 2015.

I arrived in Sapporo, Japan, where the opening match of the tournament was being held, and on my way to the city, I ran into a Lotte official on the airport railroad.

This official, who has now left the team, politely asked for his opinion, ‘How should we recruit pitchers in the free agent (FA) market?’

Despite investing 3.8 billion won, Yoon Gil-hyun left an ERA of 5.96 during the three years he played for Lotte. Donga Ilbo DB
“Recruiting Jung Woo-ram (38, currently Hanwha) will actually help the team, but wouldn’t Lotte sign Seung-rak Son (41, current KIA Futures League coach) and Gil-hyeon Yoon (40, retired) and say, ‘We did this much?’ “I replied.

The result is exactly as you know.

Since 2013, when NC began participating in professional baseball as the 9th club, until the opening of the 2019 season, before the appointment of General Manager Seong, Lotte spent a total of 61.3 billion won in the free agent market.

The amount is 4.65 billion won more than Hanwha (56.65 billion won), which ranked second during the same period.

Song Jeong-gyu, former Lotte general manager. Donga Ilbo DB
Why is Lotte spending money so recklessly?

This time, former Lotte general manager Song Jeong-gyu (70), who was jointly interviewed by Channel A’s ‘Shorttory’ in the summer of 2019 when Lotte was in a slump, may give a hint.

Former general manager Song was originally a ‘madoros’ = captain and was a person who had a long way from baseball.

Then, in 1990, at his own expense, he published a book called ‘Winning V Strategy Lotte Giants: TOP SECRET’ and eventually took responsibility for Lotte’s household from the following year.

It was former general manager Song who gave Lotte its last Korean Series championship (1992).

Song Jeong-gyu, former Lotte general manager. YouTube screen capture
Former Director Song said, “Lotte cannot spend money when it should and continues to save it. “To put it bluntly, it’s just crawling on its own,” he said.

“Then the results dropped and the fans said, ‘Lotte, step down. “Only after saying, ‘We will create a civic team,’ did they report to the authorities, ‘Public sentiment in Busan is not good,’” he said.

He continues, “Then the owner asks, ‘Why didn’t you tell me? ‘Spend money’, they say. “Only then will we be able to allocate 20 to 30 billion won at a time,” he explained.

He then pointed out, “That’s why we can’t spend money at the right time.”

In 2019, Lotte coach Yang Sang-moon became the first player in professional baseball history to resign midway through his first season. Donga Ilbo DB
Lotte spent 10.183 billion won in annual salary for its players in 2019, excluding rookies and foreign players.

Among the 10 professional baseball teams, Lotte is the only team that spends more than 10 billion won on player salaries.

Even then, the team’s performance was the lowest with 48 wins, 3 draws, and 93 losses (winning percentage of 0.340).

Lotte reduced the 2021 player salary scale to 5.22 billion won.

2021 is the year in which Director Seong promised to “give a chance.”

Of course, the season result was 8th place with 65 wins, 8 draws, and 71 losses (winning percentage of 0.478).

2020 Sports Donga article conveying General Manager Seong Min-gyu’s goals
Still, it is an unmistakable fact that Director Seong changed the structure of Lotte from ‘a team that spends a lot of money and does not do well’ to ‘a team that spends a lot of money and does not do well’.

Director Seong continued to emphasize, “Now is not the time to spend money.”

This means, paradoxically, that it is the owner’s turn to say, ‘Spend money.’

Lotte Giants Co., Ltd. increased capital by 19 billion won last year, and Manager Seong spent a lot of money during the Stove League.

Lotte spent a total of 30.8 billion won during last year’s Stove League, including signing catcher Yoo Kang-nam (31) as a free agent for 8 billion won.

Kang Min-ho qualified as a free agent (FA) after the 2017 season and signed with Samsung. Provided by Samsung
In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the first task given to General Manager Seong at Lotte was to ‘find a good catcher.’

This is because Lotte was having a hard time finding a starting catcher after Kang Min-ho (38) left for Samsung ahead of the 2018 season.

After the 2019 season ended, Kim Tae-gun (34, currently KIA) and Lee Ji-young (37, currently Kiwoom) were released on the free agent market, but General Manager Seong said, “I decided that there was no better catcher than the one I wanted. “I’ll show you how to recruit him,” he shouted.

And the player acquired through trade was Ji-wan Ji (29, former name Seong-jun Ji).

Director Seong Min-gyu’s ‘No. 1 recruit’ player Ji-wan Ji. Kim Min-seong, Sports Donga Reporter marineboy@donga.com
According to Sports2I, the official statistics company of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), Ji-Wan Ji-wan has recorded a win contribution (WAR) compared to replacement player of 0.99 from 2020, when he joined Lotte, to the present.

During the same period, Taegun Kim had a WAR of 3.06 and Jiyoung Lee had a WAR of 1.80.

With both of these players giving up, Lotte started with Na Won-tak (29) in 2018, followed by Ahn Jung-yeol (28, current NC) in 2019, Jeong Bo-geun (24) in 2020, and Kim Jun-tae (29, current KT) in 2021. In 2018, the catcher for the opening game was changed to Ji-wan Ji (29).

Lotte is, of course, the first team in the history of professional baseball to change players who had no experience as starters in the opening game every year and appoint them as starters on the first day of the season.

Min-gyu Seong, general manager of Lotte. YouTube screen capture
Still, Ji-Wan Ji-Wan is one of the players that General Manager Sung traded well.

No, he could be said to be the only good player brought in.

The remaining eight players that General Manager Seong acquired through trades only managed a combined WAR of 0163.

Conversely, the total WAR of players who left Lotte through trade is 7.19.

The WAR of the player who left was 45 times higher.
Of course, there is no guarantee that a player who was traded would have done this much if he had remained at Lotte.

This is because, in a sense, it is natural for people to change when the environment changes.

And before General Manager Sung, Lotte was not a team that was extremely good at trading.

Even so, it is undoubtedly true that General Manager Seong did not have fun with the trade.

Oh Yoon-seok and Son A-seop, who once worked together at Lotte. Provided by NC
Director Seong also lost Son Ah-seop (35), a franchise star, to NC in the 2022 free agent market.

Afterwards, General Manager Seong said, “If we combine Kim Jae-yu’s (31) performance against right-handed pitchers, Chu Jae-hyeon (24)’s performance against underhand pitchers, and Shin Yong-soo’s (27, Shin Yun-hu after name change) performance against left-handed pitchers, we can replace Son Ah-seop.” He said.

Son Ah-seop’s OPS (on-base percentage + slugging power) by type of opposing pitcher from last year to this year was △right-handed 0.731 △underhand 0.968 △left-handed 0.783.

The batting records of the three players during the same period are omitted out of concern for the mental health of fans.바카라사이트

The 0.500 fence that has never been surpassed.
There are only two cases when you set up a process and proceed with something, but fail to achieve success.

Either things weren’t done according to the process, or there were problems with the process from the beginning.

If the work was not done according to the process, you can look into where and how the hole was created and hold the person responsible for causing the problem accountable.

If there was a problem with the process from the beginning, you can consider what the problem was and reinvent the process.

Lotte general manager Seong Min-gyu is making a funny expression. YouTube screen capture
In a professional baseball team, the general manager’s job is to establish a process and check whether work is being carried out according to that process.

In other words, this is not a position where you get paid to imitate General Manager Baek Seung-soo from ‘Stove League’, which began airing on SBS in 2019.

It has been 1,480 days since Director Seong received his salary from Lotte.

Is Director Seong’s process heading toward the conclusion Lotte fans want?

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