The KIA Tigers were one of the top three favorites this season. Two days before departing for spring training, the team’s manager was suspended. How to fix this situation.
On the 28th, KIA officially announced the suspension of manager Kim Jong-guk. It was a surprise. The team had just gotten the news. The club confirmed that Kim Jong-kook was under investigation by prosecutors on May 25, held a meeting with Kim on May 27, and confirmed the suspension internally the following day on May 28.
“We have taken this action because we believe that Coach Kim Jong-kook is unable to fulfill his duties as a coach in connection with the current investigation,” the organization explained.
It is currently unclear what exactly is being investigated and what the allegations are. It is said to be related to bribery, but no details have been released. 안전놀이터 The club hasn’t commented on the allegations either. However, the club has interviewed Kim Jong-guk and, based on what we know so far, has decided to suspend him because the matter is serious.
A suspension is a rare move.
It literally puts an “all-stop” on your job as a coach. It’s not an immediate departure from the club, nor is it a dismissal. However, there’s no telling when the prosecution’s investigation will conclude or how serious the allegations are.
The problem is that prosecutorial investigations take time. It can be as short as a few months or as long as a year or more. In a baseball organization where so much can be decided in a single season with a suspended manager, it’s hard to wait.
While Kim Jong-guk has been proactive in his explanation to the club, the club has decided that it is difficult for him to serve as a manager regardless of his innocence while being investigated by the prosecution. Another problem is that Kim Jong-guk did not inform the club of the information first, and the club found out about it through other channels.
The KIA players will depart for Canberra, Australia, for their first spring training camp on the 30th via Incheon International Airport. Head coach Kim Jong-guk and the coaching staff were scheduled to leave on the 29th, one day earlier than the players.
However, they left in a messy state.
The club announced that it has suspended Kim Jong-guk from his duties and will conduct spring training under head coach Jin Gap-yong for now.
KIA will hold spring training and practice games at Narabunda Ballpark in Canberra and Kin Stadium in Okinawa, Japan, starting on February 1.
The team will include 67 players, including 20 coaching staff and 47 players. The roster consists of 22 pitchers, four catchers, 12 infielders, and nine outfielders. Among the 2024 rookies, pitchers Cho Dae-hyun and Kim Min-ju were named to the roster.
After completing physical, technical, and tactical training in Canberra on a ‘three days of training, one day of rest’ system, the team will fly to Japan on Feb. 21 and begin a full-scale practice regime at the Kin Stadium in Okinawa until March 6.
Starting with a practice game against the KT Wiz on February 25, the team is scheduled to play five practice games against KBO League teams, and will also play a practice game against the Yakult Swallows on February 27.
However, the suspension of manager Kim Jong-guk has shaken up the baseball world. Not only KIA officials and players, but also officials of other clubs and baseball figures are trying to figure out what happened. However, it is still difficult to know the exact details, so we can only speculate.
In this atmosphere, it will be crucial for the team to prepare for the new season in the Australian camp.
Along with KT, Kia is one of the teams that LG Twins manager Yeom Kyung-yeop will have to contend with the most, as they were the overall champions last year and are looking to win their second straight title this year. Other teams also see Kia as a team capable of finishing third or higher and even challenging for the grand prix, given their strong batting lineup. Last year, the team left a spark of hope with a late-game comeback that centered on a young outfield, and this year, the expectations are even higher.
KIA will be joined by two new foreign pitchers, Will Crowe and James Nail, at the beginning of camp. Kia has been ambitious this season, using two foreign pitchers. Both Crowe and Nail have big league experience dating back to last year, and Crowe was signed under the $1 million foreign player cap (including incentives). The club’s expectations are clear.
With two handpicked foreign pitchers and a re-signed slugger, Socrates Brito ($1.2 million), the team has a full roster and has finalized contracts with free agents Kim Sun-bin and Ko Jong-wook. And with the addition of Seo Gun-chang, the team had completed all of its plans for the season and finalized its salary contracts, and was waiting to depart for spring training.
But then the wings fell. KIA also had a bad experience a year earlier in March 2023.
A major controversy erupted when it was revealed that former team president Jang Jeong-seok asked for “back money” during contract negotiations with catcher Park Dong-won, who became a free agent after the 2022 season. Park reported the recording to the club and the players’ association.
Although Jang Jeong-seok actively defended himself against the allegations, the KIA team reported the allegations to Clean Baseball and, after an internal meeting, 안전한 파워볼사이트 decided to dismiss him as an act of disgrace.
The team went into the season without a manager, and in early May, the team appointed baseball commentator Shim Jae-hak to fill the vacant position, which was difficult to fill. Just a year later, the team was dealt another blow when the manager, this time in charge of the on-field players, came under investigation by prosecutors.
How will the Tigers overcome the current crisis, and how long will the managerial position remain vacant? Everything is confusing.