KBO’s Bears part ways with manager Kim Tae-hyoung

SEOUL– The South Korean baseball club Doosan Bears announced Tuesday they will not bring back manager Kim Tae-hyoung, ending an eight-year relationship with the most successful skipper in franchise history.

Kim, 55, led the Bears to three Korean Series titles during his tenure: 2015, 2016 and 2019. With Kim at the helm, the Bears reached the championship round in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in each of his first seven seasons, from 2015 to 2021, before missing the postseason altogether this year. Kim is the first manager ever to make it to the Korean Series in seven consecutive years.
Kim was in the final year of a three-year deal worth 2.8 billion won (US$1.95 million), which made him the highest-paid manager in KBO history. He had previously managed the Bears on a two-year contract and then a three-year deal.

“We have decided not to re-sign Kim Tae-hyoung, considering the long-term direction of the team,” the Bears said in a statement. “We thank Kim Tae-hyoung for his hard work in guiding the franchise through such a successful period.”

With a record of 645-485-19 (wins-losses-ties), Kim is ninth on the all-time managerial wins list.

During the Bears’ dynastic run, Kim built a reputation as a charismatic, no-nonsense skipper who often pushed the right buttons at key moments. As several key players left the Bears in free agency in recent years, no manager got more out of less than Kim.

But the annual exodus of established veterans finally took its toll on the Bears this year, as they finished in ninth place at 60-82-2, 10.5 games out of the final postseason spot.

“I don’t have any disappointment personally. I am just sorry to fans and the club,” said Kim, who had previously played for and coached the Bears before taking the managerial job. “I’ve been with the Bears for a long time. But I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life here. It was time to move on.

“It doesn’t matter how well I did in the past,” Kim continued. “With baseball managers, it’s all about what they’ve done for the team lately.”

In addition to the Bears’ job, there are two managerial vacancies in the KBO at the moment, with the NC Dinos and the Samsung Lions having finished their seasons with interim skippers. Three managers — Kim Won-hyong of the SSG Landers, Ryu Ji-hyun of the LG Twins and Hong Won-ki of the Kiwoom Heroes — are in the last years of their contracts, though all three of them will be playing in the postseason this month and could stay put on new deals.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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