SEOUL– The South Korean baseball club LG Twins on Sunday announced their hiring of veteran skipper and executive Youm Kyoung-youb as new manager.
The announcement comes two days after the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team had decided not to bring back manager Ryu Ji-hyun after two straight years of early postseason elimination.
Youm, 54, signed a three-year deal worth 2.1 billion won (US$1.5 million). He received 300 million won in signing bonus and will make 500 million won per year in salary, with an incentive worth 300 million won also part of the contract.
Youm will be managing his third KBO franchise, after earlier stints with the Nexen Heroes (currently the Kiwoom Heroes) and the SK Wyverns (currently the SSG Landers).
He had previously worked with the Twins from 2008 to 2011, as scout, head of their baseball operations department, and fielding coach.
Youm was also general manager of the Wyverns in 2018 when they won the Korean Series title. Youm came down from the front office to succeed Trey Hillman as skipper in 2019, but he resigned in 2020 after experiencing health issues.
Youm had since been working as a television analyst and as the national team technical director for the KBO.
He has a career managerial record of 406-325-7 (wins-losses-ties).
The Twins said Youm, thanks to his experience in both the front office and in the dugout, was the right person to help the club achieve its ultimate goal.
The Twins haven’t won a title since 1994 and haven’t even been to the championship round since 2002.
“It’s an honor to be the manager of the most beloved team in the KBO,” Youm said in a statement released by the Twins. “The Twins have been able to develop young players really well over the years, and I will try to strengthen that system to ensure continuity in that regard. I will try to be the responsible and supportive leader for the players and coaches.”
During Ryu’s two-year tenure, the Twins went 159-113-16, the best record in the league in that span. That success didn’t translate to postseason glory, as the Twins were knocked out of the first round in 2021 and then the second round this year despite being the higher seed on both occasions.
So far this offseason, four out of the 10 KBO clubs have named new managers. Before the Twins, the Samsung Lions and the NC Dinos removed interim tags on Park Jin-man and Kang In-kwon, respectively, and the Doosan Bears newly hired Lee Seung-yuop.
Two managers currently battling in the Korean Series, Kim Won-hyong of the SSG Landers and Hong Won-ki of the Kiwoom Heroes, are in the final year of their contracts.
Source: Yonhap News Agency