Lotte Giants captain Ahn Chi-hong emphasized that the players were largely responsible for the sudden resignation of former manager Larry Sutton. As the captain for the remainder of the season, he vowed to bring the team together and win as many games as possible, while also expressing his regret for his predecessor.
Ahn Chi-hong gave an official interview to the media shortly after the 11th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League between the team and the Hanwha Eagles, which was scheduled to be held at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 30th, was canceled due to rain.
“When I heard the news of Coach Sutton’s resignation, I thought that if we had done a little better as players, this wouldn’t have happened, and I felt very sorry,” said Ahn Chi-hong. “It’s a bad situation (the coach resigning), but as professional players, we still have a lot of games left, so we’re going to do our best until the end of the season.”
Lotte fell to its seventh straight defeat after going 1-2 against the fired KT Wiz on Nov. 27. With a season record of 50 wins and 58 losses and a .463 winning percentage, Lotte slipped to seventh place, five games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers, putting them at a disadvantage in the race for the top five.
The next day, news of Sutton’s abrupt resignation broke. Lotte issued an emergency press release on the afternoon of the 28th, announcing that Sutton had tendered his resignation due to ill health. Sutton’s contract ran until November, but he decided to step down before the end of the regular season and leave the team.
Lotte has 36 games remaining in the regular season. Head coach Lee Jong-woon, who was promoted from future team coach to first-team coach in June, will serve as acting head coach and complete the 2023 season.
It seems that Lotte players were fully aware of Sutton’s health issues. Sutton was sent home after complaining of dizziness before the games against SSG Landers on the 13th and KT on the 27th. Late on the night of the 27th, he informed the club that it was difficult for him to fulfill his coaching duties in his current physical condition and eventually left the team.
“Coach Sutton’s physical condition was a bit unwell, which the players knew a little bit from last year,” said Ahn Chi-hong. “The players didn’t talk about it among themselves, but when he was away, they talked a lot about trying harder to win,” he said in his final message.
“On the 29th (Monday), I came to the stadium a little early and saw him briefly after the announcement of his resignation,” he said. “We didn’t talk for a long time, but I told him that he had a hard time and that I hoped he would take care of his health in the future,” he said, recalling his last moments with the coach.메이저사이트
Ahn repeatedly said, “I’m sorry.” As captain, he felt he hadn’t done enough for Sutton.
“He told me to keep fighting,” Ahn said. “I told him I was sorry and that if each player, including me, had done a better job, none of this would have happened. The other players didn’t have time to meet with the coach separately.”