The Doosan Bears, having captured the past two Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) titles, were the proverbial Public Enemy No. 1 in the annual preseason gathering of the league's managers on Monday.
The KBO held the media day with the 10 managers and their captains on hand in Seoul. Asked about their goals for the 2017 season, which will get underway Friday, opposing managers said they want to keep the Bears from completing a three-peat.
Kim Tae-hyung (center), manager of the Doosan Bears, is flanked by shortstop Kim Jae-ho (left) and catcher Yang Eui-ji at the annual Korea Baseball Organization media day in Seoul on March 27, 2017. (Yonhap)
"I think every club has a chance to win a title," said Kim Kyung-moon, manager of the 2016 runners-up, NC Dinos. "But having David beat Goliath is what makes baseball so fascinating. I think the nine teams here will all want to foil the Bears' title bid."
Yang Sang-moon, whose LG Twins were knocked out of the second round of the last postseason, was even more vocal.
"I don't think any one franchise should enjoy a dynasty in professional sports," he said. "I think every team other than Doosan should really bear down and do the best."
Even Kim Jin-wook, manager of the expansion KT Wiz, chimed in.
The Wiz have finished dead last in each of the past two years, leading to the ouster of manager Cho Bum-hyun.
"I know our team lost quite a bit to the Bears last year," said Kim, referring to the Wiz's 3-13 record against Doosan last year.
"But we want to help the leaguewide effort to keep the Bears from winning another championship."
With the gauntlet thrown down, the Bears' manager Kim Tae-hyung said, "We've prepared hard for our third straight title. We hope to be back here next year as the champions." (Yonhap)