Underachieving baseball club welcomes new manager

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 13, 2017 - 17:44
  • Updated : Oct 13, 2017 - 17:44

Underachieving baseball club LG Twins welcomed their new manager on Friday.

Ryu Joong-il was formally introduced as the new skipper for the Seoul-based club in the Korea Baseball Organization. The Twins first announced their hiring of Ryu on Oct. 3, hours after their regular season finale.

Ryu signed a three-year deal worth 2.1 billion won ($1.87 million), including 600 million won in signing bonus.

For the first time in his baseball career, Ryu, 54, is donning a uniform belonging to a club other than the Samsung Lions.

Ryu Joong-il, new manager of the South Korean baseball club LG Twins, puts on the team`s uniform during his inauguration ceremony at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 13, 2017. (Yonhap)

He spent his entire 13-year playing career with the Lions from 1987 to 1999, starring as a defensive whiz at shortstop. He retired to become a coach for the Lions, and then took over as their manager in 2011.

The Lions won four consecutive championships in Ryu's first four seasons as their bench boss. He also took them to the Korean Series, the championship final, in 2015, where they lost to the Doosan Bears.

The Lions didn't renew Ryu's contract after finishing in ninth place among 10 teams in 2016. He'd worked as a technical advisor for the Lions before taking over the Twins.

In addition to his four champions rings, Ryu posted a regular season record of 456 wins, 333 losses and 12 ties.

He'll take over a club that vastly underachieved in 2016, finishing in sixth place at 69-72-3 (wins-losses-ties) despite having the league's best team ERA at 4.30. Ryu's predecessor, Yang Sang-moon, is now the Twins' new general manager.

Ryu said managing the Twins is "the most exciting challenge" he's ever encountered either as a player or a manager.

"I'll try to continue the rebuilding process that has been going on at this club over the past two, three years," Ryu said at his inauguration. "I'd like to encourage friendly competition between veterans and young players, and I think our championship window will open then." (Yonhap)