SSG said on the 25th, “We changed general manager Kim to the head of the R&D center by holding him responsible for the recent selection of coaches and coaches and controversy that arose during the second draft.” In January, Kim Sung-yong, then head of the Futures R&D Center, was appointed as the new general manager through internal promotion, but he was dismissed in 10 months.
The trigger was the second draft. SSG excluded Kim Kang-min, who joined SK (the predecessor of SSG) in 2001 and devoted himself to the team for 23 years, from the 35-member protection list, which sparked controversy when Hanwha nominated Kim Kang-min in the fourth round. Former general manager Kim said after the draft on the 22nd, “I never thought I would nominate a player who is contemplating retirement.”
However, as Kim Kang-min showed his willingness to extend his active duty after a meeting with Hanwha’s club, criticism of SSG grew. The irresponsible departure of the “franchise star,” who won the Korean Series MVP with five wins without the basic measures to mark the draft list so that other clubs can recognize upcoming players, drew criticism.
In response, SSG star player Kim Kwang-hyun said on social media (SNS) on the 22nd, “SNS is a waste of life, but I should do it today. I respect someone’s choice, but 23 years should not be ignored.
SSG continued to make a surprise announcement in the process of changing coaches. On the 31st of last month, when the playoffs between kt wiz and NC Dinos were in full swing, former coach Kim Won-hyung, who led the team to this year’s semi-playoff after winning last year’s integrated championship, was replaced, saying, “We need a change to change the generation of players.” His position changed in a year after he renewed his contract with the highest treatment (a total of 2.2 billion won for three years) among active coaches shortly after winning in November last year.
In the end, SSG signed a two-year contract with coach Lee Sung-yong on the 17th for a total of 900 million won (300 million won down payment and 300 million won per year). With a large change in the coaching staff and no general manager, the new “beginner” will take on the heavy responsibility of taking charge of the stove league.