Something that everyone couldn’t believe happened. The Doosan Bears, who started the season with a ‘novice coach’, are drawing an upward curve without hesitation, breaking the club’s record for most consecutive wins.
Doosan won 8-5 in the 9th game of the season against the Lotte Giants in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 25th and sprinted to 11 consecutive wins, setting a new record for the most consecutive wins in Bears franchise history.
The previous record was 10 consecutive wins. Doosan experienced 10 consecutive wins for the first time between Hyundai Unicorns on June 16, 2000 and Jamsil Hyundai Unicorns on June 27, when coach Kim In-sik was coached, and Gocheok Nexen Heroes (currently Kiwoom Heroes) on June 6, 2018 under coach Kim Tae-hyeong. However, 11 consecutive victories is a record that neither the national coach nor the winning coach could achieve.
Even before the season, many baseball players removed Doosan from the top 5 candidates. Expectations that the ninth-place team of the previous year would change drastically were not high, and the dominant response was that it was unknown whether the Doosan club’s unconventional appointment of a manager would be beneficial or detrimental.
It was predicted that it would not be easy for coach Lee Seung-yeop, who had no experience as a professional coach, to easily remove the label of “newbie coach” even if he was a star player who made his name known as a “national hitter” during his active career.
So, of course, there were a lot of difficulties at first. Coach Lee Seung-yeop, who had to start with the basics one by one, looked back, saying, “There were many difficult times, including the opening match, but the team stabilized little by little and got to know the players and solved the game. I think the improvement has come so far. The players have done well.”
At the same time, director Lee Seung-yeop also received help from a person who knew Doosan well. Taehyung Kim is a commentator for SBS Sports. Coincidentally, the person who sat in the relay seat that day was Commissioner Kim. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “Before the game on the 25th, I couldn’t say hello because of practice, and I talked about it during the interview after the game.”
Although the expectations from the outside were not high, it could have hurt his pride, but the commander’s opinion is that the slightly negative outlook had a positive effect on the team. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “I’m in third place now, but the results come out only after the season is over, so I think it was a bit more comfortable to have that kind of evaluation coming out from the outside.”
Especially within the team, trust in each other was strong. The first name the command tower mentioned was captain Heo Gyeong-min. Coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “Heo Kyung-min is leading the team so well,” and “If the losing streak gets longer and the team goes in a direction they didn’t want, there will obviously be distrust and problems within the team.
He continued, “Even if we fall into a losing streak, we told the players to cheer up and go in a good atmosphere. So far, I think that has not been done well with the coaching staff and among the players, centered on Heo Kyung-min. “I think it’s the secret to being able to do it,” he said. “It’s the same now. In the future, we can win and lose in a row, but the atmosphere doesn’t fall behind other teams. The coaching staff will make it so that the players can feel comfortable,” he expressed his gratitude to the players and coaching staff.
Many players cite the coach’s trust as the secret to their winning streak, but the command tower gives credit to the players. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “If the results are not good, of course we have to send them to the second team, but it is unavoidable because the players are preparing to occupy the 28 entries.” There are times when it is difficult, but players who have been down to the 2nd team and players who do not play are always preparing to play in the 1st team, so I think that is the secret to good results.”
In the end, there was the constant worry of the coaching staff who supported the command tower from behind, and the process of the players who turned that concern into a result existed. Added to this was the efforts of director Lee Seung-yeop, who tried to get rid of the novice director label through trial and error, and the current record could be completed.
Nevertheless, Doosan is still not satisfied. Head coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “All evaluations must be received at the end of the season. It is now an interim evaluation. Since we do not know what will happen tomorrow (26th), both the players and the coaching staff have to concentrate and endure.” I want to hear the story of ‘You did it’.”