안전놀이터Lotte captain Ahn Chi-hong (33) visited Busan Sajik Stadium early before the team’s trip to Daejeon on the 28th, and had a brief meeting with former coach Larry Sutton, who voluntarily resigned on the same day. “If the players had done a good job, this wouldn’t have happened,” Ahn said, expressing his apologies to Sutton.
“I knew last year that Coach Sutton was a little unwell,” said Ahn, who met with reporters after the rain-canceled match against Hanwha on the 30th. “I came to work early on the 28th and saw him briefly, but not for long. I told him that he had a lot of trouble and that I hoped he would take care of himself.” Sutton also encouraged Ahn, saying, “Keep up the good work.”
As the captain of the team, I feel a great sense of responsibility for letting him go in the middle of the season. My heart is very heavy, but Lotte still has 36 games left. At seventh place, five games behind fifth-place KIA, it’s not easy to overturn, but it’s not an impossible gap.
Ahn Chi-hong said, “As a player, I feel the most sorry for the coach, but there’s still a season left, and he’s literally a professional. If you have a goal and a chance, you shouldn’t give up. I told the players that we should get together and try to lift the sagging team spirit. I think that if the atmosphere is raised, the team’s performance and other outward appearances will change.”
Lotte was on a roll from the end of April, winning nine games in a row and leading the standings until early May. However, the graph gradually began to decline from mid-May, and the team has not rebounded for three months until August.
[OSEN=Seokwoo Lee] Lotte Ahn Chi-hong. 2023.08.27 / firstname.lastname@example.org
[OSEN=Seokwoo Seok] Lotte Ahn Chi-hong. 2023.04.19 / email@example.com
In response, Ahn Chi-hong said, “There are always winning streaks and losing streaks in a season. However, compared to the beginning of the season, we were under more pressure and were not as active. “It’s not a good situation, but I hope we can overcome it from this point. Even in the beginning, we played without fear or thinking about the outcome, which is why we got a good result.”
Acting Lotte head coach Lee Jong-woon also pointed to captain Ahn Chi-hong as a key player and asked him to play his role as a veteran. “Captain (Ahn) Chi-hong should lead the team as a leader,” Jong-woon said. He knows the situation very well.”
“Coach Lee Jong-woon also talked to the senior players, including me, about setting the right tone,” Ahn said, “It may be too late, but we still have a chance, so we will do our best to play until the end.” He vowed not to give up on fall baseball until the end of the season.
[OSEN=Seok-woo Seok] Lotte Ahn Chi-hong. 2023.08.11 / firstname.lastname@example.org
[OSEN=Seok-woo Seok] Lotte’s Ahn Chi-hong, acting manager Lee Jong-woon.