‘Before Debut’ coach Choi Won-ho, “Guidance order for ‘Winning Baseball’ setup, Kim Seo-hyun Pil Seung-jo”
Choi Won-ho, the new head coach of the Hanwha Eagles, expressed his determination to take office.
Hanwha appointed Futures coach Choi Won-ho as the 13th head coach after finishing the game against Samsung in Daejeon with a 4-0 victory on the 11th. 3-year, 1.4 billion won contract terms. After making a connection with Hanwha as Futures manager in November 2019, Choi took over as acting manager with the resignation of former manager Han Yong-deok in June 2020 and led 100 games, and was first appointed as a full-time manager in May of this year.
Coach Choi스포츠토토 met with reporters and conducted an inauguration interview ahead of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League SSG Landers match held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 12th. Coach Choi said, “The club said, “From the beginning of next year, we have to play winning baseball from the beginning of the season, but to do that, we need to set up at least this year. We did it,” he said, revealing the team’s management plan for this year.
The following is a Q&A with director Choi Won-ho.
-How do you feel about taking office?
I was suddenly (appointed) and I’m in a state of mind, but I have to play from today. I asked the leading players not to be shaken as much as possible. First of all, we are going to have a stable operation so that we can continue the good atmosphere.
-How is it different from when you were acting supervisor in 2020?
The biggest difference was that I was in the midst of 14 consecutive losses, so the atmosphere was really bad, and the atmosphere was not good at the club, so I wanted a big change. I also felt the same way there. So, we started making major changes. Now, since my recent performance has been good, I try to minimize changes rather than big changes.
- Winning baseball is the issue.
I didn’t ask to play winning baseball. He said that from next year, he will have to play winning baseball from the beginning of the season, and to do so, he needs to set up at least this year. I was asked to set up the pitcher and fielder this year in order to play a winning baseball game next year. The set-up is reduced from a wide range of position arrangements, position selection that can maximize advantages, substitution is not allowed, fixed lineup of players in good batting condition, boundary between starter and backup, pitcher side is about 3 people including closer pitcher is the setup I didn’t know who was the pursuit team and who was the winning team, so I asked for that part. It is true that coach Subero helped the players understand by letting them experience various positions. The club also said that they hoped that what Subero had done well would be succeeded. Management of young players and active base play are areas that have changed considerably since coach Subero came. In our team, which has a lot of young players, I feel it is necessary. I hope the club will continue.
The only thing to fix is the shift. If the general shift was done without the consent of the pitchers, now the shift is made after obtaining the consent of the pitchers. I had a coaching staff meeting at 1:30 in the morning yesterday. I surveyed the players this afternoon, and many pitchers said they would like to (shift) only for left-handed sluggers, so I will do it only then. When a runner is on third base or has to play a double play, when a right-handed hitter, pitchers don’t want to shift and try to correct it. The most important point in defense is how well the pitcher can pitch. If consent is not obtained, it can upset the pitchers and lead to poor performance. You have to shift for the pitcher. It’s not that I don’t do extreme shifts, but I’m going to limit myself to left-handed shifts, which had a high probability of success.
-At the beginning of the season, there was a big problem with foreign players.
The captain is also very worried. Smith is sick right away and O’Grady is sluggish. When Futures first came down, the balance was not good. The pelvis fell backwards due to the inability to shift the weight of the front legs. As the bat rolled around, the ball missed. In the process of making adjustments with the Futures hitting coach, he came up to the first team. During the game, I didn’t come out as much as I did in training. The reason why they are trying to go with the double system of hitting coach Chung Hyeon-seok and hitting coach Nam-hyeong Kim of the Futures is to get to know all the players quickly. O’Grady also worked with coach Jung Hyeon-seok. It’s gotten a little better, but I think it needs to get better.
▲ Choi Won-ho, acting manager of Hanwha. ⓒ Spot TV News DB
- What did you tell the players?
We talked about teamwork. We changed from a good mood to a messy one, so we asked the crew. We generally think that the biggest problem in teamwork is remoteness. Recognizing each area and doing their best, they come together and become a teamwork. Organizations with many people who care too much about what is not their job do not work well as a team. I said that if I recognize my area and do my best in my job, we will become a good team.
Second, there are cases in which players, especially those with weak mentality, have a lot of negative thoughts. You have to find a way to constantly think positively. Many players who think negatively find an excuse. Think about what kind of person you are, and if you are someone who is looking for excuses to be negative, you need to change. If you constantly change yourself, I think the fruit will come someday. You have to keep a positive mindset and move forward one game at a time.
- How to use O’Gray?
I will watch the training today and discuss with the hitting coaches every day. I’m not a hitter either, so they say that there are times when hitting hits feel right away. I will consult with hitting coaches in charge of their fields of expertise. Today is not a starter, but I can go out tomorrow.
-Pil Seung-jo’s outline.
Pitching coach Park Seung-min, pitching coach Lee Dong-geol, head coach Lee Dae-jin and I discussed it, and Park Sang-won, who is currently finishing, will finish as it is. I think of Kim Seo-hyun and Kang Jae-min as Pil Seung-jo. Kang Jae-min and Park Sang-won are excluded from today’s game because they had two consecutive fights. So today, when it comes to saving situations, I’m going to make Kim Seo-hyun save.
-What are your concerns about the relationship with Director Hyuk Son?
Personally, I appealed to the general manager enough about the baseball I wanted to play. He said that he would not run an arbitrary operation, but to operate with an emphasis on experts in each part. Concerns could become reality if we go to dogmatic operation. We need to find a smarter way to deal with it, but we can go the wrong way. I try to respect the judgment of each part coach and apply it to the management of the game.
- What are your goals for this year?
I think we should actively operate within the guidelines that can minimize injuries. In the big picture, compared to the 1990s, there is no baseball that raises the game from the beginning of the game. If you think that you need to give the pitchers time to condition, the point is to run the game in the mid-to-late half when you are leading and in the mid-to-late game when you are led. If it was 90% to leave it to the players in that part, I think we should have some degree of intervention in the operation of Benticak.
- What is the win rate goal?
I was notified yesterday, so I didn’t even think about the specific win rate. I have a feeling that if I go into the game and watch the first half, I will be able to catch the game today. We will operate according to the situation of each game.
-What is your resolution before your first match against SSG?
Coach Wonhyung Kim and I were roommates at the Asian Games in Bangkok. Director Kim Won-hyung came today to congratulate me and asked why he was with us. He also told me the story of two years of supervision and gave good advice.
- How do you plan to manage Moon Dong-ju?
He’s a fast-throwing pitcher, so there’s definitely an injury risk. So, after discussing with the club, we are going to first take a 4-day break and refrain from pitching. When I go to the mound on Tuesday, I try to take a turn off to give myself a break. I will check it within the next week, listen to the doctor’s opinion, and follow-up to see how it has changed from before the season.