Lee Seung-yeop (47), a Samsung Lions legend who played as the ‘blue-blooded man’ for 15 seasons, met his former team as the head of the enemy team. He tried hard not to be conscious, but there was no way he wouldn’t be bothered. He said it was an exhibition game, but he had to pay more attention to the result than usual because he faced his own team in the home room.
Doosan, led by coach Lee Seung-yeop, lost 3-5 to Samsung in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO league demonstration game held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 25th.
This match attracted more attention because it was the first match against Samsung since head coach Lee Seung-yeop took over as Doosan coach. It was a match that would have left him feeling regretful as he felt the heart he wanted to prove to his team.
We met before the game, he said, “This is a pro. (Samsung) is just one of many opposing teams,” and emphasized, “I only worry about how to win, but there is no great inspiration.”
However, before the game, coach Lee coached and watched the Doosan players while keeping a considerable distance from the third base side where Samsung was located. Regarding this, he said, “I avoided it on purpose. It’s strange to be close because it’s the opposing team,” but it felt more unnatural to keep a distance.
Except for the time when he entered overseas leagues, he must have felt uncomfortable being treated as an enemy because he has always worn Samsung uniforms.
The two teams boasted strong enough to face each other in the Korean Series, but last season they hung their heads side by side. Samsung has not been able to play fall baseball except for 2021 since 2015 when Lee was in charge, and Doosan has advanced to the Korean Series for 7 consecutive years, but fell to 9th last year.
There is also a common denominator that they have welcomed a new commander in difficult times. Coincidentally, Park Jin-man, who played for Samsung, is now the enemy general. Coach Lee has never had a meal at Samsung while advancing overseas, but the two are close friends while playing for the national team.
However, the situation is somewhat different. Samsung coach Park Jin-man showed a good performance as an acting manager in the middle of last season and became the official manager, and was ranked first with 8 wins and 2 losses in demonstration games. Coach Lee’s Doosan is at the bottom with 3 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws.스포츠토토
Of course, this match had a slanted side from the start. Doosan selected Park Shin-ji, one of the top 5 candidates, as the starter, but Samsung chose David Buchanan, an ace whose selection for the opening game is a foregone conclusion. In fact, it was the difference between winning and losing in the selection fight. Park Shin-ji gave up 4 runs in 4 innings, while Buchanan blocked 5⅓ innings with no runs.
Nevertheless, Lee’s Doosan did not give up until the end. He showed concentration in the 7th inning and shook the Samsung bullpen and chased 3-5. In the bottom of the 9th inning, coach Lee sent even Yang Eui-ji, who was guarding the bench that day, as a pinch hitter from 1st out and 2nd base, burning his will to turn the game around and making the fans who visited Jamsil Stadium go wild.
More interesting came after the match. About a dozen Doosan batters returned to the plate. Among them were Yang Seok-hwan and Ahn Jae-seok, who played in the game that day. Coincidentally, the two were silent players with no hits and two strikeouts in three at-bats and no hits and two strikeouts in two at-bats that day.
The team finished training only after a long special hit. The two teams clash again at the same place from 1:00 pm on the 26th. Furthermore, interest in the first confrontation of the season is growing. The two teams will play three consecutive matches at Daegu Samsung Lions Park from the 25th of next month. It is expected that many Samsung fans will gather to see Lee, who will visit ‘Rapac’ for the first time as a Doosan command tower.