A locked voice, slightly wet eyes, a flushed face, and a tired expression. To the question, “How did you spend the day before?”, his face seemed to answer without saying anything.
Nine days before the start of the season, the starting prospect, the core of the team’s power, was kicked out due to an unfortunate incident. On the 24th, the face of manager Larry Sutton, whom we met at the dugout in Changwon NC Park, contained the Lotte Giants’ day the previous day.
Anger and despair, a sense of betrayal, pity and frustration toward the beloved disciple. Director Sutton even stuttered uncharacteristically and couldn’t hide his emotional feelings.
Unfortunately, the exhibition game against NC Dinos, which was scheduled to be held the day before, was canceled due to rain. On the day when he would normally take a break with a sad heart, Sutton experienced a ‘nightmare’.
Seo Jun-won also accompanied the expedition to Changwon. The club opened a disciplinary committee and summoned the party and returned to Busan belatedly. The point at which director Sutton found out about the ‘Seo Jun-won incident’ is not much different either.
Seo Jun-won went through the process of police investigation and prosecution warrant review only with the lawyer he appointed. Not only the club, but also his personal agent and family did not know.
Moreover, the charges are ‘inducing abduction of minors’ and ‘violation of the Child and Youth Protection Act (production and distribution of sexually exploited materials)’. The devastated feelings of general manager Seong Min-kyu and manager Sutton, as well as the club’s leadership, when they first heard this news, can be guessed.
Seo Jun-won had previously answered falsely to several inquiries from the club. Because of this, he was repeatedly named as a protected FA player, and he digested all spring camps. He also appeared in exhibition games three times. He also appeared against the Samsung Lions on the 20th, the day before the warrant review, and played 3 innings.
The Lotte Club Disciplinary Committee is chaired by the head of the team, and team leaders from each field, such as operation, public relations, and marketing, are present. Seo Jun-won finally admitted his charges on this day, and the club responded with an immediate release.
Sutton did not attend the disciplinary committee or return to Busan. He stayed in Changwon and put all his energy into catching the atmosphere of the team. However, in reality, numerous exchanges of opinions with the club could not be avoided.
“It’s been very busy. It shouldn’t happen again. We’ve had a lot of conversations at the club level. Professional players have to be professional both on and off the ballpark.”
As the parent of the team and the final manager, the frustrating inside was buried. “I’m very, very disappointed,” he said, speechless.
Seo Jun-won was considered the best talent at the time of the first nomination in 2019. Since then, his growth has been sluggish. After 4 years of trial and error, he was full of expectations that this year, the 5th year, would be different. It has been 4 years since I ate rice with Sutton.
This year, he received the exclusive mark of training coach Kim Hyun-wook along with his immediate senior Han Hyun-hee. But all those efforts went in vain.
“Many coaches have put their passion and time into it. I have also tried to make a better impact. In baseball, you have to make choices every moment. Maybe life is the same. Your choices can have different results. And It also comes with responsibility.”
The 2023 KBO League will open on April 1st. It is literally the point of approaching ‘in front of your nose’. The team met a huge reef at a time when they had to come together as one.
Seo Jun-won was a first-team long-man and first-choice pitcher, and someone has to fill that position. Coach Sutton said, “From the general manager to coach Bae Young-soo, we are having a lot of conversations. There are many options. The big picture for the opening entry has already come out. But again, we need to compete for one or two spots.” 메이저사이트
“Competition is opportunity. It’s time for all players to step up. We’ll see how the players in the remaining five games perform their roles on the ballpark.”
Fortunately, on this day, Lotte defeated NC 6-5, escaping from 5 consecutive losses in demonstration games and catching the flow. When this season is over, can Sutton forget everything and smile brightly?