Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) Nexen Heroes promote operations head to manager

All Headlines 18:41 October 27, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS details, comments)
By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club Nexen Heroes on Thursday promoted their head of operations to manager.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) team said Jang Jung-suk has signed a three-year deal worth 800 million won (US$700,800), including a 200 million won signing bonus.

Jang, who has never managed or coached before, replaces Yeom Kyung-yup who resigned after the Heroes were knocked out of the first round of the postseason last week. It was the club's fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs.

Jang played in the KBO from 1996 to 2003 for two clubs and joined the defunct Hyundai Unicorns' front office in 2005. The 43-year-old has been with the Heroes since their inception in 2008.

In this undated photo provided by the Nexen Heroes, Jang Jung-suk, the Korea Baseball Organization club's new manager, poses in front of the team's emblem. (Yonhap)

Jang most recently served as the Heroes' head of baseball operations. Before that, he handled the club's international affairs.

"I want to play the type of baseball where everyone from the coaches down to the players won't be afraid of making mistakes," Jang said in a statement released by the club. "The team will exist for the players and the players should do the best they can in that circumstance."

At 43, Jang is the youngest of the 10 managers in the KBO.

"I want the players to feel comfortable with me, like some guy living next door," Jang said. "I think it will help communication, though obviously it's going to be a challenge."

Despite losing key players via free agency in recent years, the Heroes have been a consistent playoff contender, and Jang said he knows he has big shoes to fill after Yeom's departure.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't feeling any pressure, and I am worried about how we can sustain our streak," the new manager said. "Our club has a steady system in place, and we still have a deep roster. We have to capitalize on our strengths. It won't be about 'me'; it'll be about 'us.'"

Lee Chang-suk, president of the club, said he wanted to bring in "a leader with an open mind and open ears."

As for Jang's lack of previous management experience, Lee said it could actually work to his advantage.

"Everyone has to start somewhere, and because Jang hasn't managed before, he's coming in without any prejudice, like a white canvas," Lee said. "We needed a manager who could coordinate with different people within the club, and Jang was the right fit."

Jang will be formally introduced in an inauguration ceremony next Monday at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, the Heroes' home stadium.

With the new skipper at the helm, the Heroes have begun a housecleaning of sorts with their coaching staff.

They said they will part ways with bench coach Lee Kang-chul, battery coach Park Cheol-young and baserunning coach Jung Soo-sung.

The Heroes plan to retain other coaches. They've offered to promote hitting coach Shim Jae-hak to bench coach, but Shim has yet to decide whether or not to accept the new position.


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!