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(LEAD) Baseball club Hanwha Eagles to keep interim manager for remainder of '17

All News 14:57 June 13, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS comments in paras 4-5)

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club Hanwha Eagles said Tuesday they will keep interim manager Lee Sang-kun for the remainder of the season.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club has been without a full-time manager since the dismissal of Kim Sung-keun on May 23. Lee, then a pitching coach, assumed the interim role, and the Eagles at the time said they'd try to name Kim's replacement as quickly as possible to stabilize the clubhouse and the dugout.

But the Eagles have not been able to deliver on their earlier promise and decided to stick with Lee for 84 more games, which includes Tuesday's game.

The Eagles' general manager Park Jong-hoon said he has given himself more time to go through candidates carefully and select the right person. Park added it should also expand the pool of candidates. The Eagles weren't going to approach active managers or coaches on other teams during the season and now plan to do so during the winter.

"Coaches with other clubs can all be potential managerial candidates for Hanwha," Park said. "Lee Sang-kun has agreed to take on an extremely difficult job, and we'll try to give him as much support as we can the rest of the season. And he can be our candidate, too."

For the season, Lee will manage 101 games, a record by an interim manager in the KBO's 35-year history. Kim Sung-keun holds the current mark with 98 games managed in the interim position for the LG Twins in 2001.

The team has gone 6-11 on Lee's watch. At 24-36 overall, the Eagles are in eighth place among 10 teams, seven games out of a wild-card spot.

They've not been to the postseason since 2007.

In this file photo taken on May 24, 2017, Lee Sang-kun (R), interim manager of the Hanwha Eagles, speaks with a coach during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game against the Kia Tigers at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon. (Yonhap)


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