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New nat'l baseball manager to be named in January

Sports 14:17 November 27, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will name its new national baseball skipper by January next year at the latest, the country's top professional league office said Tuesday

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) also said it will revive its technical committee, which will be tasked with the managerial search.

The KBO reached the decision following a board of governors meeting involving its representatives and CEOs of the 10 KBO clubs.

The move is in response to the recent resignation of former national team manager Sun Dong-yol, who faced criticism for his roster selection at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta this past summer.

Sun became South Korea's first full-time national baseball manager last year, and he and his coaching staff put together the Asian Games team. The technical committee, usually headed by a former KBO manager with other former managers or coaches on board, had picked teams for previous international tournaments before Sun took over with full authority over the national team.

But Sun and his coaching staff were hammered in the public for picking what many felt were undeserving players based on their military status.

Sun's critics said the manager selected these players to do them personal favors, because winning an Asian Games gold medal grants male athletes exemptions from mandatory military service.

This undated file photo provided by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) shows the KBO's headquarters located in Seoul. (Yonhap)

When called in to testify in the National Assembly during a parliamentary audit in October, Sun defended his choices and repeatedly said the manager's rights to field a team had to be respected.

But in a separate parliamentary audit later in October, KBO Commissioner Chung Un-chan said he didn't see the need for a full-time manager, throwing Sun under the bus and hinting at a change to the current national team structure.

And in announcing its decision on Tuesday, the KBO said forming a technical committee would "ensure transparency and fairness in player selection."

"We'll organize the technical committee by December, or early January at the latest, and then we'll pick the new manager before the end of January," a KBO official said.

The next major event for South Korea will be the 2019 Premier 12, which will double as the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

South Korea won the inaugural Premier 12 in 2015.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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