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Australian pitching coach leaves S. Korean club to be with family

Sports 17:58 December 03, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- Chris Oxspring, an Australian coach for the South Korean baseball club Lotte Giants, announced Monday he will not be returning next season "due to family circumstances."

In a letter posted by the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club on its social media pages, Oxspring, pitching coach for the Giants in the second-tier Futures League, said he has decided to spend more time with his family.

This image, captured from the Facebook page of the Lotte Giants baseball club on Dec. 3, 2018, shows the letter written by former coach Chris Oxspring announcing that he will not return to the Korea Baseball Organization club for 2019. (Yonhap)

"The team made an attempt (to) persuade me to stay, but due to family circumstances, I had to graciously decline their offer," Oxspring said. "Leaving the players, coaches, staff and fans was not an easy decision. I just felt that the focus needed to be on my family (and) being together as a family."

The 41-year-old has been coaching in the Giants' organization since 2016. He has been the pitching coach in both the KBO and the Futures League.

He also pitched in the KBO for five seasons, first from 2007 to 2008 with the LG Twins, then from 2013 to 2014 with the Giants and finally in 2015 with the KT Wiz. He compiled a 49-40 record with a 3.90 ERA in 136 appearances here.

"I have had an amazing and fun time being part of the coaching staff the past few years, and have enjoyed seeing the growth and development of our young group of pitchers," Oxspring said. "It's also hard to leave the country of Korea as well. The people and culture have grown on me, and I will miss that."

"My hope is that this is not 'goodbye,' but just, 'see you next time,' and that I can continue my love affair with baseball and Korea," he said.

In this file photo from Oct. 17, 2014, Chris Oxspring, then pitching for the Lotte Giants, reacts to a play against the LG Twins in the top of the fourth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Oxspring served as a coach in the Giants organization from 2016 to 2018 but will not be returning for 2019. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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