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2 KBO managers at odds over exchange following hit-by-pitch

All Headlines 14:29 April 29, 2019

SEOUL, April 29 (Yonhap) -- Two opposing managers in South Korean professional baseball have found themselves in the middle of a bizarre controversy, marred by allegations and denials, in light of a hit-by-pitch in a game on Sunday.

Doosan Bears' manager Kim Tae-hyoung is accused of cursing at Lotte Giants' pitcher Koo Seung-min after Koo nailed Doosan hitter Jung Soo-bin with a pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning of their Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. Jung, who stayed down in pain for a few minutes, was later diagnosed with a broken rib.

Players and coaches of the Lotte Giants (L) and Doosan Bears cleared the benches in the bottom of the eighth inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 28, 2019. (Yonhap)

The Bears were leading 9-2 when Jung was hit by the pitch. Another Doosan hitter was plunked earlier in the game.

Kim, who came out of the dugout to check on his leadoff man, was caught on camera uttering a few words toward both Koo and Lotte's bench coach Kong Pill-sung.

After Kim apparently said a few choice words, the Giants' manager Yang Sang-moon stepped out of the dugout to confront Kim. Both benches cleared, and Kim and Yang had to be restrained by their coaches.

Following the game, the Giants accused Kim of swearing at Koo and Kong, who served as a coach under Kim with the Bears from 2016 to 2018.

Immediately after the game, Kim denied saying anything offensive to Koo, but Kim admitted on Monday that he had cursed at Kong and Lotte's pitching coach, Joo Hyung-kwang, out of frustration.

In this file photo from Nov. 26, 2018, Lotte Giants' manager Yang Sang-moon speaks at his inaugural ceremony at Sajik Stadium in Busan, 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. (Yonhap)

"I'd like to apologize to manager Yang Sang-moon and the rest of the Giants. I will make sure something like this will never happen again," Kim said. "I got carried away after watching Jung Soo-bin get injured on a pitch."

Kim insisted again Monday that he didn't direct any offensive words at Koo, but Yang said he'd heard something else from his coaching staff on Sunday.

"Managers should never swear at players, no matter how angry they are," Yang said. "I could see from our dugout that Kim was saying something to Seung-min, and my coaches said he had indeed cursed."

Kim's defense of his action against Kong and Joo was that he'd known them for many years and felt comfortable enough with them to mix in some explicit language.

Yang was in no mood to forgive Kim, saying, "That (friendship) doesn't mean you can swear at the bench coach of your opposing team. There is a line that shouldn't be crossed in baseball."

Kim said he had called Kong to apologize later Sunday. Kim added that he tried to reach Yang on the phone Monday but Lotte's manager didn't answer, forcing Kim to deliver his apology through Kong for the time being.

The KBO said it will open an inquiry into the incident.

Under league rules, managers, coaches and players are prohibited from verbally abusing opposing players or coaches, umpires or fans during the game.

The Bears and the Giants will next meet for a three-game series starting on June 28 at Jamsil.

In this file photo from Nov. 10, 2018, Kim Tae-hyoung, manager of the Doosan Bears, speaks at his pre-game media conference before taking on the SK Wyverns in Game 4 of the Korean Series at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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