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Kia Tigers part ways with manager Matt Williams

All News 14:42 November 01, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean baseball club Kia Tigers announced Monday they have cut ties with manager Matt Williams after two unfruitful seasons.

The Tigers, which finished ninth among 10 clubs in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) this season, said the club and Williams "mutually agreed" to part ways with one year left on the manager's contract.

"We made the decision to hold people accountable for a poor performance this year and shake things up within the team," the Tigers said in a statement, adding that bench coach Kim Jong-kook will oversee the team's wrap-up training camp starting Thursday.

In this file photo from Oct. 21, 2021, Kia Tigers manager Matt Williams watches his team in action against the Hanwha Eagles during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Team CEO Lee Hwa-won and general manager Cho Kye-hyeon also stepped down to take responsibility for the down year.

The Tigers went 58-76-10 (wins-losses-ties) in 2021, Williams' second year at the helm, and finished 10.5 games out of the postseason.

In 2020, they went 73-71-6 to rank sixth, 8.5 games out of the final playoff spot.

Williams, the 2014 National League Manager of the Year for the Washington Nationals, arrived in the KBO amid much fanfare. He was tasked with reviving a proud franchise that had played sub-.500 ball in 2018 and 2019, two subsequent seasons after their most recent championship.

With four Gold Gloves, four Silver Slugger awards and five All-Star selections, Williams boasted the most impressive playing resume among all foreign managers who'd ended up in the KBO. He instead became the first foreign manager to miss out on the postseason in two straight years.

In this file photo from Sept. 12, 2021, Kia Tigers manager Matt Williams argues a call with an umpire during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game against the NC Dinos at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, some 330 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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