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Korean Series-winning manager Lee Kang-chul named S. Korea skipper for WBC

All News 18:58 July 21, 2022

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, July 21 (Yonhap) -- Lee Kang-chul, who led the KT Wiz to their first Korean Series championship in 2021, was named South Korea's manager for next year's World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Thursday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) announced that Lee, 56, will be at the helm for the March 8-21 tournament.

The former All-Star pitcher has been managing the expansion Wiz since 2019. In 2020, the Wiz reached the postseason for the first time. Then in 2021, they had the best regular season record and swept the Doosan Bears in the Korean Series for their first KBO title.

Internationally, Lee was South Korea's pitching coach at the 2018 Asian Games, helping the team to the gold medal.

The KBO said Lee's wealth of experience in working with pitchers should come in handy in a tournament setting, when bullpen management will be at a premium. The KBO also thought highly of Lee's familiarity with data analysis and his excellence in player evaluation.

In this file photo from July 7, 2022, KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-chul reacts to a home run by Park Kyung-su against the Kia Tigers during the top of the second inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Gwangju, 270 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korea has been paired with Japan, Australia, China and a qualifier winner in Group B. Tokyo Dome in the Japanese capital will host all Group B games.

The first round will feature four groups of five teams for round-robin play, and the top two finishers from those four groups will advance to the quarterfinals.

Tokyo Dome will host the quarterfinal games for the top two countries from Groups A and B on March 15 and 16. LoanDepot Park, home of the Miami Marlins, will be the site of the quarterfinal action for the top two teams from Groups C and D on March 17 and 18.

Miami will then host the semifinals on March 19 and 20, and then the championship final on March 21.

South Korea finished third at the inaugural WBC in 2006 and was the runner-up to Japan in 2009. South Korea then was knocked out of the preliminary round in each of the next two tournaments, in 2013 and 2017.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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