Samsung Lions unveil new manager after missing postseason

After missing the South Korean baseball postseason for the first time in seven years, the Samsung Lions unveiled their new manager on Monday, according to Yonhap News.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) club promoted hitting coach Kim Han-soo to the manager's post on Saturday, and he was formally introduced at a press conference at the team's training facility here in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province, 330 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

Kim signed a three-year deal worth 900 million won (US$789,300), including a signing bonus of 300 million won.

Kim replaced Ryu Joong-il, who'd guided the Lions to five straight pennants from 2011 to 2015, and four consecutive Korean Series championships from 2011 to 2014. They finished the runner-up to the Doosan Bears in last year's championship final.

The Lions decided not to re-sign Ryu after they finished ninth among 10 clubs this past season.

Kim, 44, is a former All-Star third baseman who spent his entire 14-year career with the Lions. He grabbed six Golden Gloves for his all-around excellence at hot corner. He retired in 2007 and has been the Lions' hitting coach since 2008.

At the start of the press conference, Kim said he understands he has big shoes to fill after what Ryu has done.

"I feel a heavy weight of responsibility as a successor to Ryu Joong-il, because he accomplished a great deal," he said. "But I know why the club has asked me to take over as the manager. And I will encourage competition within the team to raise the quality of play."

   Kim said the Lions are a proud franchise and he'd like to start a new winning tradition.

"I'll build a youthful and energetic ball club," the new manager said. "I want to be able to tell hard-working players that their efforts will never betray them."

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