Lotte Giants manager Larry Sutton (53) abruptly resigned from his post, citing deteriorating health, and the club said it would honor the former manager until the end, including paying his remaining salary.
Lotte said on the 28th, “Coach Sutton tendered his resignation after the end of the game against KT Wiz on the 27th, citing health reasons. After careful consideration, the club decided to honor Sutton’s wishes.”
Sutton resigned from the SSG Landers game on the 17th for the first time this season due to health reasons, and then left the game the day before (27th) due to ill health.
Although there was no clear medical condition, it is believed that the stress of leading the league in the first half and then falling into a losing streak in the second half caused his health to deteriorate.
Sutton, who was appointed Lotte’s second-team coach in October 2019, took over as first-team coach in May 2021 after former coach Heo Moon-ho was sacked.
After finishing eighth in back-to-back years in 2021-2022, Sutton seemed to have transformed the team, competing with SSG and LG Twins for the top spot until May of this year.
However, the team went downhill in the second half of the season and is currently in seventh place with 50 wins and 58 losses, five games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers (52 wins and 50 losses). After six years of anticipation, fall baseball is also becoming difficult.
The club initially planned to extend the manager’s contract regardless of performance, but gave up after seeing Sutton’s health deteriorate rapidly in the second half of the season.
Lotte, in particular, is no stranger to losing managers due to health issues. The late Kim Myung-sung, who led Lotte to the Korean Series in 1999, passed away in July 2001 after suffering a stress-induced acute myocardial infarction. In the end, the club decided to accept Sutton’s request to step down.
A Lotte team official said, “It’s a different kind of parting of ways than when a coach is fired for poor performance during the season. The coach was absent due to his health last year and it was repeated this year. We couldn’t watch his health deteriorate anymore.” “This is not a situation we expected at all. Initially, he was going to accompany us on our trip to Daejeon starting on the 29th.”
Normally, if a manager voluntarily asks to resign during the season and is accepted, the club is not obligated to compensate him for the remaining salary. However, Lotte believed that this was not the case and continued to support Sutton by paying his remaining salary until he returned to his home country. 안전놀이터
An official said, “Coach Sutton has done a lot for the club, starting with the establishment of the development system. Normally, in the case of voluntary resignation, the remaining salary is not paid, but in this case, the club will pay the remaining salary as it is an unavoidable separation due to health.” “In addition, a personal interpreter will be by his side to support his life in Korea until his departure,” the official explained.
Lotte’s new head coach is Lee Jong-woon. Lee, who started this season as Lotte’s second team coach, was promoted to first team head coach on June 27, and then to acting head coach within two months.
Lee spent most of his professional career with Lotte as a player and was the head coach of Lotte in the 2015 season, so he is familiar with the club.
“It’s inevitable that the team’s atmosphere will be turbulent, but we expect the new acting coach to provide good leadership as he was also the head coach at the club in the past,” said a Lotte official.