KBO head is opposed to full-time nat’l team coach

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KBO head is opposed to full-time nat’l team coach

The head of Korea’s professional baseball league said Tuesday he’s opposed to having a full-time manager for the national team, a controversial stance given that the country currently has one.

Chung Un-chan, commissioner of the KBO, made this remark during a parliamentary audit.

He was called in as a witness by the National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee, whose lawmakers grilled Chung over public criticism surrounding the Asian Games roster selection.

Earlier this month, national team manager Sun Dong-yol also stood before the sports subcommittee. The former KBO MVP-winning pitcher became South Korea’s first full-time national team manager last July under Chung’s predecessor, Koo Bon-neung.

“Unless there are a lot of international events, I don’t think there’s a need for a full-time manager,” Chung said in response to a question on the difference between having a full-time skipper and naming different managers for different tournaments.

Sun first managed Korea at the 2017 Asia Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) - a tournament also featuring Japan and Chinese Taipei that was open only to players under 24 - followed by the Asian Games in Indonesia this summer.

The next big event is the 2019 Premier 12, which will double as a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Sun’s contract runs through Tokyo.

After Sun’s parliamentary session, the manager was also criticized for admitting to scouting players for the Asian Games by watching KBO games on television, instead of going to ballparks.

Asked about his thoughts on Sun’s remarks, Chung said the manager deserved to be panned.

“This is no different than an economist who only studies data and numbers without going out to inspect markets,” said Chung, a former economics professor at Seoul National University.

Sun has been under fire for selecting what critics said were undeserving players just to help them receive their exemptions from mandatory military service.

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