Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop welcomed KBO’s decision to introduce pitch clock and implement match-fixing. I felt the same way as KBO on the need for change to give fans more fun.Prior to the match against the KIA Tigers in Gwangju on the 21st, head coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “The players’ opinions are the most important because the players play,” but added, “I welcome them personally (pitch clock, introduction of match-fixing, etc.).
KBO announced plans to improve the game system on the 20th, including the introduction of pitch clock and overtime. It chose to change to strengthen its competitiveness in international competitions such as the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and to operate more interesting leagues. First, it will introduce the pitch clock applied in the Major League to prepare for changes in international competition regulations and aim for the speed-up effect of the game. In the second half of this year, related regulations will be reorganized and pitch clock operation equipment will be installed in all stadiums of the Futures League and the KBO League. The regulations will be applied in the second division league next year, and the first division will be introduced as soon as possible after a trial operation in the 2024 season.
Extra-time match-fixing will be introduced in the KBO League regular season from next year. If the game cannot be decided until the ninth inning, the game is being considered from the 10th inning until the game is decided. In addition, restrictions on defensive shifts and rules that require a pitcher to face at least three batters or pitch until the end of innings are also being prepared to be applied from the 2025 season. These are currently being implemented in Major League Baseball.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “The Major League has a much deeper history than us. “Since fans prefer fun baseball, it’s natural to follow (the U.S.) in the good part, and I fully sympathize with it,” he explained.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop once experienced a match-fixing game when he was active. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics finals against China in the full league, he also recorded a walk-off hit in a match-fixing situation. He was the only one who played with Samsung coach Park Jin-man, who played with the national team at the time, in an official match.
Although it is still an unfamiliar rule in the KBO League, it is better to have a clear result of victory or defeat rather than ending the game with a draw with a prolonged game time. Lee Seung-yeop said, “I’m originally a conservative style. He said, “I left the field after five years after my retirement, and I think it’s not bad to play a game than a boring draw,” adding, “I’ve been struggling for more than four hours, and I think it’s better to win or lose.”
“At first, I was half-confident (after watching pitch clock and match-fixing), but now I think I take this for granted,” he said. “In the early stages of implementation, opinions may change, but if we continue, we will agree with one mind.” I don’t think it’s bad,” he stressed.
KIA manager Kim Jong-kook also said, “I think we should apply it quickly for the pitch clock and speed-up,” adding, “I know that the mandatory three batters will start from next year, but the most urgent part is the replacement of pitchers. “I hope it will be implemented quickly to shorten the game time,” he added.