LG Twins manager Cha Myung-seok has appeared on YouTube. It’s a channel called “Stalking” with Shim Soo-chang and Jung Yong-gum. It is an episode right after his appointment as manager. It’s a tiki-taka with his protégé, Im Chan-gyu, who has a love-hate (?) relationship with him.
“I think this is the kind of relationship I want to have with you.”
Cha Myung-seok “What?”
“You know, Song Dae-kwan-Tae Jin-ah, Jung Jun-ho-Shin Hyun-joon. And Im Chan-gyu – Cha Myung-seok.”
“Don’t you have to put his name in front of yours? Shouldn’t it be Cha Myung-seok-Im Chan-gyu?”
Laughter erupts in the room.
It was different from the first meeting, as Cha remembers.
“When I was a second-team coach, I flew to Florida for fall camp with four high school rookies who had just joined the team. They were all beginners. We were sitting next to each other (on the plane), and (Im) didn’t take a break for 12 hours and asked me questions. I thought he was a pitcher I was going to keep, so I answered everything, but when we got there, he was like, “But coach, what kind of coach are you?” After 12 hours of talking like that, I was like, “You don’t know my name?” That’s the kind of kid he is, and it’s been bad ever since.”
Chan-kyu Lim, 30, added 10 wins. It’s his first double-digit win total in three years. He started against the Rangers on April 19 and held them to two runs through five innings. He walked three and struck out four. His ERA is 3.55 in 104 innings pitched in 22 games this season. This is the third time he has won more than 10 games (2018, 2020).
His postgame demeanor is unexpected. Gone are the laugh lines, replaced by humility. “I’m glad the team won. It’s not that I’ve been playing well lately, it’s more about my batsmen and my defense, and the coach has been giving me a lot of chances. I think these things came together in the right rhythm, and it would have been better if my father (who passed away two years ago) could have seen it.” (Im Chan-kyu)
His position on opening day was in the bullpen. He didn’t have a spot in the starting lineup. But when Kim Yun-sik, Lee Min-ho, and others left the team one after another, the order naturally returned to him. He continued to pitch well, winning five games by May. He was considered the number one contributor to the first half of the season.
However, he struggled in June and July, going 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in seven appearances. It wasn’t until August that he rebounded. He added a win in all four starts. His ERA was 4.35, but he did well in his innings of responsibility. As he said, he was supported by his offense and defense.
Anyway, 10 wins. It’s not a number to take lightly. It’s tied for fourth among all 10 teams (Eric Pedroia has 15). It’s even more impressive when you limit it to the domestic league. He is tied with Ko Young-pyo and Lee Yi-ri for the most wins. Kwak Bin Kwak (9 wins), Ahn Woo-jin, Choi Won-tae, and Moon Dong-joo (8 wins) are all below him. 안전놀이터
On the one hand, it’s a tricky situation. At least for Tae Jin-ah and Shin Hyun-jun. Tiki-Taka’s good friend Cha Myung-seok (54) is the head coach.
Earlier, he sniped at Lim Chan-kyu. “I said something (about his early season performance). I keep asking myself, ‘What, when are you going to sign?