The reason Lotte fans desperately enjoy this spring

I lived in Busan and Gyeongnam area for 18 years after I was born before moving to Seoul to go to college. That’s why there are so many Lotte Giants fans around him. So, there are many amazing stories about him.

A schoolteacher whom I met while sharing soju that was smuggled into Masan Stadium 32 years ago with friends (with red faces), the parents of a senior who passed away after looking forward to Lotte’s third championship for decades, and a woman I had never seen before at a baseball stadium. A junior married to , a lawyer who went on a trip to Europe and stopped by a shop that made dolls for celebrities and made Choi Dong-won dolls, a baseball reporter who studied sabermetrics because he was so curious about why Lotte couldn’t keep up.

Friends who wondered whether it was right to pass on the identity of a ‘Lotte fan’ when a child was born have regretted seeing their children suffering, and will soon have similar concerns about their grandchildren. (Perhaps to the same conclusion.)  

And they’re upset now. “Are you really doing it this time?”

As Lotte competes for the lead, public sentiment among Lotte fans is literally boiling. In the first game of the three-game series against the KIA Tigers, the first ‘Portal Gwangkle Cheering War’ was held, and the number of participants exceeded 90 million, nearly twice the population of Korea. The TV viewer ratings for the match broadcast by SBS Sports were 2.245%. It was the highest in three years after KIA vs. Hanwha’s 2.355% on July 22, 2000.

Considering the situation of the times where TV ratings are steadily declining due to the advancement of other content platforms such as OTT and YouTube, this is very surprising. Yesterday, 1,500 fans gathered at Sajik Stadium, where there was no game, and held a ‘remote cheer’ that was only seen in the World Cup. They are desperately enjoying ‘Lotte’s Spring’.

It is clear why they are enthusiastic about ‘As if this is the last time’. This is because Lotte’s leading run was such a rare event.

Lotte is the only team among the participating teams in the first year to not win the regular season. Even came in second place only once (2011). On the 3rd, he also set a record of 2700 losses for the first time in history. Of course, even during the season, the time to keep the lead for a long time is extremely rare. Since the launch of professional baseball in 1982, the longest time Lotte has stayed in the lead in a single league system is exactly ’10 days’.

The above cases have something in common. It’s the very beginning of the season. Except for 2020, all of them ended in April. 2020 started the season on May 5th, the first year of the corona city. So, after one month of the season, they have not been in the lead for more than a week in 41 years. 

In terms of the point at which 20 games of the season have elapsed, the time Lotte kept the lead for the longest time was ‘5 days in the world’. From June 26th to 30th, 2012, keeping the No. 1 spot was ‘maintaining the lead for the longest time’. Lotte beat Kiwoom on April 30th and rose to first place. And yesterday (4th), the KIA game was canceled in the rain and SSG came down from the lead with a victory. Again, ‘4 days under heaven’. It is in stark contrast to cases like SSG, which won the ‘Wire to Wire’ championship by maintaining the lead for 190 days from the opening day of last year. 

In addition, Lotte’s power is unstable for a leading team. Lotte’s current odds are 0.625. However, the Pythagorean win rate: (scored square)/(scored squared) + (missed point squared), which is considered to be more related to future performance than actual win rate, is only 0.488. There are no Lotte hitters up to 19th in the OPS League among hitters who have filled the required at-bats. DER (Defensive Efficiency: Ratio of in-play batted balls out), which indicates team defense, was 64.4%, which is the lowest after last year.

Even considering the characteristics of Sajik Stadium, where there are many balls that cannot be defended due to the tallest fence in Korea, it is still difficult to say that the defense is good. Na Kyun-ahn is the only starting pitcher at the top of the league. The two foreign pitchers are taking a negative value in their contribution to victory. How long they can hold out with the power of the league’s best bullpen is at stake. 메이저사이트

Of course there is hope. The sluggishness of foreign pitchers can be interpreted as a potential surge in power through a rebound or replacement in the future. The player base, which has been greatly thickened by ‘storm recruiting’ during the winter, can shine as the long-term race progresses. And most importantly, the win/loss margin is currently +6.

Even if you only record a win rate of 50% in the remaining games, that is, even if you keep a win-loss margin of +6, the possibility of reaching the postseason is very high. Therefore, the hearts of Lotte fans must be a mixture of hope and despair. What is certain is that, for the reasons listed above, both emotions are enormous in intensity. 

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