The Orioles contact Buck Showalter about their managerial gig

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Buck Showalter was one of the first few names listed by fans and the media to take over the Orioles’ managerial job when it became apparent that Dave Trembley was going to get fired.  Now the Orioles are doing the logical thing and interviewing him, reports Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.

I assume this is a sign that Davey Johnson — who was interviewed last week — didn’t really impress anyone.  Unless of course Showalter is some token minority candidate (minority: guys who did not win a World Series while managing Derek Jeter).

I’m less taken with Showalter than a lot of people. I think his primary appeal is to those who think that he’ll do for Baltimore what he did for New York, which is to bring them to the brink of contention via his brains and obvious organizational skills, preparation, etc.  I continue to contend, however, that a lot of guys could have done what he did, mostly because the story of the Yankees’ turnaround in the early-to-mid 90s was primarily a front office story, not an on-the-field story. Nothing wrong with Showalter, mind you. He’s just not my cup of tea.

How about Wally Backman?  I plugged him on HBT Extra yesterday. Before that segment I read a lot about him and his history since being unceremoniously fired by the Diamondbacks five days after taking the job there. He sounds like a hell of a lot of fun in the Billy Martin-Ozzie Guillen mold.

There’s a lot of talent in Baltimore. It just needs a kick in the ass to get moving.  Wally Backman kicks some ass, so why not give him a whirl?

Jung Ho Kang’s DUI arrest was his third since 2009

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 10:  Jung Ho Kang #27 of the Pittsburgh Pirates fields a ground ball in the second inning during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park on June 10, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Last week Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident. That’s bad, but it turns out that it’s nothing new. The Yonhapnews Agency reports that Kang has been arrested for DUI three times since 2009:

Gangnam Police Station in southern Seoul confirmed that it was Kang’s third DUI arrest, with the three strikes law resulting in the immediate revocation of his license. According to police, Kang had also been arrested for a DUI in August 2009 and May 2011. No personal injuries were reported in either case, though he’d caused property damage in the latter incident.

The report also notes that a companion of Kang initially claimed that he, and not Kang, was behind the wheel at the time of the accident which led to Kang’s arrest last week. It was later revealed by the car’s black box, however, that Kang was driving. So add in some obstruction of justice, whether it is charged or not, to the scene. Police are investigating that.

Between all of this and the fact that Kang is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault in Chicago this past season, a pretty ugly portrait of the Pirates’ infielder is beginning to reveal itself.

Under Armour to become MLB’s official uniform provider in 2020

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This is interesting. Majestic Athletic has been baseball’s official uniform provider for decades, with its relationship with Major League Baseball dating back to the early 80s when it started providing batting practice jerseys. But that’s going to end after three more season:

As CNBC’s Jessica Golden reports, this will be Under Armour’s first official uniform deal in major professional sports. UA does, however, sponsor a number of individual players, most notably Bryce Harper.

MLB has just released a statement about it:

Beginning in the 2020 MLB season, Under Armour will be the exclusive MLB provider of all on-field uniform components including jerseys featuring prominent Under Armour branding, baselayer, game-day outerwear, and year-round training apparel for all 30 MLB Clubs.  Fanatics, a global leader of licensed sports merchandise, will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear, which include jerseys at retail, name & number products and Postseason apparel. Under Armour and Fanatics expect to offer an assortment of new fan gear apparel and accessories at retail, prior to the 2020 season.