Howard Johnson to play with son for indy team

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Metsblog.com points out that the Rockland Boulders of the independent Can-Am League on Tuesday announced the signing of father-and-son pair Howard and Glen Johnson.

The duo will play alongside one another on Sept. 4-5 against the Newark Bears.

“This may be my last go ‘round so it’s a great opportunity to play in a professional game with my son,” said Howard Johnson. “How many fathers can do that?”

The 51-year-old Johnson retired in 1995 after playing 14 seasons in the majors and making two All-Star teams.  A fantasy baseball stud as a third baseman and shortstop in the late-80s, he had three 30-homer and four 30-steal seasons for the Mets.  His best year came in 1989, when he hit .287/.369/.559 with 36 homers, 101 RBI, 41 steals and an NL-leading 104 runs scored.  He also led the NL in homers (38) and RBI (117) in 1991.

The younger Johnson was a 36th-round pick of the Mets out of high school in 2007, but he opted to go to college after the draft.  This will be his professional debut, and considering that he hit .220 for Pace University in his final year in school, it’s probably nothing more than a cameo for him.

So, yeah, it’s a publicity stunt for Rockland.  But what child of the 80’s can pass up a chance to write about Ho-Jo?

Yasiel Puig was late to a workout on Monday, so Dave Roberts benched him

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Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.

Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.

Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.

MLB, MLBPA grant Pirates exemption for Jung Ho Kang to participate in Dominican Winter League

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.

Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.

Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.