6:30 p.m. EST: The Red Sox are denying that they’ve eliminated Gene Lamont from contention for the vacancy. Lamont also says he hasn’t heard anything from the Red Sox suggesting that he’s out of the mix.
It’s down to Bobby Valentine and, umm…., Bobby Valentine?
Sources told ESPN’s Karl Ravech that Gene Lamont is no longer a candidate to take over as Boston’s manager. With Torey Lovullo also out of the running, Valentine is the only remaining known candidate for the job.
Ravech’s sources said Valentine has yet to be offered the job, but that such a move appears imminent.
Valentine, who worked for ESPN last season, would be returning to the dugout for the first time since 2002. He went 581-605 with the Rangers from 1985-1992 and 536-467 with the Mets from 1996-2002. He took the Mets to the World Series as a wild card in 2000, but he’s never managed a first-place team.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the Blue Jays have signed Steve Pearce to a two-year deal worth $12.5 million.
Pearce, 33 had some health issues in 2016, but he hit .288/.374/.492 across 302 plate appearances when he was on the field and he mashes lefties in particular. Pearce is versatile as well, logging time at first base, second base, right field, left field, and DH in 2016 while splitting time between the Rays and Orioles.
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.