As Matthew noted last night, the BBWAA issued a statement in the wake of the Bill Conlin ugliness. It was strange to see it and, in my mind, pretty ill-advised.
Why say anything now? Given the gravity of the allegations, who gives a damn about what it all means for the Spink Award? While I appreciate the need not to pile on someone the second allegations surface, if the Penn State and Syracuse scandals showed us anything, it showed us that you don’t just jump out front and defend someone accused of this stuff as a matter of reflex either. And what the BBWAA statement did was to defend Conlin, at least in a small way.
Obviously the BBWAA did not convene a conclave of its members in the space of a couple hours last night to get their input on the statement. And, not surprisingly, some members are making a point today to say that the statement does not speak for them. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News even wrote an article about it:
Philadelphia Daily News editor Larry Platt, who accepted Conlin’s retirement Tuesday, told the Inquirer: “I can’t even begin to express the shock, sadness, and outrage I feel by what Bill Conlin is alleged to have done.”
That statement was clear about both the troubling nature of the allegations, and the fact they remain just that — allegations. I wish that my organization. the BBWAA, had achieved a similar balance.
I know this is a horrible and difficult situation for anyone to manage, but I agree with Martino: the BBWAA didn’t manage it well.
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.