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Pirates, Jung Ho Kang release statements over his arrest

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As reported yesterday, Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang was arrested in South Korea for a DUI and fleeing the scene. Kang reportedly had a 0.084 percent blood alcohol level, which is above South Korea’s legal limit of 0.05 percent. Kang allegedly crashed into guard rails, damaging his own vehicle and, of course, the guard rails.

Both the Pirates and Kang have issued statements. First up is Pirates president Frank Coonelly — himself a DUI offender a few years back — released this statement:

“We have been made aware of the very serious charges filed against Jung Ho Kang early Friday morning in Seoul, South Korea. We are extremely disappointed in Jung Ho and in his decision process during this matter. I know firsthand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured. We will have further comment once we have been able to gather all of the relevant facts and speak with the player.”

For his part, Kang is falling on his sword, releasing this statement through his management company:

“I’d like to apologize to everyone who is disappointed with me. Today, I got behind the wheel after drinking, and committed an irrevocable mistake. I panicked at the moment of the accident and did something that I never should have done. I am deeply regretting the incident. I will humbly accept whatever punishment is deemed fit for my actions.”

Major League Baseball has not, in the past, punished players for DUI offenses, leaving the matter to the clubs. Who themselves have not done all that much to punish DUI offenses. My suspicion is that Kang’s only punishment for this will come via the Korean legal system and that, after a couple of months of radio silence, he will appear at spring training amid ready-made stories about how he has turned his life around and is on the road to redemption and all of that.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.