Getty Images

Pirates, Jung Ho Kang release statements over his arrest

3 Comments

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.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

Rob Tringali/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.