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Jung Ho Kang to enter alcohol treatment program

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang will enter an alcohol treatment program following his drunk driving arrest in December of last year. Kang’s agent, Alan Nero, said the program had been recommended to the 29-year-old following a joint panel evaluation.

Kang was arrested in South Korea after crashing his car while intoxicated. It was his third DUI since 2009. Brink notes that while neither MLB nor the Pirates have issued a formal punishment for the infielder yet, he was removed from South Korea’s World Baseball Classic roster and Seoul police were reportedly seeking an indictment against him in January.

According to stipulations set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, participation in an alcohol treatment program could help ease whatever punishment Kang faces in 2017. It’s not clear yet whether the arrest will affect his visa eligibility when he tries to return for the 2017 season, though Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington expects that Kang will report to spring training later this month.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.